Arviat receives financial boostEcotourism initiative receives $100,000 in federal funding
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, December 5, 2012
The Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency announced $105,100 in funding for the Arviat Community Ecotourism (ACE) initiative this past month.
The hamlet will use the money to carry out a number of activities under its ACE initiative, including training local students to be equipped to host and guide tourists in the region, marketing and tourism promotion aimed nationally and abroad, and the purchase of a wildlife viewing cabin for tourist day trips away from the community.
Mike Robbins of the Tourism Company, which is helping develop the ACE initiative, said the funding was a big boost to the project.
He said the majority of the funds will be spent on training activities.
"This money is very much needed and we're very grateful to receive it," said Robbins.
"Our submitted funding proposal was aimed at a continuation of eco-guide and cook training, as well as marketing activities Arviat tourism co-ordinator Olivia Tagalik will be involved in during the next while."
Robbins said the initiative is trying to develop a pool of skilled individuals in several categories, such as cooks, guides and cultural performers.
He said developing a deeper talent pool will give the ACE initiative more flexibility.
"One of the elders involved in our cultural performance group recently passed away.
"That illustrates the importance of what we're doing to try and help pass their knowledge of the songs along to the younger generations, as well as the importance of having a pool in every category so we have a team to follow through with our commitments no matter what happens."
Robbins said the funding will make a significant difference in developing the ACE initiative.
He said the plan is to continue a lot of training in Arviat during the next few years, and the funding will give that objective a major boost.
"We began to schedule training programs as soon as we knew this funding was coming through.
"And, of course, it's government funds, so it has an expenditure time frame.
"We've just started a new cooking module with chef Mike Johnson, who lives in Arviat and runs our cook training, and every module he does has a different theme, such as food safety, baking, new recipes for country foods and holiday cooking.
"Each module has 10 three- to four-hour workshops, so this funding provides us with the ability to run a couple of modules between now and March 31 of 2013."