Growing Creative Communities 
with a Digital Greenhouse

Rejuvenating an online presence for Kivalliq and Manitoba Arts and Culture

In 2024, the Kivalliq Chamber of Commerce will celebrate its 45th anniversary. It was first incorporated in 1979 under the Societies Act as the Keewatin Chamber of Commerce.

The Kivalliq Region is the second largest administrative region of Nunavut. It consists of the portion of the mainland to the west of Hudson Bay together with Southampton Island and Coats Island. The region encompasses approximately 445,110 square kilometers, or about 80% the size of Manitoba which lies directly to the south. It has a population of 10,413 (2016), an increase of 16.3% from 2006.

As a locally and regionally-focused program, many of the arts incubator’s collaborating artists and partners are from Nunavut and Manitoba. They are proud to be members and active volunteers, contributing their skills and training towards supporting the Kivalliq Chamber of Commerce.

Digital Greenhouse incubates growth

Using participatory research, emergent design, lean start-up methodologies and approaches similar to a ‘living lab’ concept, Niriqatiginnga studies northern and Manitoba and Kivalliq supply chain optimization, and pathways to cultural entrepreneurship for the food sector. We’re creating real-world opportunities.

We also acknowledge an outcome of our pilot project, the incredible support from the Manitoba Sustainable Agricultural Partnership – Indigenous Agriculture and Foods Program, the Arctic Buying Company Kivalliq and Manitoba Agriculture. Our pilot project is able to apply what we learned through our online marketplace development, skills and training to real world work environments. As an outcome of the relationship development and engagement components of “Niriqatiginnga: Towards a Framework for Northern Food Systems Innovation” these activities can help organizations like the Kivalliq Chamber of Commerce to transform and rejuvenate the way they engage with the agri-food sector. 

it took our program a lot longer than anticipated, and the team struggled. But the process of reflecting as part of this supplemental report has been incredibly valuable. 

Thank you Canada Council for the Arts. Your support really did “bring the arts to life.”

Artists, Researchers and Cultural Connectors

Cultivating Relationship Development and Engagement through Digital Arts and Cultural Entrepreneurship

As a volunteer-driven, grassroots arts entrepreneurship collective, @1860, has been proud to collaborate with the Kivalliq Chamber of Commerce and member organizations and businesses like Niriqatiginnga and the Arctic Buying Company Kivalliq in developing a new online marketplace and rejuvenated communications capability. 

The web site is an outcome of digital skills development and cultural entrepreneurship training made possible with the Canada Council for the Arts Digital Greenhouse.

In 2023, the Winnipeg-based Niriqatiginnga project was approved for funding from the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural PartnershipIndigenous Food Systems Program. In total, proposals submitted by the team drew in an additional $293,000 in combined federal and provincial funding. In January 2024, The Niriqatiginnga project established itself as an independent, Manitoba-based non-profit organization. 

Until late March 2024, the Kivalliq Chamber of Commerce web sites, social media and  communications had mostly been limited to a one-page web site and stagnant for years. It was a really depressing experience to visit their web site, and they did not even have a news page. There were no programs or services for members either, just an acknowledgement that “at present, KCC’s ability to deliver additional value to its members, and its impact upon the Kivalliq Region and Nunavut are limited by its available resources.”

The arts incubator project team volunteered to help the Chamber to upgrade and modernize, especially with major events like the 2024 Northern Perspectives Conference and the Kivalliq Energy Forum just around the corner. 

The Chamber’s situation was perfectly aligned with what Niriqatiginnga needed to pilot its planned Online Marketplace. It also provided emerging Inuit artists and culture sector workers a terrific opportunity to combine marketplace development with additional training and skills applied through previous researchcultural and digital arts entrepreneurship projects. Upcoming activities in 2024 will build directly on the digital arts training and professional development funded by the Canada Council for the Arts Digital Greenhouse in late 2021 and 2022 and by the Manitoba Arts Council Indigenous 360 Program in 2022 and 2023. The team was recently asked to submit a Supplemental Report following up on its outcomes, and this new web site is one of them.

Also aligning with other main objectives for Niriqatiginnga’s first phase is to explore piloting an online marketplace alongside their ‘living lab’ for Indigenous food sector entrepreneurship. As a pilot program, this new Manitoba-Kivalliq arts and culture marketplace will be able to sell not just food products, but arts, crafts and maybe even furs from hunters and harvesters too!

As it grows into a locally and regionally-focused platform, is supports real-world, early career development for digital arts and technology skills development, cross-sectoral relationship building and participatory organizational development. And, even better, this new online marketplace will be able to support additional activities like conference registration, corporate sponsorships, exhibition booth rentals and payment processing too. 

In the coming weeks, the @1860 and Niriqatiginnga projects will be reporting on some of the initial outcomes of their work to date. Follow along and stay tuned! There’s much more to come!

We can’t manage what we can’t measure!

One year after our pilot arts program ended: Youth and artists from @1860 and Niriqatiginnga thank the Sustainable Canadian Agriculture Program, for supporting our efforts. We’re better able to track and communicate information and statistics. We’re growing!

“That’s what the late Mark Kalluak once told us when our adventures In the arts began back in 2010. Since then we, and our stories, have spread out across the world. Today, we’re exploring arts and cultural entrepreneurship from a different perspective — Winnipeg, Manitoba.” 

As dedicated members and active supporters of the Kivalliq Chamber of Commerce, we take immense pride in being part of an organization that bridges the gaps between Manitoba and the vibrant Kivalliq region. For our youth, membership reflects a commitment to fostering economic development, leadership development, and sustainable community collaboration. 

By actively participating in Kivalliq Chamber of Commerce events and initiatives, we can contribute to the exchange of ideas, promote local businesses, and strengthen ties with both urban and northern communities. Being Members of the Kivalliq Chamber of Commerce is part of our commitment to the overall local and regional prosperity and interconnectedness of businesses and non-profit community organizations in Manitoba and the unique region of Kivalliq.

To learn more about our pilot projects, click here

Thank you for funding and supporting opportunities for youth, artists and entrepreneurs to gain hands-on experience.

Youth and members of our project, alongside Niriqatiginnga and many of our collaborators will be part of a special session convened for the Arctic Congress 2024 in Bodø, Norway. 

Hosted every two years in Winnipeg, is a business and cultural showcase of Nunavut with focus on expanding the economic opportunities within Nunavut and partnership opportunities with businesses from Manitoba. The next Northern Perspectives conference will be held in Winnipeg in 2026.

Thank You to our Partners and Supporters

We’re proud to acknowledge the support of our partners and funders who make what we do each day possible. 

The Kivalliq Chamber of Commerce official web site.

This web site is an outcome of digital arts and cultural entrepreneurship skills training with emerging Inuit youth artists and made possible with strategic innovation funding from the Canada Council for the Arts Digital Greenhouse. and Manitoba Arts Council Indigenous 360 program.

Calm Air is the Official Airline of the Kivalliq Chamber of Commerce. 

The Kivalliq Chamber of Commerce (KCC) is a registered society made up of members of the Kivalliq business community and other regional stakeholders.

The Kivalliq Chamber of Commerce official web site.
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Rankin Inlet, NU X0C 0G0