ITI Funding Programs

Contributions and funding are available to NWT communities, governments and organizations to support economic development initiatives in the following areas:

  • Agriculture and food production
  • Entrepreneurs and business owners
  • Film and media
  • Harvesters and traditional artists
  • Manufacturing 
  • Tourism
  • Prospectors and mining companies  

To access or learn more about ITI programs and services, please contact the ITI office in your region. Consistent with public health guidelines to self-isolate, contact with our regional offices is best initiated by email.

Please contact the appropriate ITI contact listed below:

Click here for a complete listing of available ITI programs and services.

Agriculture and food production

Small Scale Foods Program

Funding for communities to support and promote agriculture programming in their regions. 

Who can apply?

  • Governments, such as municipal and local Indigenous governments; educational institutions – local or regional District Education Councils/Authorities, elementary or secondary schools, after-school programs and community-based programs.
  • Applications due: year-round

Agriculture and Food Processing Development Program

Various grants and contributions to support your idea or initiative for increasing food production in the NWT

Who can apply?

  • NWT farmers, Food producers, Processors, Agri-businesses, Local and Indigenous governments involved in the agriculture, agri-food and agri-based products industry (this includes individuals, businesses, Indigenous organizations, industry associations and non-profit whose mandate is related to agriculture and agri-foods production or processing).
  • Applications due:  year-round – apply by Jan/Feb for projects starting April 1st

Agriculture Awareness Initiative

Funding for activities promoting agriculture awareness

Who can apply?

  • NWT residents, individual agriculture producers and agri-food processors, agri-businesses, non-profit societies in good standing and registered in the NWT, Agricultural associations, municipal and community governments, band councils, economic development agencies, or Aboriginal organizations in the NWT
  • Applications due:  year-round – apply by Jan/Feb for projects starting April 1st

Agriculture Training Program

Up to $5000 per year is available for participation in commercial agriculture-oriented courses, training or conferences.

Who can apply?

  • NWT residents who are experienced and/or new entrants into agricultural food production as well as agri-food processing business and/or involved in northern-based agri-businesses
  • Applications due:  year-round

Agriculture and Agri-Food Research Program

Funding for research on new crops, production and processing techniques, value-added agri-food products and commercial forest products

Who can apply?

  • NWT farmers, Food producers, Processors, Agri-businesses, Local and Indigenous governments involved in the agriculture, agri-food and agri-based products industry (this includes individuals, businesses, Indigenous organizations, industry associations and non-profit whose mandate is related to agriculture and agri-foods production or processing).
  • Applications due:  year-round

Apply for Agriculture and the Environment Program Funding

Up to $15,000 over the five-year life of the program may be contributed for activities that enhance available agriculture information and environmentally friendly agriculture

Who can apply?

  • NWT farmers, Food producers, Processors, Agri-businesses, Local and Indigenous governments involved in the agriculture, agri-food and agri-based products industry (this includes individuals, businesses, Indigenous organizations, industry associations and non-profit whose mandate is related to agriculture and agri-foods production or processing).
  • Applications due:  year-round

Agriculture Major Projects Fund

Financial assistance for large-scale development on established and growing farm businesses (NOTE: this is a pilot program)

Who can apply?

  • Producers/Processors/Retailers operating within NWT with sales in excess of $10,000 for at least two years
  • Applications due: Oct/Nov

Market Development Program

Marketing support and shipping cost subsidies to help your agriculture business increase its competitiveness

Who can apply?

  • Eligible applicants include NWT residents who are agricultural producers, agri-food processors or involved in northern-based agri-businesses (this includes individuals, businesses, Indigenous organizations, industry associations and non-profit organizations whose mandate is related to agriculture and agri-food production or processing)
  • Applications due:  year-round – apply by Jan/Feb for projects starting April 1st

Entrepreneurs and business owners

Sector Support (SEED)

Funding to invest in new, or expanded, facilities and equipment (capital expansion); or to expand your understanding or presence in a sector (sector research)

Who can apply?

  • Indigenous organizations, business associations, municipalities, and businesses in NWT communities involved in: agriculture, energy, film, fishing, knowledge, economy, tourism, or value-added manufacturing
  • Applications due:  year-round

Business Intelligence and Networking (SEED)

A maximum of $8000 per year per resident or business is available for entrepreneurs and business owners to offset the costs of attending seminars and trade shows.

Who can apply?

  • NWT residents and businesses
  • Applications due:  year-round

Community Economic Development (SEED)

A maximum of $25,000 is available for organizations to invest in planning, infrastructure, information campaigns, and events promoting economic opportunities.

Who can apply?

  • NWT Indigenous organizations, NWT-based associations, municipalities
  • Applications due:  year-round

Strategic Investments (SEED)

$75,000 is available annually for projects and initiatives that directly increase employment and business and economic activity for one or more communities

Who can apply?

  • NWT residents and businesses
  • Applications due:  year-round

Film and media

Support for Film

Varying funds are available to support: development, marketing and promotion and sponsorship related to film and media production 

Who can apply?

  • Self-employed film producers in the NWT with demonstrated proficiency in the film and media arts sector
  • Applications due:  year-round

NWT Film Rebate Program

Funding to offset costs associated with filming on location in the NWT.

Who can apply?

  • Guest producers, NWT co-production partners and NWT production companies
  • Applications due:  year-round

Harvesters and traditional artists

Genuine Mackenzie Valley Fur Program

One-window access to international fur auction markets for NWT-harvested furs. (Delivered in association with supporting programs from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (ENR)

Who can participate?

  • Individuals who hold a valid Northwest Territories (NWT) General Hunting Licence, Special Trapping License, and/or beneficiaries of NWT land claims, who are residents in the NWT
  • Applications due:  n/a

Hide and Fur Program

Access to traditional raw materials at affordable prices

Who can participate?

  • Artisans in the Northwest Territories
  • Applications due: n/a

Manufacturing 

NWT Manufacturing Innovation and Technology Contribution

Investment in technology designed to reduce costs, increase productivity, and increase local employment. (NOTE: this is a pilot program)

Who can apply?

  • NWT residents and businesses with a valid NWT business license, corporate registration and permanent office in the NWT
  • Applications due: annually December

Tourism

Tourism Business Mentorship Program

A program to provide applicants with an opportunity and financial support to learn skills from experienced mentors.

Who can apply?

  • NWT residents with either a valid Tourism Operator License or a business, collective or organization that is engaged in the NWT tourism sector
  • Applications due: April 26, 2021

Youth Mentorship for Tourism Program

A program providing applicants with opportunity and financial support to learn skills from an experienced mentor

Who can apply?

  • NWT residents between 14-18 years old.
  • If older than 18, must be able to show proof of employment in tourism to qualify as a young professional; or provide a motivation letter for admission into the Program. Applications due: April 26, 2021

Tourism Product Diversification and Marketing Program

A program to help you re-invent, improve, or expand your tourism product and operation to meet future market demands.

Who can apply?

  • NWT Businesses, economic development agencies, and communities; Indigenous Organizations; Potential aboriginal culture tourism ventures.
  • Applications due: Dec 6, 2021 

Community Tourism Infrastructure Contribution Program

Funding for innovative tourism infrastructure projects

Who can apply?

  • A municipal government, band council, economic development agency or Aboriginal organization in the NWT; a non-profit society in good standing and registered in the NWT
  • Applications due: Dec 6, 2021

Tourism Training Fund

Funding for short-term training opportunities for tourism workers to gain new skills or to upgrade skills

Who can apply?

  • NWT residents with a valid NWT Tourism Operator License;  non-GNWT Visitor Information Centres;  NWT accommodations-sector employees; Businesses, non-profit tourism associations or organizations; formal volunteers (festival or event)
  • Applications due: Sept 7, 2021

Community Tourism Coordinator Program

Up to $50,000 annually to qualified organizations to hire and maintain community tourism coordinators in NWT communities

Who can apply?

  • Municipal councils, Band councils, Community governments, Land claim organizations, Community economic development and investment corporations, Chambers of Commerce
  • Applications due: Feb 22, 2021

Prospectors and mining companies  

Prospecting Support Program

A maximum of $5,000 over three years is available to assist in purchasing tools and equipment, and Purchasing supplies and services directly related to prospecting activity

Who can apply?

  • Prospectors with a valid NWT prospecting licence
  • Applications due:  year-round

Mining Incentive Program

Funding for prospectors and exploration companies to support and off-set the costs of exploration projects

Who can apply?

  • Companies with the legal right to conduct mineral exploration in the NWT and prospectors with a valid NWT prospecting licence
  • Applications due:  April 30th, 2021

Work Credit Program

Industry work credit of up to 150% spent on eligible exploration activities.

Who can apply?

  • Mining companies performing eligible work as defined in subsection 1(1)(a) of the Mining Regulations
  • Applications due:  Sept 30, 2021

Funding Sources Available to NWT Commercial Fishers

NWT Commercial Fishers have a series of funding initiatives or programs available to them from various government departments and independent organizations.  For more program information details or for information on how to apply, please go to the links provided below. 

Northern Integrated Commercial Fisheries Initiative (NICIFI)

A federal initiative available through Fisheries and Oceans Canada, NICIFI provides funding and support to Indigenous groups and communities that are not eligible for the Atlantic (or Pacific) Integrated Commercial Fisheries Initiatives and in all areas where the Department of Fisheries and Oceans manages the fishery.  This initiative supports the development of Indigenous-owned communal commercial fishing enterprises and aquaculture operations.

The objectives of NICFI include:

  • Build knowledge and skills required to manage fisheries enterprises;
  • Increase access to training to fish safely and effectively operate their vessels; and
  • Build the capacity needed to meet future commercial fisheries operations, administration and training requirements independently; and
  • Enhance economic returns from fisheries and aquaculture for the local and broader benefit of communities.

For more information about the NICFI, visit the DFO website.

Other Sources of Funding

In addition to the programs delivered by ITI, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources also has support programs for harvesters.

Support for Artists

In addition to supports provided by ITI to traditional artists and those working in the film and media sector, the Department of Education, Culture, and Employment (ECE) delivers a number of programs in support of artists.

ITI’s mandate for economic development is further supported by the Northwest Territories Business Development and Investment Corporation (BDIC) and regional Community Futures Development Corporations.

Additionally, NWT entrepreneurs may be eligible for funding under the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor) Inclusive Diversification and Economic Advancement in the North (IDEANorth) Program or from the Metis/Dene Development Fund (MDDF)

Inclusive Diversification and Economic Advancement in the North (IDEANorth)

IDEANorth is a federal initiative by the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor) that helps enable Northerners to take advantage of northern economic opportunities to grow a strong, diverse, and sustainable economy in Canada's North.

IDEANorth supports community economic growth through investments in small-scale infrastructure to allow communities and businesses to extend services and by supporting the early stages of large-scale infrastructure projects.

For more information on the IDEANorth Program, visit the CanNor Website.

Entrepreneurship and Business Development (EBD) Fund

Metis/Dene Development Corporation (MDDF) has administered the Entrepreneurship and Business Development (EBD) Fund to support small- to medium-sized Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal businesses in the NWT with funding, strategic advice and ongoing administrative and financial service support.

The EBD can be used for:

  • Purchasing equipment
  • Starting a business
  • Buying a business
  • Business expansion
  • Market development and promotion — including promotion, trade shows, trade missions forums, seminars and conferences.

Visit the MDDF website for more information: https://mddf.ca/services/

GNWT-ITI: Support for Entrepreneurs and Economic Development (SEED)

The Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment administers the SEED program funds to help organizations looking to advance regional economic development initiatives by investing in planning, infrastructure, information campaigns, and events promoting economic opportunities. 

A maximum of $25,000 of funding is available for:

  • Feasibility studies, strategic plans, evaluations and planning costs that investigate economic opportunities and build on existing community resources;
  • The purchase or further development of physical infrastructure (i.e. capital assets) where the lack of infrastructure constrains business development;
  • Improving access to business information;
  • Host and promote community-based festivals and events that highlight NWT products or talent and are key to economic development for the community.

For more information about the SEED program, visit the GNWT-ITI website.

GNWT-ITI: Northern Foods Development Program (NFDP)

Aimed to increase local food production and the availability of northern food products for northern consumers, the Northern Foods Program offers support across all food production sectors, including fisheries.

The NFDP aims to make investments that support:

  • Community economic diversification;
  • Northern food production and processing;
  • Increasing local and regional agriculture and fishery participation and output;
  • Encouraging/supporting local and niche food production and marketing initiatives; and
  • Increasing availability of northern foods to northern consumers.

View the NFDP Guidelines here.

For more information or to apply on the NFDP, contact Mike Maher, Business Advisor, at Mike_Maher@gov.nt.ca.

GNWT-ITI: Great Slave Lake Freight Support Program

This program offsets the freight costs for transporting Great Slave Lake fish from Hay River to the FFMC Winnipeg fish plant.  The program provides funding up to $0.23/lb to help offset freight costs. An additional support of $0.10 or $0.20 per pound is available for remote fish freight support depending on zone origin.

Amounts are based on last year’s production and deliveries to the Hay River Fish plant and are tracked and processed through Tu Cho Fisheries Cooperative.

Business Development and Investment Corporation (BDIC)

BDIC is an independent Crown Corporation of the Government of the Northwest Territories that provides a range of programs and services for the economic development of the NWT.

The BDIC promotes financial independence, assists communities in capturing economic development opportunities, and helps develop a diverse and viable northern economy. 

Through BDIC, NWT Fishers can apply for NWT Covid-19 Economic Relief, term loans, standby letters of credit, working capital guarantee, contributions, and venture investments.  

GNWT-ITI is an agent for BDIC.  If you have questions or want more information, please contact Mike Maher, Business Advisor, at Mike_Maher@gov.nt.ca.

Community Futures - Southwest Territorial Business Development Centre

Community Futures is a non-profit organization that provides small business services to people living in rural communities.  Each office delivers small business loans, tools, training and events for people wanting to start, expand, franchise or sell a business. 

The Hay River Community Futures Office is named: Southwest Territorial Business Development Corporation and can be reached at:

Contact: Jeff Griffiths           

Suite #7, 6 Courtoreille Street, Hay River, NT.

(867) 874-2510

Email: swtbdc@northwestel.net