July 14, 2021
In August 2020, the Department of ITI, in partnership with the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor), launched the Growth and Recovery by Investing in Tourism (GRIT) Fund to help tourism operators in the NWT dealing with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, adapt and position their operations for future growth.
These are their stories…
“I saw it as an opportunity to better my business and diversify in a way that I wasn’t able to before” said Andrew Moore – owner operator of Yellowknife Sport Fishing.
He used the GRIT Fund to purchase an Arctic Oven tent.
Andrew has a plan to expand his sport fishing product by offering more winter activities.
“I think there’s interest in the winter camping from people outside of the Northwest Territories. Next winter (when restrictions are hopefully less strict), ice fishing and winter camping (combined) is going to be a big thing for me.”
Recognizing that harsh northern winters are both a draw and a liability, Andrew knows that he needs to have good gear to keep his clients both warm and safe. “My intent with the GRIT funding was to buy top of the line equipment.”
Although he didn’t get to use his new tent for the full winter, Andrew is certain that it was the best decision.
“I made the right choice with the Arctic Oven. I got to use it a few times with clients and the feedback I got was super positive. The business that I did over the winter has solidified that decision. I really think it’s going to open up my doors a lot more to outside tourism this winter” he says.
This is not the first time that Andrew has taken advantage of government funding programs for tourism operators. “I also received funding through CanNor and ITI to purchase a side-by-side; which is great because I can put all the Arctic Oven tent supplies on the side-by-side with the people and head off to remote areas.”
“Any program that I’ve been involved in with ITI has been amazing, from the application process, to the approvals. The whole process I find to be very simple and very easy to apply to,” Andrew says.