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Innovation hub opens doors in Whitehorse
[October 12, 2018]

Innovation hub opens doors in Whitehorse

Federal government investment boosts innovation in the North

WHITEHORSE, YT, Oct. 12, 2018 /CNW/ - Supporting innovation and entrepreneurship in the North fosters economic diversification and growth. That is why the Government of Canada, through the Strategic Investments in Northern Economic Development  program (SINED), has invested over $900,000 in supporting the innovation ecosystem in Yukon.

The announcement was made today by Larry Bagnell, Member of Parliament for Yukon, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for CanNor.

Over $900,000 in CanNor funding will go to Yukonstruct for the completion of the NorthLight Innovation building that merges Yukonstruct's existing collaboration centres under one roof. This funding is in addition to CanNor's previous contribution of $1,500,000 towards the first phase of NorthLight Innovation. The Government of Yukon also contributed $1,950,000 to the first phase in addition to significant cash and in-kind contributions from the private sector.

Through these investments, the federal government is supporting an ecosystem of innovation in the North that will link into the rapidly growing innovation network across the country. 


"Today is a special day for Yukon and for the North. The passion, vision and entrepreneurial spirit shown by Northerners is an inspiration to all Canadians and is sure to inspire new entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial movements. The Government of Canada is very proud to have partnered with Yukonstruct on this new and unique Northern-focused innovation hub."

Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and the Minister responsible for CanNor

"It is truly exciting to see talented and innovative entrepreneurs, leaders in new technologies, and Yukon's forward-looking business community working together under one roof. I am happy to see the Government of Canada and the Government of Yukon supporting an innovation hub that incubates new ideas, bolsers economic diversification and fosters long-term sustainable growth in the North."

Larry Bagnell
Member of Parliament for Yukon

"Our government has championed the innovation hub from the beginning and we're very excited to see it come to fruition. Bringing partnerships and ideas together is the key to developing a diversified, sustainable and dynamic economy across the North. NorthLight Innovation is providing a space for local innovators, entrepreneurs and professionals to share their knowledge and skills, and build local capacity. It also provides streamlined access to business assistance, mentorship and networking opportunities that will attract more start-ups and entrepreneurs, and help our small businesses grow. "

Ranj Pillai
Minister of Economic Development, Government of Yukon

"This is a momentous occasion. YuKonstruct is very excited to welcome its members, partners and the wider community to celebrate the official opening of the NorthLight Innovation facility. The value of collaborative spaces for ideas to flourish has been proven across the world. Building on the success of the growing communities of makers and coworkers at our two previous locations and the added partnership of Yukon College and Yukon Development Corporation, we are excited for a future of innovation in the north."

Jaret Slipp
Executive Director, YuKonstruct Society


Northlight Innovation

  • Northlight Innovation is a 24,000 square foot facility located in Downtown Whitehorse managed and operated by local non-profit Yukonstruct.
  • CanNor has committed up to $922,253 to the Northlight Innovation project for this current fiscal year. This is in addition to a previous CanNor contribution of $1,500,000 towards the first phase of Northlight Innovation in the 2017–18 fiscal year.
  • Funding will go towards the completion of Northlight Innovation. This facility sees the merging together of Makespace, which provides access to manufacturing equipment and offers educational workshops to potential innovators, and Cospace, which provides a shared-workspace and collaborative environment for Yukon's entrepreneurs and innovators.
  • Yukonstruct is also launching a new space called Launchspace to foster business development and innovation in the North. This includes conferences, programs and an incubator that helps early-stage entrepreneurs in the Yukon take their ideas to the next level.
  • Yukonstruct shares the space with Yukon College's Communities, Innovation and Development division, Yukon Development Corporation, Startup Whitehorse, Canada Yukon Business Network Services, Yukon Women in Trades and Technology (YWITT) and other tenants from both private and public sectors.
  • CanNor funding for the first phase of this project created 4 contract positions in planning and development and 99 construction contract positions.
  • New funding from CanNor has supported the creation of 3 new jobs, 2 additional short-term contract positions, 1 ongoing contract position and will help maintain 3 positions that were already in existence.
  • CanNor's contribution was delivered through the Strategic Investments in Northern Economic Development program (SINED), supporting projects that increase northern economic growth and diversification, foster innovation and capacity development, and create jobs for Northerners.

Associated Links

An Innovation Hub to launch in Yukon thanks to Government Support 
The Strategic Investments in Northern Economic Development (SINED) program now accepting applications

Follow ISED on Twitter: @ISED_CA

For more information about CanNor, visit


SOURCE Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor)

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