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Attractive to executives
Kugluktuk senior administrative officer hopes new centre attracts business

Miranda Scotland
Northern News Services
Published Saturday, November 23, 2013

Construction on Kugluktuk's new $27-million multipurpose cultural centre is nearing completion with a grand opening set for the new year.

NNSL photo/graphic

With help from the private sector and the Government of Nunavut, Kugluktuk is building an ulu-shaped multipurpose cultural centre. The handle will have a board room on the top and bottom floor while the blade will feature a small museum and a retail outlet which will sell local artwork. - photo courtesy of Don LeBlanc

The building is designed to look like an ulu and will feature two board rooms, a small museum and a retail outlet which will have local carvings and artwork for sale.

"Seventy-five per cent of the work is done," said Don LeBlanc, senior administrative officer for the hamlet.

"Electrical, plumbing and some walls need to be completed."

The plan is for the centre to act as a starting point for tourists and sportsmen, as well as a location for small conferences.

Kugluktuk doesn't currently have a visitor centre.

LeBlanc said the multi-purpose complex is a key piece in the hamlet's push to develop three industry sectors -- mining, tourism and culture.

"We would like to see it as a centre where people can come and spend a few days," said LeBlanc. "A company can bring their executive staff up. A lot of them go away for a couple days to do planning and with the view from that big boardroom and with the community itself, the things we can offer, it would be ideal. So we're going to push that aspect of it."

The two boardrooms are located in the handle of the ulu and can accommodate 15 people in one and up to 50 in the other.

Meanwhile, in the museum, located in the blade, visitors will be able to view artifacts, carvings, mannequins wearing traditional clothing and a stuffed eight-foot polar bear that a local hunter caught. There will be information on Kuklok Territorial Park available.

Mayor Ryan Nivingalok said the complex, which is about 3,800 square feet, was made possible with help from from BHP Billiton, CanNor and the Government of Nunavut.

"We are very proud of the fact that over 70 per cent of our funding was funding we pursued through the private sector instead of relying totally on government," stated Nivingalok in a news release.

"We are pleased with the design and purpose of the building and look forward to the opportunities that will come because of this centre."

LeBlanc said people in the community are hoping to have the project finished by January. The grand opening and dedication is set for March 1.

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