YELLOWKNIFE, NT – Calling all Aurora College Alumni: during the 2018-19 academic year, Aurora College is celebrating 50 years of educating Northerners!

From mid-January through mid-March, Northern Life Museum in Fort Smith will be hosting a curated exhibit showcasing memorabilia, items, photos, and people from the College’s past 50 years.

As part of the 50th Anniversary celebrations, Aurora College will be sharing stories of success of alumni, current and former students, current and former staff and faculty, and others who have been a part of the Aurora College journey to date. Alumni, student, employer, and partner testimonial forms will be available on our 50th Anniversary web page, to make it easy to contact Aurora College and share success stories. ( )

Aurora College’s 50th Anniversary Facebook page features historical photos, new videos of alumni and student success, contests, information about upcoming events, and more. It went live in October, and can be found at .

From humble beginnings as the Adult Vocational Training Centre (ACTC) offering Heavy Equipment Operator and Teacher Education programs in Fort Smith in 1968, Aurora College has grown through several name changes, the division of the NWT, the addition of campuses in Yellowknife and Inuvik and more than 20 Community Learning Centres, and numerous other changes. Throughout the anniversary year, the College will be holding a number of events and activities at the Campuses and Community Learning Centres to celebrate, and to recognize the successes of our many thousands of graduates and former students who have been so instrumental in building this territory and the communities that we call home.

In mid-September, events were held at each of the College’s three campuses to both welcome students and to kick off the year of celebration and nostalgia. The new, aurora borealis-inspired logo was officially unveiled in September on one of Northwestern Air Lease Ltd.’s (NWAL) Jetstream 32 aircraft. The Jetstream, and several others in the NWAL fleet, will display Aurora College’s 50th Anniversary logo for the 2018-19 academic year. Aurora College is pleased to announce that Northwestern Air Lease Ltd. is the Gold Sponsor of Aurora College’s 50th Anniversary. Also in September, the community of Fort Smith was invited to a free Community BBQ at Thebacha Campus. Similar celebrations – a community chili dinner at Aurora Campus in Inuvik and a student lunch at Yellowknife North Slave Campus – launched the 50th anniversary year in style with greetings from Education, Culture and Employment Minister Caroline Cochrane and other invited guests.

CanNor to fund Arts, Crafts, and Technology Micro-manufacturing Centre

INUVIK, NT – A new Arts, Crafts, and Technology Micro-manufacturing Centre (ACTMC) in Inuvik will create a space for artists to access equipment, technologies, training, technical support, and applied research to create innovative and cost-effective cultural products, and will contribute to the economic development of the region.

Earlier today, Michael McLeod, Member of Parliament for the Northwest Territories, announced that the Centre will receive $196,500 over the next two years from the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor). McLeod was representing the Honourable Navdeep Singh Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development.

The ACTMC was developed by Aurora College, in partnership with the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, the Gwich’in Tribal Council, and the Government of Northwest Territories’ Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI). The CanNor funding is in addition to a $57,500 contribution from ITI, and $60,000 from Aurora College.

The idea for the micro-manufacturing facility grew out of the Merging Arts and Crafts with Technology and Manufacturing program, a 10-week course that introduced existing and aspiring artisans to the potential artistic and economic benefits of micro-manufacturing. The first program, offered in January 2018 in Inuvik, was so popular that a second program was offered in October 2018.

The new Centre will allow artisans to merge traditional arts and crafts with new technology and micro-manufacturing. Art is a significant economic driver in the Beaufort Delta: approximately 1,400 residents produce arts and crafts for sale, 600 in Inuvik alone. With these investments, artists in the Beaufort Delta Region will have the opportunity to improve their art skills, produce high quality products, and develop sustainable business ventures.





“The GNWT values and supports a strong and thriving arts industry that encourages artistic and creative expression as a means to individual and community well-being, and which also provides economic opportunities and diversification in our communities and regions. It is through partnerships with the Federal Government, Indigenous Governments and Aurora College that we are able to strengthen our campuses and provide Northerners with opportunities for hands-on skills development.”

  • Minister Caroline Cochrane, Department of Education, Culture and Employment, GNWT

This Arts, Crafts, and Technology Micro-manufacturing Centre would not be possible without the vision, support, and hard work of all partners, including the Gwich’in Tribal Council, Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, and the NWT Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment. Going forward, the Centre will help build a strong arts and crafts manufacturing sector and further diversify the Beaufort Delta economy.”

  • Jeff O’Keefe, Interim President, Aurora College


Link to CanNor News Release:



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Aurora Research Institute (ARI) is the research division of Aurora College.  The mandate of ARI is to improve the quality of life for residents of the Northwest Territories by applying scientific, technological and Indigenous knowledge to solve northern problems and advance social and economic goals. To achieve this mandate ARI conducts, supports, and licenses research throughout the NWT.  ARI is headquartered in Inuvik, and has regional research centres in Inuvik, Yellowknife and Fort Smith.


For more information, please contact:

Jayne Murray                                                                           

Manager, Communications & College Relations 

Aurora College                                                             

Phone: 867-872-7021