A Rewarding Journey

The History


Officially Opened

In 1966, the Battlefords Trade & Education Centre Inc. (“BTEC”) opened under the name, “The Battlefords Sheltered Workshop”. With just five participants and one staff, and financing provided through local support from businesses and individuals. The purpose was to provide adults with intellectual disabilities a safe place to gain self-confidence and self-respect, a feeling of accomplishment, belonging and being loved, a feeling of worth and appreciation, and a sense of importance and dignity.


Incorporation & Growth

Incorporation on January 19, 1967. In it's first 16 months of operation, the Sheltered Workshop’s enrolment grew from 5 to 34 participants.


A New Home

In 1970 the Sheltered Workshop purchased the former Colonel Otter Armoury. Throughout the first 35 years of operation the program had participants working at bag manufacturing, commercial sewing, woodworking, ceramics, silk screening, decorations for floats and weddings, as well as providing yard care and maintenance services.


Paper Shed

In 1979, BTEC built the “Paper Shed” enabling the Sheltered Workshop to run a “Paper Works” project. Participants collected used paper from the Battlefords and surrounding communities to be shredded and bailed prior to being sold to recycling firms. The shredding program continues today through the Community Projects Division of BTEC.


Activity Centre

In 1981, the Sheltered Workshop’s “Activity Centre” was moved from a small house into a newly constructed building located directly across from the Workshop, the Vida McDonald Activity Centre. The building was renovated and expanded to accommodate the increase in enrollment to the program.



In 1989, SARCAN Recycling became a branch of BTEC, starting with accepting aluminum pop cans to be recycled, and growing over the years to also accepting plastic and glass bottles, milk jugs, tetra packs, electronics and household paints.


BTEC Emerges

In 1995, the name of the organization changed from the Battlefords Sheltered Workshop to the Battlefords Trade & Education Centre Inc. Although this remains our official name, we are rebranding using our logo as inspiration and becoming simply BTEC. BTEC’s focus has shifted from being a vocational centre, to an activity and community involvement-based program. While our focus has changed, our dedication and commitment to providing a safe and friendly environment for adults with intellectual disabilities has remained constant over the past 50 plus years. What started as a small community-based organization has developed into a large centre that 64 participants attend either on a part-time or full-time basis.


An Amazing Facility

In October of 2016, BTEC moved into the Pfeifer Learning Centre. A 20,000 square foot building that is able to accommodate up to 100 participants. We thank the My Community Cares Committee, our staff, participants, Board of Directors, CLSD, and our community as a whole. We look forward to many years of serving our participants and through them our community.