Government of Canada makes key investment to support NWT tourism industry

News release

CanNor invests over $375,000 to support the renovation of the soon-to-be relocated Yellowknife Visitor Centre

April 9, 2021 – Yellowknife, Northwest Territories – Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor)

The tourism industry plays a key economic, social and cultural role in the Northwest Territories, and is an important part of diversifying the Northern economy. The Government of Canada has supported the industry since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and has demonstrated its commitment to helping the Northern tourism industry during the crisis and for the post-pandemic period, so that the territories will be ready to welcome tourists from across Canada and around the world once the right conditions are in place.

Throughout the pandemic, tourism businesses have demonstrated their resilience, patience, creativity and adaptability. Tourism is a major driver of economic diversification in NWT and will be a key player in the territory’s economic recovery. The Government of Canada, through CanNor, is continuing its support for the industry and is stepping up to help by providing a new investment in NWT's tourism infrastructure.

Federal government supports tourism infrastructure in Yellowknife, NWT

Today, Michael McLeod, Member of Parliament for the Northwest Territories, on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for CanNor, announced an investment of over $375,000 to support a two-year project to renovate Yellowknife’s soon-to-be relocated Visitor Centre.

The renovation will enhance visitor experience and ensure accessibility at the new Centre Square Mall location in downtown Yellowknife. The Yellowknife Visitor Centre is a tourist hub and often the starting point for visitors exploring Yellowknife, the North Slave region of NWT and beyond. The new centralized location in downtown Yellowknife will also support urban economic development.

This announcement demonstrates the Government of Canada’s commitment to supporting the tourism industry in the Northwest Territories and across the country. CanNor’s continued support of the NWT tourism industry contributes to building a stronger and more resilient tourism economy in the North and supports communities.


“The Northern tourism industry is innovative and resilient. Our message to the tourism sector and those who depend on it is clear: we’re here for you and we’re working with you to build and sustain tourism, and help the sector come back strong. We are here to help Yellowknife and all communities in NWT prepare to welcome back visitors when it is safe to do so.”

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for CanNor

“Every economic sector has felt the significant effects of the pandemic’s numerous challenges over this past year. As we rebuild regional economies, we also start to rebuild our vibrant Northern tourism industry. I am encouraged and inspired by the industry’s adaptability, creativity and resilience. Today’s investment from CanNor to enhance visitor infrastructure supports the tourism sector in Yellowknife and across NWT. By working together, our communities will come out stronger.”

Michael McLeod, Member of Parliament for the Northwest Territories

“The tourism industry is an important economic contributor to our communities and territory, and one that’s been particularly hard hit as a result of this pandemic. Visitor information centres promote local, Indigenous and regional tourism operators and their products and are valuable hubs of information. With many visitors to the NWT beginning their visit in Yellowknife, this is an opportunity to provide information about not only the local region’s operators and activities but also the wealth of incredible tourism opportunities across our beautiful territory.”

Hon. Caroline Wawzonek, Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment  
Government of Northwest Territories

“The Visitor Centre relocation comes at an excellent time to invest in and revitalize Yellowknife's downtown core. The new, multi-functional space will welcome tourists back to the region, showcase local non-commercial artwork, and act as an accessible, community hub for businesses and the public. We are grateful for this opportunity, supported by our partners, CanNor and the GNWT."

Rebecca Alty, Mayor of Yellowknife

Quick facts

  • CanNor is investing $377,587 in this two-year project with a further $161,000 investment from the Government of the Northwest Territories, and a $125,000 investment from the City of Yellowknife.

  • CanNor funding will help support design and engineering fees as well as part of the renovation work.

  • The funding announced today is provided through CanNor’s full suite of regular economic development programming, which support projects that promote sustainable community economic development, enhance business development and growth, and facilitate innovation.

Associated links


For more information, media may contact:

Catherine Mounier-Desrochers
Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages

Barbara Abramchuk
Communications Advisor, NWT region

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