After two years of inactivity due to the Covid-19 pandemic, three beleaguered Nunavut tourism operators and a municipality are sharing $981,605 in funds, announced June 3 by the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency.
The recipients of the financial assistance are the Hamlet of Pond Inlet, Arctic Bay Adventures, Kivalliq Expediting and Tours Inc. and Illu Tours.
The Hamlet of Pond Inlet will make use of $500,000 to widen the Salmon River access road, establish a gravel pathway along the river and put up a gazebo. This will be an additional attraction for cruise ship visitors, who will return later this summer after a two-year prohibition on cruise ships in Arctic waters, CanNor stated. The project is expected to employ three people seasonally during two-years of construction and create one long-term position.
Arctic Bay Adventures is receiving $295,606 to expand operations by purchasing specialized expedition gear that will increase the number of destinations offered and safely increase the number of participants per trip. Inuit youth and guides with limited experience will receive training and apprenticeship, resulting in 20 jobs over six months of tourism season.
Kivalliq Expediting and Tours Inc. will put $99,999 in CanNor funding toward providing small-scale marine expeditions year-round. The operation already has a Bombardier vehicle for trips between Kivalliq communities. A 28-foot commercial boat will also be purchased. This initiative is expected to maintain an existing full-time position and create two new part-time jobs. The Kivalliq Inuit Association and the Government of Nunavut are also providing additional funding and a bank loan has been arranged.
Illu Tours of Cambridge Bay is formulating a business plan, a marketing strategy and upgrading its website with $86,000 in help from CanNor. The company aims to attract clients from within the community and elsewhere in the Kitikmeot region. The Business Development Bank of Canada and futurpreneur are also contributing financial backing for Illu Tour’s aspirations.
CanNor’s investments come through the Tourism Relief Fund and the Northern Aboriginal Economic Opportunities Program.