Canada’s federal government gives $1M to tourism initiatives across Nunavut

Northern Affairs Minister Daniel Vandal made the announcement Friday as part of Tourism Week in Canada.

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Northern Affairs Minister Daniel Vandal, seen here in Iqaluit in April, has announced $1 million that will go toward four tourism projects in Nunavut. (Jeff Pelletier / Nunatsiaq News file photo)

Four projects in Nunavut will share close to $1 million from the federal government as part of Tourism Week in Canada, Northern Affairs Minister Daniel Vandal announced June 3.

The money will go to Pond Inlet, Illu Tours out of Cambridge Bay, Arctic Bay Adventures, and Kivalliq Expediting and Tours Inc., according to a news release from the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency.

Pond Inlet will get the biggest share, with $500,000 slated to widen the Salmon River access road, lay gravel for a path to the Salmon River, and guild a gazebo there as well.

Illu Tours is getting $86,000 to create a business plan and marketing strategy to attract tourists to the Kitikmeot region. The company is also going to use the money to upgrade its website so it can provide contactless check-ins and check-outs for guests.

Arctic Bay Adventures is getting close to $300,000 to acquire specialized expedition gear, such as mobile cabins, life rafts, propane incinerator toilets and floating docks. These items will increase the number of destinations the company can take guests to, according to the CanNor release.

Kivalliq Expediting and Tours Inc. is getting $100,000 to upgrade its operations to provide year-round small-scale marine expeditions between Kivalliq communities and charter tours.

The CanNor release says the funding will help create 25 part-time jobs, continued employment for five existing positions, and training for Inuit.

Mark Lewandoski, general manager of Arctic Bay Adventures, said in the release that federal funding has allowed his business to survive the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Since the start of this year’s floe edge season, we have doubled our guest counts from prior years, and have been able to seasonally hire 24 people, including youth and elders,” Lewandoski said.

“We are now able to bring in the guests and supply the product that the world is demanding.”