Tourism, film industry, language programming in Canada’s Northwest Territories get $2.7M boost

Michael McLeod made the announcement Wednesday morning in Yellowknife. The funding will go toward tourism, television and film, culture and construction. (Gabriela Panza-Beltrandi/CBC)
The federal government has announced $2.7 million for nine projects in the Northwest Territories that are meant to help the territory’s economy and promote culture.

“The funding will go towards a range of projects … including tourism, television and film, culture and construction, as well as targeted support for the development of entrepreneurs business capacity and francophone markets,” said MP Michael McLeod at a press conference Wednesday.

The biggest investment is close to $2 million to NWT Tourism over two years to help conduct market research, do more marketing, and launch online tools to help attract visitors to the territory.

The bulk of the money, more than $1.5 million comes from the federal government’s Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor), while close to $400,000 comes from the territorial government.

One of the things NWT Tourism said it will be looking at is whether Mexico could be a new market for tourists to the Northwest Territories.

Cathie Bolstad, CEO of NWT Tourism, says the first thing her organization will do with the money is conduct research. (Gabriela Panza-Beltrandi/CBC)

“The first thing we’re doing is research,” said Cathie Bolstad, CEO of NWT Tourism.

“[The research is] so that we have data regarding consumer attitudes, motivations from the international markets that visit our country.”

Bolstad said decisions on how and where to market are based on data, and NWT Tourism relies on this information to guide its marketing planning.

Other projects receiving money include more than $400,000 for French language tourism, including promoting tourism and “providing the francophone community in N.W.T. with entrepreneurial capacity-building tools and training” according to a press release.

Around $250,000 is going toward promoting the territory’s film industry.

The Native Communication Society of the N.W.T., which owns CKLB radio in Yellowknife, is also getting $284,000 to upgrade its satellites.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Northern Canadian territory puts trade mission to China on hold amid diplomatic tensions, CBC News

Finland: New terminal to help airport in Arctic Finland face tourism boom, Yle News

Norway: Beijing finds a Chinatown in Arctic Norway, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Chechnya tourism info center to open in Murmansk, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Climate activists launch campaign urging Swedes to give up air travel, Radio Sweden

United States: When the ice melts, what will happen to Arctic tourism?, Cryopolitics Blog

Gabriela Panza-Beltrandi, CBC News

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