Minister Vandal announces CanNor investment of nearly $2 million to expand important community space in Gjoa Haven, Nunavut

News release

Nattilik Heritage Centre is growing in size and strengthening its role as a local employer, a regional hub and community gathering place

August 11, 2022 – Gjoa Haven, Nunavut – Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

Public spaces in communities across Nunavut are critical for supporting residents, encouraging tourism, supporting local business and creating jobs. These spaces are often important gathering places to practice and develop Inuit culture, language and heritage by supporting mental and physical well-being, skills development, knowledge sharing and intergenerational connection.

Today, while in Gjoa Haven, the Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister for PrairiesCan and Minister for CanNor, announced an investment of nearly $2 million, delivered by CanNor, to support the expansion and growth of the Nattilik Heritage Centre.

Since opening in 2013, the Nattilik Heritage Centre in Gjoa Haven has grown from a multi-purpose arts and tourism facility to a regional hub for gathering, learning and knowledge-sharing. By adding an additional 600 square metres of new space, including a dedicated art section, a makerspace, and an adventure tourism office, the Centre will grow in its role as community space that welcomes visitors from Gjoa Haven, across the territory, and beyond.

These new spaces will support local and regional economic growth and increased tourism to the community and across the Kitikmeot. The expansion will also support job growth, including the possible creation of five to nine new jobs, the expansion of three positions and the maintenance of ten existing jobs within the facility.

The Government of Canada continues to work with Indigenous partners, organizations, businesses and communities to help grow the economies of the North and Arctic through community-driven and regionally-focused initiatives, such as the Nattilik Heritage Centre expansion.


“Northerners and Indigenous peoples know what it takes to keep communities strong, resilient and growing. That is why our government is working with Indigenous partners, businesses, and organizations to continue investing in projects that expand job opportunities, build infrastructure and support the continued strength of Indigenous cultures, languages and values. We are working alongside partners such as the Nattilik Heritage Society in Gjoa Haven, based on local priorities, to seize opportunities, create jobs, and grow the economy for all Northerners and Inuit."

The Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada and Minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

“The Nattilik Heritage Society welcomes the Government of Canada’s support as we continue to expand our facilities at the heritage centre. The centre is not only an invaluable resource for visitors to learn more about the history and people of our region, but also an important local asset that is home to a variety of programming and workshops for the benefit of Gjoa Haven residents.”

Jennifer Ullulaq, Manager, Nattilik Heritage Society

Quick facts

  • CanNor is investing $1,945,000 towards a five-year project led by the Nattilik Heritage Society to expand the Nattilik Heritage Centre in Gjoa Haven, Nunavut.

  • The expansion includes an additional 600 square metres of new space, featuring a dedicated art section, a makerspace, and an adventure tourism office, to better support cultural arts and tourism opportunities in the community and the broader Kitikmeot Region.

  • Project activities supported by CanNor funding began in March 2021 and are expected to continue until March 2026.

  • Funding delivered by CanNor is a non-repayable contribution from the Inclusive Diversification and Economic Advancement in the North (IDEANorth) program, an initiative focused on making foundational investments in economic infrastructure, sector development and capacity building to help position Northerners in the territories to take advantage of Canada's innovation economy.

Associated links


For more information, media may contact:

Kyle Allen
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister Responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada, and Minister Responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

Stephen Ducharme
Communications Manager
Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

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