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$500K earmarked for repairs and renos at Nunavut's cultural centres

Nunavut’s museums and cultural centres may be able to tap into $500,000 set aside by the territorial government to help with renovations and upgrades.

'We really have dire need of some renovation here,' says Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum's curator

A polar bear statue greets visitors at the Nattilik Heritage Centre in Gjoa Haven, Nunavut. It's one of six cultural centres in Nunavut that could tap into $500,000 in funding from the territorial government for repairs and renovations. (Juanita Taylor/CBC)

Nunavut's museums and cultural centres may be able to tap into $500,000 set aside by the territorial government to help with renovations and upgrades.

The Government of Nunavut has put out a call for proposals for capital projects in heritage facilities across the territory.

A soapstone qulliq at the Nattilik Heritage Centre in Gjoa Haven, Nunavut. (Juanita Taylor/CBC)
"The existing heritage facilities that we have within Nunavut, they provide a great attraction for tourists in communities, especially in small communities," said Alexander Stubbing, Nunavut's director of Heritage.

"If we can improve and maintain heritage facilities within Nunavut communities, I think there will be a spin off for tourism," he said.

"Capital projects can be anything from minor repairs in existing buildings to aiding in the creation of potential additions to new buildings."

There are six heritage centres in Nunavut: Kitikmeot Heritage Society in Cambridge Bay, Pond Inlet Archives, Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum in Iqaluit, Kugluktuk Heritage Centre, Nattilik Heritage Society in Gjoa Haven and the Inuit Heritage Centre in Baker Lake.

The funding is also available for any community that wants to develop a new cultural centre.

Leaky roof, shoddy carpets

"Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum is very excited about the opportunity," said Gyu Oh, the museum's curator and manager.

Iqaluit's Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum needs a lot of repairs, including a new roof, says its manager. (Government of Nunavut)

"We really have dire need of some renovation here, not just for enhancing the collection and exhibition, but also the facility is run down and a it's a little bit dangerous."

Oh said the museum needs a lot of repairs, including a new roof, but given the time of year that's unlikely to happen in time to make the community's sealift.

For now, she hopes to get funding to replace the old carpeting and lighting.

The deadline for proposals is July 22, and according to Stubbing, applications are already rolling in.

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