Inuvik’s planned redevelopment of Chief Jim Koe Park received a fresh injection of cash from the federal government on Monday.
Already the beneficiary of a $475,000 tourism-related grant last fall, the park project received a further $563,000 from a federal “cultural spaces fund” on Monday.
In a news release, the Liberal government said the money would “go toward a modern special events pavilion” at the park, featuring a mobile stage, modular decking, and accessible bleacher seating.
Ottawa said this would mean “better professional standards for live performances, increased seating capacity, improved accessibility, [and] protection from inclement weather.”
The Town of Inuvik has been working on redevelopment of the park, and the surrounding area, for years.
New softball and soccer fields are expected to join a transformed pavilion area in what the town calls “the heart of the community, a central meeting place, a key ‘gateway’ feature to the downtown, as well as a site for both passive and active recreational activities.”
“These funds will allow our remote Arctic community to support, showcase, and promote our local artists, performers, and Indigenous culture for years to come,” said Jackie Challis, the town’s economic development officer, in a news release.
Separately on Monday, NWT MP Michael McLeod announced $150,000 in funding for the development of an Inuvialuktun language immersion program in Inuvik.
The money “will contribute to the advancement of an Inuvialuktun Bachelor of Education program,” the federal government said. The new language immersion program will be developed with Aurora Collage, the Beaufort Delta Education Council, and Inuvialuit Elders.
McLeod said the funding “will allow the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation to concretely put in place a mechanism that will keep the Inuvialuktun language alive for years to come.”