Federal money flows during minister’s visit

A federal minister was in Whitehorse this week and she opened the government’s purse strings.

A federal minister was in Whitehorse this week and she opened the government’s purse strings.

In her two days in the territory, Bardish Chagger, the minister of small business and tourism, officially announced cash for local businesses, non-profits and the tourism industry.

The largest cheque — $1.8 million over the next two years — is going towards continuing the Yukon Now marketing campaign, a series of online videos and commercials promoting the territory to potential tourists.

The Yukon government started asking for this federal money early last year. It matches territorial cash that has already gone towards more air time for the commercials.

The ads first showed up on screens in February 2015, encouraging visitors to “come to my Yukon.” Two commercials show Yukoners doing winter activities and four promote the summer.

“Target markets for this campaign include the United States, the United Kingdom and China,” Chagger told a Yukon Chamber of Commerce luncheon Jan. 26.

Yukon’s tourism department says the commercials in particular are mostly aimed at Canadian travellers.

They’ve already aired thousands of times across Canada and have received 300 million views, Tourism Minister Jeanie Dendys said.

According to the department, the commercials are having an impact on Canadians’ awareness of Yukon as a destination.

Data from January to October shows the number of tourists arriving by air was up eight per cent in 2016 over 2015. Visitor information centre visits were up 18 per cent over the same period, a department spokesperson said in an email.

Visits that last one night or more, meaning visitors who are staying in Yukon rather than passing through, are up 11 per cent in 2016 over 2015.

The department didn’t provide hard numbers translating those percentages into numbers of visitors.

At the same luncheon, Chagger announced $1 million over three years for the Yukon First Nations Culture and Tourism Association.

The non-profit organization is likely best known for running the annual Adaka Cultural Festival in Whitehorse.

Vice president Marilyn Jensen said many First Nations are recognizing the economic opportunities that exist in the arts and tourism industries.

“For the coming three years we will travel across the Yukon to assist our communities in understanding the opportunities in the arts, culture and tourism industries,” she said.

“(We’ll) assess their needs and provide the supports they need to pursue these opportunities.”

In both cases the money is coming from the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, or CanNor.

The day before the Yukon Chamber of Commerce luncheon, Chagger was again announcing government grants, this time with more of a focus on local businesses.

Whitehorse-based Northerm Windows and Doors received up to $130,000 in federal money through the Industrial Research Assistance Program, which helps small and medium-sized businesses access technical expertise.

It’s the latest government grant to help the company with plans to wrap up operations in Anchorage and expand the company’s Whitehorse facility.

The money, which arrived in September, is being used in part to offset the cost of an industrial engineer. That job exists in larger facilities and is meant to help with some of the logistics of the move itself as well as production at the Whitehorse facility, said David Borud, Northerm’s general manager.

“In essence what we’re doing is doubling our production here. You might think that is a simple thing to do, but it’s not. It’s not just a matter of putting on two shifts.”

It means staff training and also upgrading equipment, he said.

The work is expected to be done in about a year and a half. When the move is complete Northerm will have hired an additional six Whitehorse employees, Borud said.

The window and door company is a division of RAB Energy Group. RAB is jointly owned by eight Yukon First Nations.

Last September CanNor also gave the company $560,000 to help with the consolidation.

Wednesday’s announcement was made at YuKonstruct’s (co)space in downtown Whitehorse.

(co)space gives Yukoners running small businesses access to meeting and office space.

YuKonstruct secured $162,000 in funding from CaNor last month, said executive director Jaret Slipp.

The money helped pay for (co)space’s expansion to the third floor of its offices on Strickland Street and is also being used to plan for the organization’s future, he said.

YuKonstruct also runs a large community workshop that offers members access to programs and equipment ranging from an industrial sewing machine to a laser cutter.

Contact Ashley Joannou at ashleyj@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Premier Sandy Silver, left, and Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley speak at a COVID-19 update press conference in Whitehorse on Nov. 19. On Nov. 24, Silver and Hanley announced masks will be mandatory in public places as of Dec. 1, and encouraged Yukoners to begin wearing masks immediately. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Masks mandatory in public places starting on Dec. 1

“The safe six has just got a plus one,” Silver said.

Dr. Brendan Hanley, Yukon’s chief medical officer of health, speaks at a press conference in Whitehorse on March 30. Hanley announced three more COVID-19 cases in a release on Nov. 21. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Three more COVID-19 cases, new exposure notice announced

The Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Brendan Hanley, announced three… Continue reading

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: COVID-19 strikes another blow at high-school students

They don’t show up very often in COVID-19 case statistics, but they… Continue reading

The Cornerstone housing project under construction at the end of Main Street in Whitehorse on Nov. 19. Community Services Minister John Streicker said he will consult with the Yukon Contractors Association after concerns were raised in the legislature about COVID-19 isolation procedures for Outside workers at the site. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Concerns raised about alternate self-isolation plans for construction

Minister Streicker said going forward, official safety plans should be shared across a worksite

Beatrice Lorne was always remembered by gold rush veterans as the ‘Klondike Nightingale’. (Yukon Archives/Maggies Museum Collection)
History Hunter: Beatrice Lorne — The ‘Klondike Nightingale’

In June of 1929, 11 years after the end of the First… Continue reading

Samson Hartland is the executive director of the Yukon Chamber of Mines. The Yukon Chamber of Mines elected a new board of directors during its annual general meeting held virtually on Nov. 17. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Yukon Chamber of Mines elects new board

The Yukon Chamber of Mines elected a new board of directors during… Continue reading

The Yukon Hospital Corporation has released its annual report for 2019-20, and — unsurprisingly — hospital visitations were down. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Annual report says COVID-19 had a large impact visitation numbers at Whitehorse General

The Yukon Hospital Corporation has released its annual report for 2019-20, and… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

City council was closed to public on March 23 due to gathering rules brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The council is now hoping there will be ways to improve access for residents to directly address council, even if it’s a virtual connection. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Solution sought to allow for more public presentations with council

Teleconference or video may provide opportunities, Roddick says

Megan Waterman, director of the Lastraw Ranch, is using remediated placer mine land in the Dawson area to raise local meat in a new initiative undertaken with the Yukon government’s agriculture branch. (Submitted)
Dawson-area farm using placer miner partnership to raise pigs on leased land

“Who in their right mind is going to do agriculture at a mining claim? But this made sense.”

Riverdale residents can learn more details of the City of Whitehorse’s plan to FireSmart a total of 24 hectares in the area of Chadburn Lake Road and south of the Hidden Lakes trail at a meeting on Nov. 26. (Ian Stewart/Yukon News file)
Meeting will focus on FireSmart plans

Riverdale residents will learn more details of the City of Whitehorse’s FireSmarting… Continue reading

The City of Whitehorse is planning to borrow $10 million to help pay for the construction of the operations building (pictured), a move that has one concillor questioning why they don’t just use reserve funds. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Councillor questions borrowing plan

City of Whitehorse would borrow $10 million for operations building

Most Read