After several years of development and just in time for a surge in tourism, the curtain was finally lifted on Inuvik’s new centrepiece on June 18.
At the centre of Chief Jim Koe Park, the Inuvik Welcome Centre will now host outdoor events such as the Arctic Market, and the facility extends to the nearby Special Events Pavilion, which has seating for up to 270 people.
Designed to be a holistic setting, the welcome centre boasts an open boardwalk with a wooden roof.
In addition, the building will serve as the new municipal visitor reception area, providing tourists with information and freeing up the town office for local affairs. The Economic Development and Tourism department will also relocate to the new building.
”A special featured space found inside the Inuvik Welcome Centre is a small meeting room that has been named the Kristine McLeod Memorial Community Room, in honour of the late Gwich’in Tribal Council Deputy Grand Chief, Ms. Kristine McLeod, who passed away unexpectedly in August of 2021,” said Economic Development and Tourism director Jackie Challis. “Exactly one year ago to the day, on June 18th of 2021, Deputy Grand Chief McLeod addressed the crowd during the grand opening of the Special Events Pavilion. She spoke to the importance of working together for the betterment of Gwich’in and all people.
“She spoke fondly of memories attending special events, festivals, and cultural celebrations in Chief Jim Koe Park and the significance they have for a healthy and vibrant community. It is with those same ideals that the Inuvik Welcome Centre will continue to grow and evolve to serve the people of Inuvik and the visitors to our Arctic community.”
Funding for the new building was provided by CanNor, the GNWT and the Town of Inuvik.