July 21, 2023

Your Weekly Newsletter

NWT Chamber President Newton Grey speaks with Ambe Chenemu, of the Black Advocacy Coalition Up North, recently at the NWT Chamber's head office in the Air Tindi Floatbase in Yellowknife. The declared Yellowknife Centre candidate is one of those who have asked to meet with the NWT Chamber to get a sense of issues of concern to the business community in the North. Feel free to contact the chamber if you would like to meet in person or, for those in ridings outside of the capital, on Zoom/Teams. More on our plans for the election below. Photo by James O'Connor

Northern Business Hall of Fame to be launched by biz magazine

The Northern Business Hall of Fame will debut in the pages of Up Here Business (UHB) late summer issue, it was announced this week.

The UHB Hall of Fame will also have a permanent home in early September on a special website which will include the annual inductees and the inaugural and ongoing partners of this new venture. The website will also include the current and back issues of our twice monthly business newsletter the BottomLine.

"Our new annual Northern Business Hall of Fame feature package in Up Here Business magazine is a one-of-a-kind effort to honour the entrepreneurial creativity, innovation and grit of businesses across the three territories," stated Marion LaVigne, publisher of Up Here and Up Here Business, which cover the three territories.

"Our inaugural inductees are shining examples of these qualities in the face of one of the most challenging business environments in Canada.

"Every summer we will add new inductees with the goal of growing the UHB Northern Business Hall of Fame into a meaningful resource for understanding the history of northern entrepreneurship and recognizing the important contributions of individuals and businesses to the North.  

As mentioned in last week's Newsletter, the NWT Chamber's column in News/North this week had more on the proposed changes to the Liquor Act. Click on image for a link to column.

The NWT Chamber will be making a list (of priorities) and checking it twice (well before the election)

The NWT Chamber will be engaging with candidates leading up to this October's territorial general election. It is a key vote, as the 20th Assembly will have to make some important decisions, without delay, to take the territory down the right road.

Candidates are always concerned with the number of forums they are invited to (and feel they need to attend) as it distracts from door-knocking time, so the NWT Chamber's Election Committee might consider pairing with another organization. Details will follow when ready.

The NWT Chamber will publish a platform before the end of August, detailing issues surrounding business and the economy we hope candidates and the electorate will consider. 

The top issues are fairly clear, and the NWT Chamber will also offer possible solutions instead of just being whiny.

Members are invited to email or call your ED: 867-445-7680 with your thoughts.

Chamber of Mines hires general manager

The NWT & Nunavut Chamber of Mines announced this week that Karen Costello has been hired as its General Manager, based in the Yellowknife Office.  

"I am pleased to welcome Karen to the Chamber — her collective experiences in NWT and Nunavut along with her technical background as a professional geoscientist brings important additional capacity to the Chamber,” Chamber President Kenny Ruptash stated in media release.

Prior to joining the Chamber Karen spent three years as Executive Director, Nunavut Impact Review Board, over 15 years with Crown Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs in both the NWT and Nunavut regional offices, and over three years with the Mines Branch of Manitoba Energy and Mines.


As part of the Chamber of Mines' ongoing succession planning, it is anticipated the General Manager will transition to the role of Executive Director. Of course, that will be once the organization’s long-serving ED, Tom Hoefer, decides to retire.

Welcome new member!

Located in Yellowknife, ContainerMart.ca provides self storage and sea container rentals North of 60:

"We rent containers of all sizes and types to suit your circumstances and needs. Renting sea containers for storage is an affordable and convenient option which may work better for you than buying.

"Whether you need mobile self-storage, a makeshift office/ workshop/ shelved storage on site, or are preparing to renovate or relocate, we can help.

"Cars, motorcycles, RVs, boats, trailers, commercial vans, can be stored within a vehicle storage unit."


"Offers to purchase the Blachford Lake Lodge have been received according to a sales process established by the court-appointed Receiver."

counsel at Field Law for the court-appointed receiver in the Blachford Lake Lodge bankruptcy sale. The world-class wilderness resort failed to survive the drop in tourism due to the pandemic. Final offers were to be submitted by July 19.

"Those offers are currently being reviewed and considered for recommendation for court approval. Any sale will have to go through a court approval process. No date has yet been set for that hearing."

"If Northern Canada wants people to come and work here, you've got to have a system that works."

Petter Jacobsen, on the exasperating process to obtain a work visa, in a CBC North story about the business community's frustration with having to prove there is a labour shortage each time they apply to hire a foreign worker.

"It's a bit of a silly exercise."

Mark Henry, co-owner of the Copperhouse Restaurant in Yellowknife, on the same topic above. 

"For small outlets in the North, I think they're going to have to be trying to work with a collective voice. I think there is a real opportunity for them to access some funding at a time when journalism, in particular local journalism, has been in drastic decline across the country and so if handled well by small news outlets across Canada this bill presents an opportunity."

University of Calgary communications, media and film professor Gregory Taylor in a CBC North story on the uncertainty surrounding Canada's Online News Act.


Friday Futures:

  • It's time to register to play — or pony up to sponsor — the NWT Chamber's golf tournament on Friday, August 18! Just email your ED James O'Connor at [email protected] to indicate your preference and be sent an invoice! After 18 holes, participants will be treated to a reception and a yummy meal. More details here.

  • To celebrate the NWT Chamber's 50th anniversary this year, a major one-day conference and evening reception is being planned for Sept. 29. A draft publicity brochure is seen below.

The next NWT Chamber Board meeting is August 16 at 11am in-person or Zoom

You can now find the archive of the NWT Chamber's newsletters here


Inquire with the NWT Chamber's Executive Director about sponsorship and newsletter advertising opportunities. We also offer limited numbers of EBlasts to members each month and promoted social media posts can be arranged.

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