As the weather cools, boating season will inevitably come to an end but in Yellowknife that doesn’t mean boat servicing will slow down.

In a city that has a boat on nearly every street, business’ that maintain those boats will continue to service those

watercrafts through the winter months. Polar-Tech, AutoTec and Omega Marine are joined by a few car dealerships to round out the companies that will help get your boat back in the water next summer. Of those servicers, some are limited in the makes and models that they can service, while other will take any that come into their shop. Polar-Tech is one of the larger companies but will only service Can-Am brands.
“We do Evinrude and Mercury, we can service Yamaha and all the others but we can’t do repairs. . . Say something broke, or if something was broken, if anything needs to be ordered we can’t service the other boats,” said Sam Olson, Sales Manager, Polar-Tech.

Olson also noted that while they have a large corner of the market, they do still have customers that they can’t fully service. He said they will suggest different options in the city to those customers, such as AutoTec and Omega Marine.

Some of those other options in town are not as limited by the make or model of the boat. AutoTec said they will take in any boat make or model that comes into their shop for different work.

“We do maintenance, winterizing and boat wrapping. The cost varies depending on the type of service you require,” stated Vanessa Wareham, part owner of AutoTec, by email.

Robert O’Rourke, owner of Omega Marine, who runs his business full time in the summer but operates  on limited hours during the winter, said they service a wide range of different boats and engines.

“I’ll do basic services on a lot of different engines,” said O’Rourke. “I can do basic services on a lot of different engines and I do a lot of specializations.”

Potential Canada Post strike may affect Yellowknife

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) voted overwhelmingly in favour of striking if an agreement with Canada Post can’t be reached.

Yellowknife postal workers fall under the urban postal operations section of the union, a section that voted 93.8 per cent in favour of striking.

“I’m very happy that it was a very strong vote, 94 per cent for the urban and 95 per cent for the rural because it sends a very clear message to the corporation that we want a fair collective for the workers and no rollbacks,” said Lynda Lefrancois, president of the union local.

A potential strike could see mail service interrupted in the city as early as Sept. 26, however, Lefrancois says the union’s goal is to reach an agreement before that happens. Canada Post did make an offer but Lefrancois said it left much to be desired.

“They gave us a global offer and there’s so many things in that that are unfair, especially to the new employees,” said Lefrancois.

“There’s people that have worked there for a very long time and we have what we have and it’s not fair for the new ones to not receive what we receive.”

If the union does decide to strike, Lefrancois said there are a number of ways that could happen. She said it would come down to the national chapter of the union to decide how to proceed if an agreement is not reached.


Inkit for sale

Long time local business Inkit has been placed on the market as the current owners look to move onto a new chapter.

Dawna Marriott has been the owner of the graphic design business since 1998 but after 20 years at the helm and 32 years in the North total, she says it is time she and her family moved on.

“We’re getting older and my parents are getting older and we would like to be able to move south to help them,” said Marriott.

While ownership may be changing hands, Marriott said she hopes whoever takes over the business will keep the business going strong.

“We’re one of the original agencies of the North, we started out as a little screen printing shop and our main thing is graphic design so we’ve grown with the services we have and it’s important we keep that alive whether we’re owners or not,” said Marriott.

The business, as well as the 48 Street property that it’s located on, are currently listed with Century 21 Realtors for $1, 275,000.


Twist and Shout on the market

Another Yellowknife eatery is up for sale after Twist and Shout was listed earlier this week.

The business is currently priced at $1.3 million with Century 21 Realtors. Twist and Shout opened under its current ownership in 2015. Since then, it has become known for its karaoke and trivia nights as well as a place that holds special events such as drag and male stripper shows.

The listing comes in a year where a number of downtown eateries have closed or changed hands, The Fat Fox Cafe closed last May and The Cellar Bar and Grill changed ownership that same month.


Barren Ground Coffee adds Indigenous labeling

A Yellowknife coffee roaster is updating its packaging, adding two indigenous languages to the back of each bag.

Barren Ground Coffee will start selling bags with Inuktitut and Tlicho translations on them starting this weekend. photo courtesy of Eric Binion

Barren Ground Coffee will be adding Inuktitut and Tlicho wording to its packaging label in addition to French translations.

Co-owner Eric Binion said they would deally like to add all 11 official languages of the NWT but it wasn’t practical to do so on the limited space.
“We were having to do this anyway, translate to French, which we feel is important but if we were going to do that anyways we wanted to make sure other languages important in the North were represented,” said Binion.
He said the company decided on Inuktitut as they look to expand their operations into Nunavut, as well as Tlicho due to the large amount of people that speak the language and the large number of customers they have in Behchoko and the surrounding area.
“So when we were looking at which languages had the highest number of speakers, Tlicho was one of those with over 2,000 speakers, Tlicho was one of the largest,” said Binion. “With Tlicho we were getting a lot of people in the shop from Behchoko and the Tlicho region.”
Binion said he worked with Suzie Napayok on the Inuktitut and Mary Siemens on the Tlicho translations. Barren Ground Coffee will have the new packaging ready to be placed on bags being sold this weekend.

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