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Arctic College receives funding to establish Nunavut tourism training program

Nunavut Arctic College will receive $44,000 in federal funding to study and develop a unique tourism and hospitality program for Nunavut communities.


For Arctic College the study represents the beginnings of a new, community-based program that will build on Nunavut’s strengths in the cultural, tourism, and arts sectors. For communities, it’s an opportunity to boost economic development and employment opportunities through the territory’s growing tourism industry.

Funding for the project comes from the Targeted Investment Program (TIP) administered by CanNor, the federal government’s economic development agency for the North.

“This initial study will examine the options and avenues we can take to establish a program that helps communities take advantage of Nunavut’s unique and growing tourism opportunities,” said Cindy Cowan, Director of Academic Studies and Community Programs at the College’s Nunattta Campus in Iqaluit.

There is a need to develop concepts such as ecotourism, community-tourism, and cultural tourism within communities at the community level through training, municipal strategies, and increased public awareness.

Existing labour markets such as hotels, restaurants, independent arts and crafts producers, outfitters, visitor centres and small business do not currently have access to the training required to provide quality hospitality services.

The College is examining the success of the Ready to Work Tourism Careers program developed by the Canadian Tourism Resource Council. This program is a national skills development program designed to assist people with transitions in the workforce - particularly those who are unemployed or underemployed in today's workforce.

The program offers a mix of classroom and on-the-job training that provides participants with the skills, knowledge, attitudes, and experience required for long-term, stable employment in tourism. A Ready-to-Work case study conducted by The Conference Board of Canada highlights the program's strengths.

Phase One of the project will involve development of the Nunavut program through consultations in several Nunavut communities and the establishment of an advisory committee. The College will also research innovative programs currently offered by its European University of the Arctic partners in Finland and Norway, which emphasize cultural and eco-tourism.

Phase Two of the project will see the program piloted in three Arctic College Community Learning Centres.

The College will place special emphasis on meeting the expectations of individuals living adjacent to National parks, as well as focusing curriculum on the academic and workforce needs of adults typically working in the traditional economies, such as the arts, hunting, guiding as well as those who currently underemployed.

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