Tuktoyaktuk to receive $83K for makerspace

Tuktoyaktuk's shared space for artists and creators will receive a small financial boost from the federal government's Healthy Communities Initiative.

Space already includes vinyl cutting, wood burning, and laser engraving equipment for artists

A file photo of a 3D printer. A makerspace in Tuktoyaktuk, N.W.T., is receiving a small funding boost to expand their operations. (Terri Trembath/CBC)

The makerspace in Tuktoyaktuk, N.W.T., will receive a small financial boost from the federal government, N.W.T. MP Michael McLeod announced Friday.

The local community corporation is receiving $83,450 in funding that will go toward new equipment in the shared space.

The makerspace was first opened in January and provides artists and creators with specialized tools like laser engraving, wood burning and vinyl cutting equipment.

The funding will expand the space and add new equipment, like 3D printers, that will be available for longer periods, Friday's release says. 

"This project will provide a safe indoor venue for residents to explore creative pursuits, learn new technologies and methods of producing arts and crafts," the release reads, "and produce small runs of items for sale online ... or to tourists following the COVID-19 pandemic."

The funding comes from the federal government's $31 million Canada Healthy Communities Initiative, which is aimed at investments that ensure a "higher quality of life for people across the country."

The space's funding runs out in June 2022, but the release says options for continued funding "will be explored."

"We are pleased to know that," Kendyce Cockney, a project manager with the Tuktoyaktuk Community Corporation, is quoted as saying in the release, "as many of these important programs have limited life span.

"Public spaces are the glue to our communities: they enable a feeling of belonging and of social cohesion," she says. "They are a big part of what makes communities safe, vibrant and connected."