The North West Company Inc.

The North West Company Inc.

March 23, 2005 17:02 ET

President-Alaska Commercial Company


NEWS RELEASE TRANSMITTED BY CCNMatthews

FOR: NORTH WEST COMPANY FUND

TSX SYMBOL: NWF.UN

MARCH 23, 2005 - 17:02 ET

President-Alaska Commercial Company

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(CCNMatthews - March 23, 2005) - North West Company
Fund (TSX:NWF.UN)

Edward Kennedy, Chairman and CEO, is pleased to announce the appointment
of Rex Wilhelm as President, Alaska Commercial Company ("AC"), effective
March 25, 2005. Mr. Wilhelm's appointment is part of a long-term
succession plan at AC that coincides with the retirement of the current
President, Jerry Bittner.

"I would like to first acknowledge Jerry's tremendous contribution to
AC's success over the past nine years," said Mr. Kennedy. "Jerry is an
outstanding merchant, team leader and community supporter. His never
ending optimism, energy and humour will be missed by all of us,
including the many Anchorage basketball teams he has coached over the
years."

"Rex Wilhelm is a very strong leader with deep experience. His
appointment ensures that AC will continue to grow as the number one
retailer in rural Alaska," Mr. Kennedy added. "Rex joined AC 21 years
ago and has progressed through the organization as a manager in Ft.
Yukon and Barrow, as a product buyer and as a Vice-President of Store
Operations. He brings to his new position a genuine passion for AC, an
in-depth knowledge of rural Alaska retailing and a strong vision of the
opportunities that lie ahead for our Company."

Alaska Commercial Company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The North West
Company Inc. ("North West"). North West is a leading retailer of food
and everyday products and services to rural communities and urban
neighborhoods across Canada and Alaska. North West operates 183 stores
under a number of trading names, including Northern, NorthMart, Giant
Tiger and AC Value Center, and provides catalogue shopping services
through its Selections catalogue in northern Canada.

The units of the North West Company Fund trade on the TSX Toronto Stock
Exchange under the symbol "NWF.UN".

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Contact Information

  • FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
    The North West Company/Alaska Commercial Company
    Edward Kennedy
    President and CEO/Chairman and CEO
    204-934-1482 or 907-273-4600
    204-934-1317 or 907-273-4800 (FAX)
    ekennedy@northwest.ca
    or
    Alaska Commercial Company
    Jerry Bittner
    President
    907-273-4665
    907-273-4800 (FAX)
    jbittner@northwest.ca
    or
    Alaska Commercial Company
    Rex Wilhelm
    Vice-President, Store Operations
    907-273-4662
    907-273-4800 (FAX)
    rwilhelm@northwest.ca
    www.northwest.ca