Innovation hub opens doors in Whitehorse - Federal government investment boosts innovation in the North

News release

October 11, 2018 – Whitehorse, Yukon – Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor)

Supporting innovation and entrepreneurship in the North fosters economic diversification and growth. That is why the Government of Canada, through the Strategic Investments in Northern Economic Development program (SINED), has invested over $900,000 in supporting the innovation ecosystem in Yukon.

The announcement was made today by Larry Bagnell, Member of Parliament for Yukon, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for CanNor.

Over $900,000 in CanNor funding will go to Yukonstruct for the completion of the NorthLight Innovation building that merges Yukonstruct's existing collaboration centres under one roof. This funding is in addition to CanNor's previous contribution of $1,500,000 towards the first phase of NorthLight Innovation. The Government of Yukon also contributed $1,950,000 to the first phase in addition to significant cash and in-kind contributions from the private sector.

Through these investments, the federal government is supporting an ecosystem of innovation in the North that will link into the rapidly growing innovation network across the country.


"Today is a special day for Yukon and for the North. The passion, vision and entrepreneurial spirit shown by Northerners is an inspiration to all Canadians and is sure to inspire new entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial movements. The Government of Canada is very proud to have partnered with Yukonstruct on this new and unique Northern-focused innovation hub."

Honourable Navdeep Bains,
Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and the Minister responsible for CanNor

"It is truly exciting to see talented and innovative entrepreneurs, leaders in new technologies, and Yukon's forward-looking business community working together under one roof. I am happy to see the Government of Canada and the Government of Yukon supporting an innovation hub that incubates new ideas, bolsters economic diversification and fosters long-term sustainable growth in the North."

Larry Bagnell
Member of Parliament for Yukon

"Our government has championed the innovation hub from the beginning and we're very excited to see it come to fruition. Bringing partnerships and ideas together is the key to developing a diversified, sustainable and dynamic economy across the North. NorthLight Innovation is providing a space for local innovators, entrepreneurs and professionals to share their knowledge and skills, and build local capacity. It also provides streamlined access to business assistance, mentorship and networking opportunities that will attract more start-ups and entrepreneurs, and help our small businesses grow. "

Ranj Pillai
Minister of Economic Development, Government of Yukon

"This is a momentous occasion. YuKonstruct is very excited to welcome its members, partners and the wider community to celebrate the official opening of the NorthLight Innovation facility. The value of collaborative spaces for ideas to flourish has been proven across the world. Building on the success of the growing communities of makers and coworkers at our two previous locations and the added partnership of Yukon College and Yukon Development Corporation, we are excited for a future of innovation in the north."

Jaret Slipp
Executive Director, YuKonstruct Society

Associated links


Nilani Logeswaran
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development
Tel: 343-291-2849
Cell: 613-668-1794

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency
Traolach Ó Murchú
Communications Advisor, Yukon Region

For more information about CanNor, visit

NorthLight Innovation
Julie Nielsen
Marketing & Development Director

Government of Yukon
Amelie Quirke-Tomlins
Communications, Economic Development

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