June 13, 2019

INUVIK, NT – Aurora College will be receiving $1.75 million over five years to support the Arts, Crafts, Technology, and Micro-Manufacturing Centre (ACTMC) in Inuvik.

The ACTMC is a collaborative endeavour that provides the space, equipment, training and ongoing support to artists in the Beaufort Delta who are interested in merging their artistry with modern technology and micro-manufacturing techniques.  The centre provides a fully-equipped and resourced space where artists can access new technologies to grow their small businesses and pursue existing and emerging economic opportunities.

Earlier today, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, announced that ARI is one of this year’s recipients of a Technology Access Centre (TAC) grant through the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)’s College and Community Innovation program.

The Arts, Crafts, Technology and Micro-Manufacturing Centre was opened in April 2019 and has become a hub of activity and training for local and regional artisans. The five-year TAC grant will provide funds for a manager, administrator, and basic operating expenses, ensuring the project can be sustained while it establishes more permanent revenue sources. Arts & Crafts is an underdeveloped segment of the economic landscape in the Beaufort Delta that has the potential to grow substantially.

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. Planning for both the course and the centre included a number of organizations in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region and the Gwich’in Settlement Area. ACTMC partners include the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation (IRC), the Gwich’in Tribal Council (GTC), the Inuvialuit Community Economic Development Organization (ICEDO), the Town of Inuvik, and the Government of the Northwest Territories.

An official opening of the centre is planned for later this year.


“Art is a significant economic driver in the Beaufort Delta: approximately 1,400 residents produce arts and crafts for sale, 600 of those 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. This project would not have been possible with the support and involvement of our many partners.”

  • Dr. Tom Weegar,  President, Aurora College

“TAC Grants are intended to enhance the ability of companies to become more productive and innovative by enabling them to easily access college expertise, technology and equipment. Aurora College’s contributions will include specialized technical assistance, applied research and/or development projects, and specialized training.”

  • Pippa Seccombe-Hett, Vice President – Research, Aurora College

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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.