Ontario Construction News staff writer
The Ontario government is providing more than $1.4 million through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) to three projects in Kenora. These community investments will help boost economic growth, improve quality of life and build strong, healthy communities in Northwestern Ontario.
“Gamikaan Bimaadiziwin honours and preserves healing processes rooted in our Anishinaabe way of life. The Roundhouse is the first phase of this development and it provides an alternative healing opportunity to what we know is not currently working for our people,” said Ogichidaa Francis Kavanaugh, Grand Chief, Grand Council Treaty # 3. “For those who struggle with finding their way we will offer teachings for renewed self-determination and alternative healing that can help those who were previously were unable to move beyond their trauma and mental health challenges within the current western justice system and treatment options.
“We are working to bring together all partners through healing and collaboration to provide individuals a renewed chance at Bimaadiziwin – living the good life.”
Projects receiving NOHFC funding include:
- $495,000 to Grand Treaty Council #3 to construct an all-season roundhouse lodge that will serve as a healing, training, ceremonial and event space to support the Gamikaan Bimaadiziwin healing centre located at Bug Lake.
- $490,000 to the Kenora Nordic and Biathlon Club to build three kilometres of permanently lit trail to allow for safe night skiing.
- $476,833 to Kenora Chiefs Advisory Inc. (KCA) to build a commercial kitchen, dining area, laundry room, bathrooms and showers for future youth camp, recreation programs and special events held at the KCA Youth and Family Wellness Camp.
The NOHFC promotes economic prosperity across Northern Ontario by providing financial assistance to projects—big and small, rural and urban—that stimulate growth, job creation and skills development. Since June 2018, the NOHFC has invested more than $559 million in 4,748 projects in Northern Ontario, leveraging more than $1.82 billion in investment and creating or sustaining over 7,500 jobs.
“With the help from the Ontario Government and NOHFC funding, we continue to improve our trail system, which is already known as the best cross country ski system between Thunder Bay and Canmore,” said Tim Wehner, volunteer and trail designer, Kenora Nordic and Biathlon Club.
“Adding permanent lighting doubles the lit operating hours from eight hours of sunlight at winter solstice, to 16 hours of ski time. This improves safety and enjoyment for our skiers ranging from youth, para-nordic, recreational and international racers who all ski and train here in northwestern Ontario and promotes our community to visitors as a ski destination with ripple effects to our local hotels, stores and restaurants.”
The NOHFC, Northern Development Offices and Small Business Enterprise Centres are available to support northern communities, businesses and other stakeholders in identifying economic development opportunities and assist in accessing government funding programs.