MP Micheal McLeod announced on Feb. 14 that Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor) will be providing funding to the tune of $250,000 to three tourism initiatives based in Yellowknife.
The funding will go to the city for digital interactive “wayfinding” maps in Yellowknife, Snowking’s Winter Festival and Jackpine Paddle, a Yellowknife based adventure tourism company.
“The GNWT and the City of Yellowknife agree there is tremendous economic potential and tourism presents the NWT with an exciting opportunity to diversify and grow the economy,” McLeod said.
The new interactive maps in Yellowknife are a part of a running two-year project which will be available in multiple languages and offer connectivity with users’ cell phones through the city’s mobile app Pingstreet.
“In order for visitors to have a positive experience we need to provide attractive informative signage at key locations throughout the city,” said Mayor Rebecca Alty. “Having traveled to many countries where I don’t speak the language, I can see how there’s missed opportunities to see a historic site.”
Dan Wong, guide and owner of Jackpine Paddle, will be using the CanNor funding to help operate a new series of adventure trips in the Sahtu region.
“We’re really excited about these trips,” said Wong. “This funding will give us a big boost to get these trips going much faster than we ever would. Thank you for investing in our goal and our dream, to give clients a choice to come up North and sign up for a paddling expedition (with) a Northern owned company.”
Funding will also be going to support the Snowking’s Winter Festival.
“When the city says we’re a winter city, we should have something that represents that and we really appreciate the recognition and support we’re getting,” said Anthony Foliot, the Snowking.
Snowking will be using the funding for a new visitor’s centre, which will have an interior decorated with barn boards from the original roof of the Wildcat Cafe.
“It takes a certain kind of pull to be able to score stuff like that,” Foliot said.
They will also be investing in new ice cutting equipment which will include a band saw and a circular saw to cut bevels quickly.