Inaugural Economic Development Fund recipients announced

The newly established Economic Development Fund is providing more than $1 million to support 28 community projects throughout the Yukon. The new fund is supporting Yukon businesses and organizations with innovation, sustainability, planning, market support, and capital and capacity development.

A wide variety of economic sectors will benefit from support including local food production; renewable energy; transportation; tourism; arts; media development; wellness; and innovation. Recipients include The Yukon Soaps Company, North End Gallery and Discovelo Inc.

The Economic Development Fund supports projects and initiatives that provide long-term, sustainable economic benefits to Yukoners and Yukon communities. The program was announced in March 2021 and replaced the Regional Economic Development Fund, Strategic Industries Development Fund and Enterprise Trade Fund.

Project applications were evaluated according to their potential climate impacts and alignment with the Yukon’s goals for climate change adaptation and mitigation as identified in Our Clean Future: a Yukon strategy for climate change, energy and a green economy.

The Economic Development Fund was recently created to provide greater access to funding for critical projects that provide economic benefits to Yukoners. I am glad to see the program being used by a variety of local organizations and I hope that this is only the beginning. Our government will continue to work to support economic growth and diversification in the territory while reducing red tape and streamlining our application processes. 

Minister of Economic Development Ranj Pillai

Quick facts 
  • The Economic Development Fund has an annual budget of $1.96 million.

  • Funding is divided into three tiers with the following application deadlines:

    • Tier 1 for applications up to $30,000, applications accepted throughout the year.
    • Tier 2 for applications between $30,001 and $100,000, on February 15, May 15, August 15 and November 15.
    • Tier 3 for applications between $100,001 and $500,000, on January 15 and June 15.
Backgrounder 

Funding recipients:

Supporting Business Innovation, Sustainability and Planning:

The Yukon Soaps Company - $8,250 – Completion of branding, digital and content strategies that will provide the company with the tools to increase demand and production as it prepares to enter the European market via Finland.

Copper Niisuu Limited Partnership - $3,713 – To review the current Bylaws and Limited Partnership Agreement, identify efficiencies and clearly define the roles and responsibilities between Copper Niisuu Limited Partnership, White River First Nation and the White River Development Corporation. The updated guiding document will benefit new employees and give shareholders a better understanding of their role in this tri-party relationship to improve communication and decision-making in economic and community development.

ORO Enterprises Ltd. - $184,369 – To secure a Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment (YESA) and required Yukon Water Board licensing authorities. These are required components of the Phase 1 feasibility and regulatory stage of realizing the New Era North Fork Hydro Project Plan. 

Kryotek Arctic Innovation Inc. - $100,000 – To field-test and optimize a software system that senses approaching wildfire. Evidence of this field testing will allow them to move their product to the next stage of development.

Alpine Aviation Ltd - $4,716 - Upgrade the two passenger aircraft to allow for cost effective access to small back country airstrips. Installing the equipment is expected to result in a 30% cost savings, using the smaller aircraft will also allow Alpine Aviation to employ additional full-time staff year-round. Using the smaller aircraft to full capacity, rather than the larger aircraft in the fleet, is expected to result in a significant reduction of fuel usage, reducing the company’s carbon footprint.

Alpine Aviation Ltd - $14,028 - To modify the back door of Cessna 206 aircraft to meet new Transport Canada standards. With this upgrade Alpine Aviation is able to fly the aircraft with four passengers and baggage and meet the new Transport Canada requirements on this type of aircraft. Transporting four passengers in one flight instead of using two smaller aircrafts or using the next larger aircraft will reduce the per passenger cost and fuel consumed per passenger seat.

Raven Inn - $19,012 - To complete three major changes/additions to their inn, to innovate how they engage with their clients and improve the quality of services offered. These include adding an intranet, making a penthouse suite multi-purpose and adding a front desk display and concierge desk. The Raven Inn sees these three additions as an opportunity and effective way to increase revenue and increase job diversity for front desk staff.

Government of Carcross/Tagish First Nation - $33,162 – To develop a lands registry system, which will allow CTFN to manage their land dispositions consistently and within recognized industry standards. This will strengthen CTFN's self-government by increasing economic impacts to the First Nation and community.

Carmacks Development Corporation - $25,875 - To complete an assessment of the condition of several owned infrastructure and other assets to prepare for upcoming economic opportunities. It will result in a guiding document to help them reduce risk and allocate the assets to the best business opportunities or investment decisions. With the upcoming projects, there are opportunities for impact benefit agreements with the private sector and other governments, which would encourage business and employment opportunities for citizens.

Little Critters Daycare - $10,187 - To make various improvements to their leased building to become operational for a safe daycare centre. Once operational, the daycare will provide opportunity for parents to return to work who did not have proper childcare previously. In addition, the employment opportunities the daycare is bringing will allow for up to 7 staff to work full and part time. This includes janitorial services, a full-time cook, and daycare staff.

O’Donovan Music Productions - $13,205 - To develop a professional Electronic Press Kit including live studio performance, video footage, and promotional photography. This will serve as a digital resume, audition tape, biography, and promotional tool to be used in the next 6 months before their album is released. This will provide the evidence and the tools necessary to secure industry partnerships, expand into new markets, and pursue novel and profitable opportunities that would otherwise remain unavailable to an artist lacking these tools and the business framework to operate at a world-class level.

Encouraging Economic Diversification through Market Support:

Shot in the Dark Productions Inc. - $21,450 – To create content and build an online sales and distribution platform that will allow for independent distribution and sales of a documentary to targeted interest groups.

Taiga Equine Remedial Therapy - $2,025 – To purchase a therapeutic device for the equine community to further business service offerings and increase market expansion. Additionally, by offering this service in territory, local clients will no longer need to take their horses outside the territory for treatment.

North End Gallery - $41,413 – To work with a digital marketing firm to develop and implement a first-year export market strategy. To pivot this business, which in non-COVID-19 times attributes 60% sales to visitors, the gallery is reshaping its business model to export to USA and European markets through online sales in addition to improving operational efficiency and increasing sales of Yukon goods.

Lunar Lixars - $1,561 - To participate as a vendor in the Yukon Wholistic Health Fair in Whitehorse on July 24, 2021, creating more awareness of Lunar Lixars as a Yukon wellness and well-being brand. This will create greater exposure as an expert in the area of Crystal Aromatherapy, leading to booking engagements for workshops and personal consultations.

Muktuk Adventures Ltd. - $8,550 - To produce and distribute videos promoting summer products through social media channels and international travel trade. International travel trade partners will have a new Yukon summer tour product to promote in their markets and international visitors will have a different tour experience available to them. Currently Muktuk only hires winter staff, they plan to hire two full-time summer guides for 2022 and three the following summer. They will also need to hire additional staff for the lodge and kitchen.

Little Dipper Films Inc. - $22,980 - To develop a comprehensive, detailed marketing plan for the feature film Polaris that will guide marketing of the film over a two-year period in Canada and to international markets. Once the film has the elements completed from this project, it will then be able to submit the elements to their international distribution partners. In addition to the distributors' invested interest, Polaris will be able to apply to the Telefilm Canada feature length-marketing fund. Having the marketing elements will put Little Dipper Inc. in a much more suitable position to be successful with the Telefilm program, and the markets it intends to sell to.

Proskida Inc. - $30,000 - To establish a scalable inbound marketing channel that feeds a direct-to-consumer retail sales channels. Proskida’s project plans are to grow Annual Recurring Revenue to $500,000 per year by expanding marketing efforts, developing scalable sales channels and reducing customer acquisition costs. This will allow Proskida to hire more staff, attract more private investors and achieve profitability. Most notably, in order to enter the Series A venture capital market, Proskida will need to be generating over $30,000 in monthly recurring revenue from at least one scalable, fast growing sales and marketing channel.

Increasing Business Competitiveness through Capacity and Capital Development:

VanGorda Enterprises Convenience - $103,427 – To upgrade and renovate VanGorda’s building and convenience store. Not only will this project fill a current community need for essential services, but the establishment of this expanded business will also make Faro a more attractive community to future residents and businesses.

Logan Dental Solutions - $15,980 – To purchase a 3D specialty dental printer to manufacture in-house dental appliances. This will allow the business to increase their available products and services while improving turnaround times for patients and decreasing their reliance on outsourcing services to manufacturers outside the Yukon.

Greenwood Engineering Solutions - $45,731 - To develop an in-house service to provide better condition information to owners for sanitary and storm sewer infrastructure throughout the Yukon. This service has historically been contracted to non-local entities or conducted with equipment that no longer meets industry standards. This will increase organizational capacity to provide municipal engineering advisory services to Yukon communities.

Discovelo Inc. - $27,926 - To translate their existing software into French for the current target market and expand the current software product so that it is more gamified and targets a younger English and French speaking age group. This will grow sales and revenue for the company, provide Discovelo with a competitive advantage in the marketplace and improve academic and socio-emotional learning outcomes for students.

Apprendo Learning Systems - $75,000 - This project is to rapidly build and deploy technology to enable other software to integrate with Apprendo’s platform through an application programming interface and to immediately monetize this development. The Apprendo platform will have a new technical feature which will increase competitiveness and meet market demand. Additionally, functionality will have the likely impact of increasing Apprendo’s valuation and attractiveness to potential investors. Increased sales would lead to more employment opportunities and growth within the company and increase retention with positive impact on recurring revenue leading to sustainable long-term beneficial outcomes.

Yukon 3D Solutions - $2,243 - To acquire a 3D scanner which can automatically create and print a digital replica of an object. This saves a significant amount of time, and as a result will make the service much cheaper and therefore more accessible. The software required to operate the 3D scanner is included in the purchase of the machine. The applicant will also purchase a filament extruder. This allows making filament from waste material, recycled 3D prints, and potentially even recycled plastic from other sources. This will increase capacity and enable the option to print parts from a recycled filament. 3D printed parts will also be accepted back from clients at end of life to be recycled back into filament in house using the filament extruder.

Boreal Compost Enterprises - $27,500 - To increase manufacturing capacity with computerized cutting equipment. Boreal Compost Enterprises Limited wants to increase capacity in-house to process steel rather than continuing to outsource this aspect of manufacturing out of the Territory. This will accelerate development time and allow flexibility to make design changes during manufacturing.

Outpost 31 Media - $53,350 - Outpost 31 has developed a training program to bring cutting edge technology in the areas of digital literacy, virtual & augmented reality and animation sector to Yukon. This funding is to pay for wages associated with training four interns on this technology.  By teaching the skills required for this technology, interns will acquire the skills required to complete the digital media and animation for this film rather than outsourcing it to digital media experts in the south. The successful interns will also be able to transfer their newly acquired skills to other industries that utilize and harness modern technology, like mining, land resource management and tech startups.

Landed Bakehouse - $100,000 - To purchase commercial assets and renovate a leased space to allow for a permitted commercial kitchen to operate at their business and meet current demand. This project will allow Landed Bakehouse to meet an increase in demand and sell to local grocery stores who have agreed to supply their products. Impacts of this project will include long term impact on employment, impact on skills development, improved organizational capacity, sustainable long term benefits and business expansion.

Firebean Coffee Roasters - $21,188 - To hire a consultant to develop marketing and communications infrastructure. This project Includes a brand refresh, including all visual assets, website reskinning, social profiles, etc., in service of a full redesign of their product packaging. The final component Is a comprehensive communications plan outlining target audiences, guidelines for content creation and management and key messaging.

Contact 

Renee Francoeur
Cabinet Communications
867-334-9194
renee.francoeur@yukon.ca

Damian Topps
Communications, Economic Development
867-667-5378
damian.topps@yukon.ca

News release #: 
21-436