The territorial government has released a new strategy it says is designed to help the NWT arts and culture sector grow over the next 10 years.
Priorities of the strategy include supporting opportunities for artists to engage with children, improving access to funding, and increasing spaces to create, display and sell art.
The lack of an official territorial art gallery has long been a complaint among the NWT arts community, some of whom feel that space and funding for the arts are too often relegated to government priorities.
The strategy states that the GNWT will help communities develop more studios and mixed-use spaces for artists. The Yellowknife Artists’ Co-operative provided a demonstration of such a project by renting the Wildcat Café in Old Town in August and September, which was used to host artistic programming.
Full: Read the NWT Arts Strategy 2021-2031
The 2021-2031 document, released Thursday by the NWT Ministries of Culture and Industry, had been in preparation for three years. This is the latest of several strategies since the first was released in 2004.
Other measures of the strategy include exploring the creation of a NWT Arts Association – which she describes as “an independent entity that would support and strengthen the creative sector of the NWT” – and support for artists, elders and indigenous knowledge holders to share traditional knowledge with youth.
In a press release issued Thursday, the GNWT said staff will “collect information” on the NWT Arts Strategy each year. It is planned to publish performance reports in 2026 and 2031.
Are you in the NWT arts sector? What do you think of the strategy? Email our arts reporter if you would like to contribute to our ongoing coverage of strategy and how the arts in the NWT can evolve.