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: