Blachford owes customers $1.2M in deposits, new documents show

Blachford Lake Lodge enters bankruptcy owing customers more than a million dollars, according to documents issued by insolvency trustee BDO Canada.

The lodge abruptly closed in March, blaming rapidly rising inflation and the health concerns of its owner, Mike Freeland. Its overall debts amount to more than $3 million.

An insolvency trustee is used to administer the bankruptcy process. BDO Canada is contacting people who may be owed money by the lodge, known as creditors.


A list of creditors prepared by BDO Canada states that customers of the lodge are collectively owed $1.183 million in prepaid deposits for trips that have not taken place.

The list also states that Air Tindi, which provided flights to and from Blachford, is owed $258,000. The Bank of Montreal is owed $225,000, the CRA is owed $80,000 and the Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission is owed $37,000.

The NWT’s Business Development and Investment Corporation – known as BDIC, an arm’s-length territorial agency designed to invest in and boost territorial businesses – is owed $276,000.

BDIC, Air Tindi and the Bank of Montreal are secured creditors, meaning they have the right to be paid before anyone else. BDO Canada estimates that the lodge has assets worth $1.2 million ($966,000 of which is listed as property) with which to cover outstanding claims.

How much money will actually be seen by customers who are out of pocket – and by staff – remains unclear.


While a group of six employees told Cabin Radio they were each owed at least $10,000, a line for “employees” in BDO Canada’s list of creditors carries the figure $0.00. How that was calculated is not clear. It’s not known if former employees have since received any form of additional payment.

In all, 33 creditors are listed. Northern Food Services and Crowe MacKay are each owed around $15,000. Others, like the Explorer Hotel, Creative Basics and Barren Ground Coffee, are owed smaller sums.

Anyone who believes they are a creditor of the lodge is asked to get in touch with BDO Canada.