In January, Michael McLeod, Member of Parliament for the Northwest Territories, announced that the new Arts, Crafts, and Technology Micro-manufacturing Centre (ACTMC) in Inuvik, Northwest Territories, will receive $196,500 over the next two years from the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor). McLeod was representing the Honourable Navdeep Singh Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development.

The idea for the facility grew out of the Merging Arts and Crafts with Technology and Manufacturing program at Aurora College, a 10-week course that introduced existing and aspiring artisans to the potential artistic and economic benefits of micro-manufacturing. The new Centre will allow artisans to merge traditional arts and crafts with new technology, micro-manufacturing, training, technical support, and applied research.

The Centre was developed by Aurora College, in partnership with the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, the Gwich’in Tribal Council, and the Government of Northwest Territories’ Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI). The CanNor funding is in addition to a $57,500 contribution from ITI, and $60,000 from Aurora College.

Art is a significant economic driver in the Beaufort Delta: approximately 1,400 residents produce arts and crafts for sale, 600 in Inuvik alone. With these investments, artists in the Beaufort Delta Region will have the opportunity to improve their art skills, produce high quality products, and develop sustainable business ventures.