Churchill Region Economic Development Fund

Approved Projects - as of October 2018

01: The Town of Churchill - Mould & Asbestos Abatement Program ($191,737)

Many of the now-vacant buildings in Churchill have some degree of asbestos-containing materials. Asbestos was used as a fireproofing material, as well as added to concrete, asphalt, vinyl materials, pipes, siding, wall board, floor tiles, joint compounds and adhesives. This project trained ten previous Port of Churchill employees by providing them with a valuable skill set in mould & asbestos abatement.  In addition to a one-week training program, this proposed project offered employment and practical experience in the remediation of two properties: The Theatre and the former Duke of Marlborough School.


02: The Town of Churchill - Heavy Equipment Operator Training Program ($462,165)

The Churchill area's tourism infrastructure includes much more than just the physical town site. There are over 50 kilometers of essential roads and trails throughout unoccupied Crown lands in the area that support and sustain tourism growth and development. The demands on the existing roads are enormous and cannot sustain the combined tourism and upcoming construction traffic (for the new Churchill Marine Observatory). Through University College of the North, this program will train and employ as Heavy Equipment Operators ten previous Port employees affected by the August 2016 Port closure. The training will include both theoretical (classroom) and practical components. All participants will become Town of Churchill employees.


03: Thompson Zoological Society - Boreal Discovery Centre ($136,000)

The Boreal Discovery Centre represents a bold new vision for the former Thompson Zoo.  The state-of-the-art facility will focus on programming and education about animal species that make their home in the Bayline region of the Boreal Forest of Manitoba. The Centre will offer interactive and experiential programming provided by facilitators who know both traditional and modern methods of harvesting, housing, health care and economic trade.  Project funding will be used to develop a world-class live Sturgeon habitat showing the species in various stages of development. This exhibit will be the centerpiece of what they hope to be the next Manitoba Star Attraction in the region.


Additional information on The Boreal Discovery Centre and Lake Sturgeon exhibit:

04: One North Inc. ($357,000)

A group of Manitoba First Nations, northern municipalities and organizations have incorporated as One North and come together to propose solutions to issues plaguing the reliability and costs of Canada’s northern transportation corridor, and especially those urgent matters related to the Hudson Bay Railway and Port of Churchill.  One North will create a business case for northern stakeholders to lead in the acquisition of these critical infrastructure assets.  The business case will also include a plan for governance, financing, and ongoing operation of the Hudson Bay Railway and Port of Churchill.


Additional information on One North's progress: 

05: Atoskiwin Training and Employment Centre - Pewapun Construction Ltd. ($334,000)

The Atoskiwin Training and Employment Centre (ATEC) is a 27,000-square foot non-profit, community-based accredited post-secondary training facility that was opened in 2006. ATEC's mandate is to produce and sustain a competitive Indigenous workforce by providing technical and vocational education and training to First Nations communities in northern Manitoba. With a growing wait list of students hoping to access their programs, ATEC is expanding current training capacity and creating more pathways that lead to employment and in-demand careers for Indigenous students. This will be done through the construction of a brand new 20,000 square foot "state of the art" training facility in Nisichiwayasihk Cree Nation (NCN). The new training centre will triple the intake of Level 1 carpentry students from 20 to 60, and will allow ATEC to train year-round in an indoor quality controlled facility. The new facility will train students to build mould-resistant and energy efficient bungalows, tiny homes, small houses and solar homes. Pewapun Construction Ltd. is the for-profit arm of ATEC.


Additional Information on Pewapun Construction: 

06: Nekoté Limited Partnership ($190,400)

Nekoté Limited Partnership (Nekoté) brings together eight Swampy Cree Holdings Member First Nations with an on-ramp for possible future partnering with three others. Nekoté was conceived in mid-October 2016 in response to the announced closure of the Tolko pulp mill at The Pas, Manitoba. The First Nations came together to achieve a two-part mission:

1. Form a partnership with the new owner of the pulp mill; focusing the partnership on forest management activities that impact the ancestral lands of the Nekoté First Nations. 
2. Following the formation of this partnership, work together with said company to establish a community liaison and co-management board approach (modeled after the Mistik management model in Meadow Lake, SK) for continuous communication. 

This mission will work towards reconciliation of the relationship between the forest industry and First Nations in northern Manitoba, increase the security of fiber supply to the pulp mill, and capture new employment and business opportunities. 


07: Churchill Northern Studies Centre - Hydroponic Growcer Project ($276,350)

The objective of this project is to establish a Growcer Modular Hydroponic Growing System at the Churchill Northern Studies Centre. The Growcer is a self-contained modular hydroponic system that grows plants without soil, using mineral nutrient solutions in a water solvent. The advantages of hydroponics in the North are significant, as they use limited space and allow for a higher density of food cultivation. The project will create new employment in the agricultural industry, create a new source of healthy greens, and generate a new revenue stream in the community. The Churchill Bayline region will be enhanced by this project through increased food security, new jobs and learning opportunities in northern food production, and increased participation from northern Manitoba in the Province’s agricultural industry.


Additional information on the Churchill Growcer project: 

08: Paskwayak Business Development Corp. – Smart Farm Project ($262,250)

Opaskwayak Cree Nation (OCN) owns the Paskwayak Business Development Corporation Ltd. (PBDC), the corporate arm of OCN. PBDC's mandate is to lead the development of a sound economic base to achieve progress and the economic independence of OCN. In keeping with this mandate, PBDC initiated the Smart Farm Plant Factory Pilot Project (Hydroponics) in January 2016. Along with other community organizations, such as the Opaskwayak Health Authority, the Smart Farm Pilot Project has proven to have tremendous impacts throughout the community in areas such as education, training, employment, health and well-being as well as food security. After noticing interest from other communities, PBDC began to investigate the feasibility of becoming a distributor of the Smart Farm Plant Factory technology. This technology includes both indoor and outdoor, as well as modular and non-modular systems. PBDC plans to create a distribution centre for this technology located in OCN, and will train and employ local individuals in installation, operation and management. PBDC will then market and ship the technology across Canada.


09: Churchill Home Hardware ($25,000)

In May 2017, overland flooding occurred in the Churchill River Basin and damaged the rail line. Churchill residents and businesses depended on the rail line as a means of transportation for families, tourists and freight. Churchill Home Hardware was one of the businesses that relied on the railway to deliver stock to the store once a week. Churchill Home Hardware now must find other means of shipping which only includes airlines and sea lift barges; both of which cost significantly more to have the freight delivered to Churchill. As airlines do not deliver any items over 10,000 pounds and also will not deliver dangerous goods, a significant portion of their inventory had to be brought in on one of the three available sea lifts prior to freeze up, requiring Churchill Home Hardware to purchase nearly an entire year’s inventory at once, creating incremental financing charges. Churchill Home Hardware supplies many crucial products including building supplies, plumbing and electrical materials tools, pet food and accessories, and more to the Town of Churchill and other surrounding northern communities. This project will assist with the additional freight and brokerage costs and financing charges associated with supplying these products.


10: Gypsy’s Bakery Ltd. ($25,000)

Gypsy’s Bakery is a full-service restaurant, bakery and coffee shop that has been operating in Churchill for approximately thirty years now. It has had and continues to have a positive economic and social impact on the Town. Gypsy’s employs local individuals, is the only bakery that supplies bread in Churchill and further north, and is one of the only restaurants in Churchill that stays open past the tourist season. Since the closure of the rail line, Gypsy’s has been paying over $10,000 a month for air freight. This is exceedingly higher than what was being paid to transport their food and baking supplies prior to the closure of the rail line. These costs are also making it difficult for Gypsy’s to continue operating their business. This project help cover their additional shipping costs since the closure of the rail line.


11: Sea North - Remote Area Services ($100,000)

Sea North Tours is a registered corporation operating out of Churchill, Manitoba. Remote Area Services (RAS) falls under the umbrella of this corporation. RAS intends to develop a winter route from Gillam to Churchill to haul freight with specialized vehicles overland. This project will help to deliver freight at lower costs to Churchill residents. This will help residents stay in Churchill, and help businesses stay open in light of rising shipping costs. If the rail line re-opens RAS can redirect their equipment to ship freight from Churchill to communities in Western Nunavut. RAS is partnering on the project with Fox Lake First Nation and Polar Industries of Winnipeg.


Additional Information on the Ice Road: 

12: Manitoba Chambers of Commerce -  Made in Manitoba Trade Missions ($149,250)

The Manitoba Chambers of Commerce will work in partnership with the Province of Manitoba and with local Chambers to set up Economic Development Tours and meetings to highlight potential economic development opportunities in northern Manitoba communities. By offering interested business owners with a two-day program that will provide them with introductions and a better understanding of those communities, the hope is that they will be enticed to grow their businesses through trade and partnerships within Manitoba. Initial communities that will be targeted to host Trade Missions would be Churchill, Thompson/Nelson House Cree Nation and The Pas/ Opaskwayak Cree Nation. This will result in strong potential for business growth in Northern communities and employment opportunities for Northern Manitoba residents.


13: AKI Foods Inc. -  The Meechim Project ($105,000)

AKI Foods Inc., is a non-profit social enterprise that promotes food security and economic development opportunities for Indigenous communities. Their organization was established in 2015 as a sister social enterprise of AKI Energy, which itself is an award-winning non-profit social enterprise that partners with Manitoba First Nations to reduce utility bills through smart, cost-effective investments in renewable energy development. The Meechim Project originated from a collaborative partnership formed between AKI Energy and Garden Hill First Nation in 2014 to address the community’s need for an affordable, healthy food system. There are five initiatives in total involved in this project: The Meechim Healthy Food Market, the Alex Keno Memorial Farm, School-to-Farm, Farm School, and the Healthy Foodbox. As this project continues to grow and expand, AKI Foods has requested funding to help install electricity, purchase a small sawmill, increase healthy food market storage through the purchase of a fridge and freezer, as well as attract, support and retain workers.


14: Great White Bear Tours ($21,916)

Great White Bear Tours is a locally-owned and operated tour company that has been doing business in Churchill, Manitoba for over 25 years. They run northern lights tours in winter, wildlife tours in summer and bear watching tours in fall. In the past, Great White Bear Tours has relied on the rail line in Churchill to transport all equipment, parts for tour vehicles, inventory, food, and tourists. The company contributes significantly to the Town’s tourism industry. Since the closure of the rail line, Great White Bear Tours has incurred substantially higher costs to transport goods to Churchill. This project will help Great White Bear Tours ensure tour vehicles remain operational through northern lights season, cover the increased costs of shipping, and maintain employees.


15: Churchill Northern Studies Centre ($25,000)

The Churchill Northern Studies Centre (CNSC) helps to support local tourism, research, and educational opportunities in Churchill, Manitoba. In doing so, the CNSC offers accommodation and food services, including room for 84 onsite guests as well as a full-service cafeteria that offers three hot meals per day. As a not-for-profit organization, the CNSC sets fee-for-service rates annually, and has not been able to adjust fees to cover the increased costs associated with the unexpected loss of rail service. This project will allow the CNSC to continue business operations, supporting their ability to retain a workforce and provide services to those travelling to Churchill.


16: The Town of Churchill – Training to Employment Project ($100,000)

The community of Churchill continues to undergo significant negative social and economic challenges related to the inoperable rail line and general uncertainty of the Port of Churchill and Hudson Bay Railway. As a means of ensuring the community takes steps to mitigate against the negative outcomes, the Town of Churchill will identify employment opportunities in the immediate and long term to coordinate training to employment for unemployed and underemployed individuals. This will ensure the viability of the community and businesses as well as ensure access to a ready labour force when the community is ready to resume normal operations. The Training to Employment Project involves working with community clients and in conjunction with other community programs to ensure an integrated approach to client success.


17: Seaport Hotel ($25,000)

The Seaport Hotel has been doing business in Churchill, MB for 15 years, under the current ownership. They are the only all amenity hotel in Churchill, with a hotel, restaurant and licensed beverage room. The Seaport Hotel relies on the rail line to Churchill to transport employees, equipment, parts for tour vehicles, inventory, food and tourists. Since the rail line has been temporarily closed due to flooding, they have experienced inflated freight costs due to having to use air and sea to get products to Churchill. The only way to ship goods to Churchill since the rail line was flooded has been via Calm Air or during the summer months by barge. This project will help the Seaport Hotel cover the increased business expenses which will in turn allow them to reduce costs for residents and visitors, retain the current number of employees and avoid layoffs, and reduce their overall operating costs and their bottom line. 


18: Exchange Petroleum ($132,870)

The gasoline in Churchill is usually supplied by the Churchill Marine Tank Farm (CMTF), but in October 2017 they declared that they would not be purchasing fuel for the community this year. This would have resulted in a shortage of fuel for the 2018 winter season. Following this announcement, Exchange Petroleum stepped in and declared they would purchase the much-needed fuel so that the community would not run out and be in a state of emergency mid-way through the winter. The fuel was put into Exchange Petroleum’s railcars which previously held Jet A1 fuel. CMTF ran out of their existing store of fuel in mid-February; necessitating the switch to Exchange Petroleum’s fuel. The CMTF gasoline was being sold in the community at a record high of $2.20/litre. With this project, Exchange Petroleum will bring the rate down to the pre-ship cost of $1.70/litre while undertaking the transaction at a breakeven level.

Many businesses in the community will benefit from this; some businesses have had to increase their rates to cover the extra costs of fuel while others that are committed to contracts are losing much of their profit margins. A prime example of this is companies running northern lights tours. The tour packages had been bought well over a year ago with the price point on fuel being added in at less than $1.70/litre for bulk fuel. This later increased to $1.95/litre and with the vehicles running for hours on end so that tourists can enjoy the Northern Lights comfortably during -30-degree temperatures, the companies were losing a substantial portion of their profits. A reasonable gasoline price will help to relieve some of the economic burden from the increased pricing that the CMTF has put in place.


19: Frontiers North ($25,000)

Frontiers North Adventure is a tour company that operates in Churchill, Manitoba. Their tours run from July to September, October to November and February to March. Their operations support the remote, local economy of Churchill as well as have a strong impact on Canada’s tourism industry. This project will assist in covering increased shipping costs related to tourism purchases such as tundra buggies, dining cars, etc. that were shipped via barge and would have previously been shipped via the rail line. 


20: Canadian Eskimo Dog Foundation ($10,215)

The Canadian Eskimo Dog Foundation Inc. (CEDFI) is a non-profit organization established in the late 1970’s. Falling under the umbrella of the Arctic Trading Company, CEDFI’s primary mission is to save the Canadian Eskimo Dog species, one of five indigenous breeds native to Canada. The Foundation is financially supported by film makers, artists, photographers, writers and tour groups that visit the area to observe the dogs and the polar bears that interact with them. Tour companies often request presentations to educate people about the breed. Enticed by the unique interaction between the dogs and the polar bears, both groups and individuals pay to have exclusive access to the area. The films and photographs taken in this area have been used extensively to promote the Churchill area along with the polar bear experience.

The closure of the rail line to Churchill has drastically increased the price of the dog food that is required to support the dog colony and hence the tourism related activities. This food is most essential in the winter months when meat is required to support their health as they live outdoors, in their traditional lifestyle. This project will assist in paying for the extra cost of dog food purchased locally as well as the increased freight rates to bring additional dog food to Churchill.


21: Tundra Inn ($25,000)

The Tundra Inn operates a hotel, hostel, Restaurant and Pub in Churchill, Manitoba. The Tundra Inn’s Restaurant and Pub is a seasonal restaurant open June until late November and has been operating for over ten years in the community. The hotel is open year-round and has been operating for over 35 years. The Tundra House hostel is Churchill’s first and only hostel. The loss of the rail line resulted in a large increase in freight costs for many of Tundra Inn’s business expenses including food and other supplies. There was also a significant loss in revenue due to the decrease in tourists being able to get to Churchill, with a 33 percent loss of accommodation in the hotel and 80 percent in the hostel. This project will assist in covering the increase in freight costs for last season. 


22: Town of Churchill ($25,000)

The rail line, Churchill’s only overland link to southern Manitoba, was damaged by flooding in May of 2017. The Town of Churchill relies on the rail line as a means of transportation for people as well as for freight. The Town is now required to use other costlier methods of shipping supplies including air freight and sea lift. It is cost prohibitive to ship dangerous goods by air and in some cases dangerous goods cannot be shipped by air. In light of these restrictions, a significant number of chemical products were needed to be brought in by sea lift prior to freeze up. These chemical products are required to maintain the integrity of The Town’s water supply. In addition, equipment repair costs have significantly increased due to the increased freight costs. This project will assist in ensuring the Town will not have to cut services or pass additional costs onto the taxpayers. The residents of the Town of Churchill are already facing an increased cost of living and cannot afford these additional financial or social burdens.


23: Fox Lake Cree Nation Development Corporation ($180,000)

In June 2017, Fox Lake Cree Nation, Polar Industries and Remote Area Services (RAS) began planning a cat train service (using tracked vehicles pulling sleighs) to haul materials and supplies from PR 280 (Gillam, Manitoba) to Churchill, Manitoba, an approximate 300-kilometre trip each way. This plan led to two of the parties (Fox Lake CN DC and Polar Industries) agreeing to form a joint venture (JV) for the project; the JV would then enter into contracts with RAS and other third parties.

While the overall goal is to provide a desperately needed cargo service to Churchill, Fox Lake's goal for the project is to prioritize creating work and employment for local transportation companies, truck drivers, heavy equipment operators and labourers. The training provided to individuals contracted or employed for this project will be an investment in the region, its employment standards and provide these selected individuals with a skill set that can be utilized as an advantage in many different projects in the future.

Responsibilities between the three major parties have been divided as follows: Polar Industries will transport materials and supplies to the junction of PR #280 and RC60 (the Manitoba Hydro’s transmission line corridor and right of way to Churchill), and then at RC60, the materials and supplies will be cross-docked to the custom sleighs and hauled to Churchill by Fox Lake and Remote Area Services. Fox Lake Cree Nation Development Corporation's involvement in this project has assisted in the creation of sustainable local economic growth, employment and business opportunities for the Churchill region. This project will assist with operating costs incurred by Fox Lake Cree Nation's Development Corporation related to wages, rented equipment, accommodations, fuel, and maintenance to both the road and vehicles.


24: Manitoba Forestry Association & Frontiers School Division - Youth Career Exploration at the Manitoba Envirothon ($40,000)

The Manitoba Envirothon, a program of the Manitoba Forestry Association, is a land-based learning competition for high school students. Teams of 5 students learn about Wildlife, Aquatics, Soils, Forestry and Climate Change. This year's Envirothon will be hosted in Churchill, and is the first time the event has been run in the North. The goal is to bring youth across the province to a location they may never otherwise visit, to showcase the vastness of our province in terms of ecoregions, and to expose all youth to long-term northern opportunities. 

Career opportunities in the North are incredibly varied and stand out as unique in many ways. During the Envirothon event, Frontiers School Division will help to showcase northern career exploration, particularly in the Churchill town and area. This project will ensure youth are exposed to northern career information multiple times throughout this event. Students will have both formal and informal opportunities to engage with a large variety of local individuals, entrepreneurs, and organizations, allowing them to gain a much better perspective on what Northern Manitoba has to offer.


25: Churchill Legion ($1,487.28)

The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 227 (Churchill Legion) is a registered legion and non-profit organization. The Legion's clubroom brings in customers for bingo and other activities. During these activities, the legion sells beverages and snacks. They use their profits to support other local organizations such as school programs, junior rangers, Churchill's food bank and more. They also donate their space to a number of organizations in the Town. The closure of the rail line to Churchill has drastically increased the freight costs on food and drinks. This project will assist in covering extra freight costs associated with food and drinks, which in turn will help to prevent staff from being laid off.


26: Churchill River Mushing ($4,154.99)

Churchill River Mushing has been operating tours in the Churchill area for 11 years. Tourists are able to go for rides of various lengths. They also have the opportunity to learn about dogs and what's involved in caring for and training them. Churchill River Mushing employs 4-6 people seasonally. With the train no longer operating, the cost of shipping dog food and other supplies has increased by quite a bit. This project will help cover additional freight costs related to dog food and other supplies. This will also help Churchill River Mushing continue to employ seasonal staff, and maintain a proper standard of care for the sled dogs. 


27: Gangler's North Seal River - Canoe Trail Mapping ($41,000)

Gangler's North Seal River Lodge is well-established in the sport fishing and hunting industries. In 2016, Gangler's began to expand into the eco adventure travel market. This led them to explore the viability of offering high-quality canoe trips through the North Seal River. In 2017, Travel Manitoba showed interest in the possibility of supporting this venture. This was followed by a connection to Hap Wilson, a legendary figure in Canadian canoeing who committed to working with Gangler's to map out the proposed canoe routes. 

This project will create well-planned and extensively mapped canoe routes on the North Seal River and other rivers in the area. These canoe routes will help to enhance the tourism quality in Northern Manitoba by increasing the offerings and ultimately creating a stronger tourism product where no such product existed before. Short-term economic benefits also include seasonal employment for local residents. 


28: Merit Motion Pictures - March of the Polar Bears Film ($150,000)

Merit Motion Pictures' (MMP) latest project, "March of the Polar Bears" (National Geographic Prime Time Event - 2x1 Hour), documents the secret world of polar bears on the sea ice, following the bears through the 'winter and spring' seasons. MMP is planning to document seal hunting behaviour, mother and cubs interacting and polar bears' relationship with other fauna all through a northern and Inuit perspective.

The main focus of this project is promoting northern culture and bear-viewing tourism throughout the region. This is one of the first National Geographic shows where northern and Inuit guides will be featured prominently, making decisions on the sea ice and tracking bears. The goal is to use Churchill as the focal point of bear viewing but show that polar bears are found all through Hudson Bay at different times of the year. During their shoot, MMP will employ bear security personnel, sea ice guides, camera assistants, camp managers and additional snowmobile drivers. 


29: Flin Flon Aboriginal Friendship Centre - Restaurant Training Initiative ($105,610)

The Flin Flon Aboriginal Friendship Centre has been in existence since May of 1966. Like other Friendship Centres, they are community based and directed, seek initiatives to support quality of life, self-determined activities, learn about and maintain cultural identity, as well as promote respect and equal access to participation in society. 

This project, the Restaurant Training Centre Initiative, will integrate the practical experience of UCN's Culinary Arts Certificate Program into the Friendship Centre's current restaurant operation. The Program is a 10-month course, 30 hours per week, and food prepared by the students in the Program will be available for sale to the public. The Program will be delivered at the Flin Flon Aboriginal Friendship Centre in a dedicated classroom and use their existing commercial kitchen space. Instructional methods will include a combination of theory and practical formats appropriate to the subject matter. Students will need to meet UCN Admission requirements. 

The vision of the Restaurant Training Centre Initiative is to support economic participation and development while sustaining the Friendship Centre's core values and achieving organizational prosperity. Real time integration demonstrates skills, competencies, and explores new economic development and social enterprise opportunities for the Friendship Centre. 


30: Spirit Way & Boreal Discovery Centre - Wolf Centre of Excellence ($164,060)

A couple of years ago, Spirit Way (SW) offered to rebuild the Thompson Zoo's (now operating as the Boreal Discovery Centre) wolf area into a Wolf Centre of Excellence (WCE). The WCE is expected to be an anchor attraction within the newly transformed Boreal Discovery Centre (formerly known as Thompson Zoo) that will be complementary to their other exhibits, attract more visitors and provide new sources of revenue. In 2015, a partnership was signed with the Boreal Discovery Centre (BDC) and SW to build the Wolf Viewing and Study Centre building, which would be turned over to the BDC when completed. 

A WCE at the BDC could become a unique educational, cultural, research and tourism attraction of its kind in the world. It will provide jobs and trades training during the construction stage. The final facility will also require trained animal care, interpretive and programming staff, marketing and management staff and can draw from a local and regional job market. It will create opportunities for trappers and guides to promote and expand their livelihoods, as well as to offer wolf story telling, wolf howling, educational and cultural programming for visitors. This would create a new wolf economy in the north based on the growing interest worldwide in ecotourism. 

This project will be one piece of BDC's much larger Master Plan, and the beginning of SW's WCE building. Through this project, existing strategic plans and agreements will be reviewed, revised and finalized by SW and BDC during the visioning and business planning processes. Both groups will also take part in social enterprise development training to explore and assess revenue generation opportunities that support the social, cultural and/or environmental impacts of their work. Further, the WCE will become a reality through the development of architectural concept drawings. 


Additional Information on the Wolf Centre of Excellence: 

31: St. Paul's Anglican Church ($30,000)

St. Paul's Anglican Church has been an integral part of the community since its inception and continues to be an important religious and cultural landmark. With the exception of Fort Prince of Wales, St. Paul’s Anglican Church is the oldest structure in Churchill. Because of its rich northern history, unique construction and its northern cultural connections, St. Paul’s Anglican Church was recognized by the Province of Manitoba as a structure of historical significance. It was designated as a Provincial Heritage Building in 1996.

The majority of travelers to Churchill want some culture and history along with their polar bear and beluga whale experience. The role of St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Churchill’s early history, as well as its ongoing relevance in the community, is of great interest to visitors and something tourist operators can share beyond the wildlife. Thousands of tourists go through the church every year, and it is an important point of attraction for both tour groups and individuals.

Hudson’s Bay’s harsh climate has required extensive ongoing maintenance repairs to the Church each year. Over the past few years, the Parish of St. Paul’s has done extensive work including but not limited to: updated electrical, new storm windows, repaired and re-leaded the stain glass windows, and thorough insulation upgrades to improve the building’s energy efficiency. This project will help with the re-siding of the church building, the Church's last major upgrade to ensure the building is safe, structurally stound and preserves its historical integrity. This final upgrade will ensure that St. Paul’s Anglican Church remains a ‘must see’ spot for many years to come.


32: Churchill Cruises ($108,690)

The Kothari Group will commence passenger cruise vessel operations to/from the Port of Churchill to/from Greenland starting in September 2019. These cruises will focus on providing the passengers with a high-quality experience onboard luxury passenger vessels to some of the most pristine and unique areas in the Canadian Arctic waters, including stops in Churchill, Nunavut and Greenland. In addition, the cruise ship will stop at Marine Wildlife Protected Areas & Migratory Bird Sanctuaries, so passengers can experience nature at its finest and get a truly unique, historical and cultural eco-tourism experience through the Churchill Hudson Bay Region.

Churchill Cruises Ltd., a project by the Kothari Group, will build on the Churchill experience presently enjoyed by tourists through enhancing the economic activity in and around the community of Churchill. Local artists making artwork, such as carvings, paintings and wall hangings will see an increase in the demand for their products. Local artists engaged in the performing arts, such as throat singing, drum dancing, etc. will also see an increase in demand for their services. There will also be increased demand for goods and services required by the cruise ship, as well as passengers onboard the vessel, such as food and drink, accommodations, transportation services, tour excursions and other related services.


33: Nanuk Operations - Nights Under Lights ($55,479.03)

Caleb Ross currently owns and operates a polar bear and wildlife guiding company called “Nanuk Operations” in Churchill, Manitoba. Nanuk Operations takes photographers, film crews and other small groups of tourists out of Town in search of polar bears and other wildlife. Guests often ask to be taken out if the aurora make an appearance. Caleb felt as though moving into northern lights season seemed to be a natural progression from what he currently offers.

Northern lights season has been growing year over year in Churchill and to take advantage of that Caleb has devised a northern lights product, “Nights Under Lights” aimed mainly at photography groups.

Once established, there are plenty of expansion possibilities for this business to grow into other seasons and uses in Churchill.


34: Nature First Tours ($1,014)

Nature First Tours is a small company that provides tours, transportation and polar bear security for anyone working on the ground in Churchill, Manitoba. They have a fleet of buses and vehicles used to operate their business. Every year they ship supplies for the season in their truck using Via Rail. This past year, with the rail line closed, supplies had to be shipped via Canada Post which was costlier. This project will allow Nature First to maintain their fleet, continue operations and prevent unnecessary layoffs.


35: T&T Services - Gas Subsidy ($86,000)

Gasoline in Churchill has traditionally been purchased by the Churchill Marine Tank Farm (CMTF), a subsidiary of Omnitrax, and then re-sold on a retail basis through T & T Services (operating as Churchill Gas Station) or on a wholesale basis directly from the CMTF to several large tourism operators or to residents with their own storage tanks. However, in mid-February 2018 Churchill began using 309,000 litres of gasoline purchased by Exchange Petroleum. Exchange stepped up to help the community after the CMTF threatened to cancel the community’s final sealift shipment of fuel in the Fall of 2017 following a dispute with the Province over the condition of their storage tanks.

The shipping and storage costs associated with Exchange’s shipment were significant, causing the price at the pump to increase from $1.70/L to $2.20/L. Exchange applied to CRED for a $0.43/L subsidy to offset these costs (in addition to a $0.07/L bulk savings) so that the price at the pump could remain comparable to pre-railway washout prices. The gasoline purchased by Exchange was exhausted July 18th, 2018 and replaced by a new shipment of approximately 300,000 L brought in by sea by the CMTF. The CMTF is charging a wholesale price of $2.29/L and the Churchill Gas Station’s pump price is $2.54/L. CRED will renew its subsidy of $0.43/L on the current shipment of 300,000 L of gasoline, 200,000 of which is expected to flow through the Churchill Gas Station. The remaining gasoline is expected to be purchased by other commercial buyers directly from the CMTF.

Based on the last shipment’s life span of approximately 5 months and the lower gasoline usage in the summer months, it’s roughly estimated that the current shipment will last through December 2018. T & T Services has been approved for $86,000, which equates to a subsidy of $0.43/L on their expected purchases of 200,000 L of fuel that will allow the pump price to be reduced to $2.11/L.


36: T&T Services - Freight ($2,646.79)

T&T Services is a year-round gas station and vehicle maintenance shop. They have been doing business in Churchill, MB for five years, and in that time have relied on the rail line to transport equipment, fuel, parts for local vehicles and concession items for the gas station. In addition to servicing vehicles, they provide maintenance and repair services to snowmobiles, ATVs, motor bikes, chain saws, ice augers and other items that go out on the land. Unfortunately, the company has had lay off staff and cut down on hours due to increased costs and loss of revenues. This project will cover a portion of additional freight costs, allowing T&T Services to maintain their business and keep from reducing hours and staff any further.


01b: Town of Churchill - Mould & Asbestos Training Phase II ($280,908)

This project builds on the previous project funded under CRED in which the Town of Churchill worked together with UCN to offer skills development in mould and asbestos abatement, providing employment to 11 individuals and addressing environmental liabilities existing in the former Duke of Marlborough School. 

The second phase of this project will train 10 new individuals and employee those that have previously taken training. The main project for these individuals would be to decommission the Navy Base, a multistory building that is comprise of two buildings. The project will provide employment for up to 15 people. 


37: Churchill Health Centre ($25,000)

The closure of the rail line to Churchill has increased the freight costs many items for the Churchill Health Centre including all medical material and equipment, cleaning and laundry supplies, food, facility maintenance, facility equipment maintenance, vehicle maintenance, hospital supplies and office supplies. Prior to the rail line shutting down, the Churchill Health Centre shipped all supplies through Guardwine. Since the rail line has shut down, they have had to ship all supplies via Calm Air. This project will help the Churchill Health Centre pay for these extra freight costs. The funding assistance will help them continue to provide excellent patient care, supporting both employees and the greater community.


38: Wapusk Adventures ($7,505)

The closure of the rail line to Churchill has substantially increased the freight costs on dog food for Wapusk Adventures. They are requesting assistance from the CRED Fund to help pay for a portion of these extra freight costs. The Fund's assistance will allow them to maintain their business without compromising the dog's health and well-being. 


39: Aurora Inn ($8,838)

The closure of the rail line to Churchill has made freight costs for all supplies significantly higher than normal. This year, Aurora Inn realized they needed to replace their roof as it had been poorly installed and was badly leaking. Unfortunately, this was not an issue covered by insurance.

This project involved replaced the metal roof with shingles, employing four local workers. The CRED Fund provided assistance in paying for the extra freight costs associated with shipping shingles to Churchill via Calm Air. The Fund's assistance has allowed the Aurora Inn to maintain their business and continue operating without raising room rates by too much. 


40: Churchill Home Hardware ($25,000)

Churchill Home Hardware has entered into a second year without railway operations. The store has historically relied on the railway to deliver stock once a week. Without this option, Churchill Home Hardware has had to find other means of shipping over the last year, which is limited to: airlines, barges and a seasonal ice road with limited capacity. Unfortunately airlines do not deliver any item of 10,000 pounds and will not deliver dangerous goods. The uncertainty around the rail line's operation has required Churchill Home Hardware to purchase their inventory in larger volumes, which has an effect on cash flow and available inventory at any given time. This program will assist with the additional freight, brokerage costs and financing charges associated with supplying these products. 


41: Itsanitaq Museum ($14,273.77)

As Manitoba’s 5th oldest museum, the Itsanitaq Museum has been operating in Churchill, Manitoba for 74 years. Open year round, the museum’s clientele includes: local residents, school kids, business visitors, northern visitors and tourists from all over the world. It is an integral part of the local tourism industry and a must-see place for organized tour groups. It has been listed as a top attraction on the TripAdvisor website on numerous occasions. The museum has also played an important role in promoting Inuit culture and art, benefitting both Churchill and communities further North, including the Kivalliq district of Nunavut.

This project, which would allow for an update to the Museum’s humidity control, is critical to preserving both the Museum and its contents, allowing for the future sustainability of the Museum according to environmental standards. Across the Canadian North, there is a struggle to keep, maintain and develop museums where people of the North can see their own artifacts/art in their land. The continued operation of the Itsanitaq Museum holds obvious value for educational, historical and tourism purposes.


42: Tundra Inn and Restaurant - Kitchen Expansion ($75,000)

The Tundra Inn operates a hotel, Restaurant and Pub in Churchill, Manitoba. The Tundra Inn’s Restaurant and Pub are seasonal, typically opening June until late November, and have been operating for over ten years in the community. The hotel is open year-round and has been operating for over 35 years. Unfortunately a recent fire burned down Gypsy’s Bakery, another restaurant in Churchill, where a significant portion of meals for Tundra Inn’s guests were prepared. The Tundra Inn kitchen is too small to accommodate the additional volume of meals, resulting in a need to expand operations and build an additional kitchen.

The Tundra Inn and Restaurant has a small log building that will be converted into a kitchen, allowing for increased capacity, take-out, and catering options for the community and tour operators. The kitchen will be open during peak and off-season, employing three new full-time employees. This has a strong economic benefit to the tourism industry and local economy of Churchill, Manitoba.     


43: Community Futures North Central Development - Snowmobile Project Phase I ($27,000)

This project builds on Tourism North's goals, through partnerships with Travel Manitoba, Community Futures Greenstone, Community Futures Cedar Lake, and other key partners. The Northern Manitoba Tourism Strategy, developed by Tourism Manitoba, identifies "Tourism Product and Experience Development" as "high priority". Specifically, it references the fact that enhancements to tourism hub communities and to existing tourism experiences, and the creation of new market-ready tourism experiences, grows tourism in Northern Manitoba. The stakeholders of this project believe that integral to economic growth in the area is further development of a snowmobile product.

In order to develop this product, Community Futures North Central Development has proposed a one-day Summit focused on Northern Manitoba's Snowmobile Tourism Strategy. This summit would result in the development of a strategic plan going forward, and achieve the following goals:

i. Development of a mission statement and vision
ii. Facilitated SWOT Analysis/Discussion
iii. Development of strategic priorities and timelines based on priority areas
iv. A plan for base line for measurement of the economic impact over set amount of years


44: Forbes Forest Finds ($90,000)

This project will train individuals to identify, harvest and sell non-timber forest products on a global scale. 


45: Churchill Northern Studies Centre - Freight ($25,000)

The Churchill Northern Studies Centre (CNSC) helps to support local tourism, research, and educational opportunities in Churchill, Manitoba. In doing so, the CNSC offers accommodation and food services, including room for 84 onsite guests as well as a full-service cafeteria that offers three hot meals per day. As a not-for-profit organization, the CNSC sets fee-for-service rates annually and is struggling to adjust fees that fully reflect the increased costs associated with the unexpected loss of rail service.

This project will assist the CNSC in their additional freight costs due to the closure of the railway, allowing them to continue business operations, supporting their ability to retain a workforce and provide services to those travelling to Churchill.


46: Churchill Northern Studies Centre - Fuel ($25,000)

The Churchill Northern Studies Centre (CNSC) helps to support local tourism, research, and educational opportunities in Churchill, Manitoba. In doing so, the CNSC offers accommodation and food services, including room for 84 onsite guests as well as a full-service cafeteria that offers three hot meals per day. As a not-for-profit organization, the CNSC sets fee-for-service rates annually and is struggling to adjust fees that fully reflect the increased costs associated with the unexpected loss of rail service.

This project will assist the CNSC in their additional fuel costs due to the closure of the railway, allowing them to continue business operations, supporting their ability to retain a workforce and provide services to those travelling to Churchill.


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