The federal government is putting more than $1.7 million toward renovations at six community centres in the Northwest Territories.
“Cultural and recreation infrastructure helps make our communities feel like home and its important for Canadians to have places where they can play together, where they can meet, and create a sense of community,” MP Michael McLeod said at the Chief Drygeese Centre in Dettah on Friday.
“These buildings bring people together, provide space for educational programs, recreation opportunities, as well as for mental health, social and spiritual support services and programs.”
The investment will fund energy efficient ventilation and septic systems, insulation improvements, upgrades to bathroom and laundry facilities, new kitchen appliances and building accessibility.
The idea is to extend the life span of the buildings, bring down their operating costs, and make them more comfortable for the people that use them.
The Dettah Wellness Centre is getting the largest sum: $500,000 over two years for interior and exterior improvements, electrical upgrades and a commercial-grade kitchen.
“(The Dettah Wellness Centre) is a focal point of our community,” said Chief Eddie Sangris.
He said the wellness centre hosts elders’ pancake breakfasts, alcohol and drug courses for young people, mental health programs and the Dene law program.
“With renovations, upgrades, it raises the next level of comfort for our people to work,” said Sangris.
Other buildings getting funding are:
- the Soaring Eagle Friendship Centre in Hay River ($375,000);
- the Tlicho Leagia Ts’iili ko Friendship Centre in Behchoko ($315,000);
- the Fort Simpson Recreation Centre ($300,000);
- the curling arena in Norman Wells ($200,000);
- the Hamlet of Paulatuk Complex ($60,000).
The six facilities were chosen by the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, and each community is contributing an unspecified amount to the renovations.
These buildings are among the last projects to receive money through the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program, which supports improvements to public spaces.