This is page numbers 1 - 28 of the Hansard for the 19th Assembly, 2nd Session. The original version can be accessed on the Legislative Assembly's website or by contacting the Legislative Assembly Library. The word of the day was --.

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Oral Question 773-19(2): Northwest Territories Arts Program
Oral Questions

Page 10

Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

Mr. Speaker, you've seen nothing yet in my capacity to speak. Now I get to talk about arts.

Mr. Speaker, with respect to art sales and art sales tracking, so at the moment I can say art sales aren't tracked by the NWT Arts Program in terms of the dollar value per sales or number of sales had. Again, you know, again, this is one where there's a number of individual artists across the Northwest Territories, some in collectives, some selling on their own, some selling, I know, under various social media channel.

(Indiscernible)

...and this is not an opportunity -- this is not an area where the government is able to track those individual sales through -- again, certainly not through the arts program. I would say, though, a bit of a plug in terms of generating broadly more sales in the area that there is right now a workshop series being developed for artists to learn about all the different ways that they can be selling their art, whether it's direct to consumer or retailers or online. That is expected to be ready for this summer. So tracking of course is important. But, really, we do recognize that we want to get our numbers up and improve the sales of the incredible arts product we have in the Northwest Territories. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Oral Question 773-19(2): Northwest Territories Arts Program
Oral Questions

Page 10

Caitlin Cleveland Kam Lake

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I'm very excited about that program. And I'd like to offer, as a Member of standing committee that will be going into communities, to take any of that information into communities with me and I think that MLAs can be a really good resource to get information out on that.

So I guess I'm wondering, too, what -- does ITI know who the primary markets are for NWT arts and who they're trying to attract to purchase more NWT art and who's already paying attention? Thank you.

Oral Question 773-19(2): Northwest Territories Arts Program
Oral Questions

Page 10

Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, as of the moment -- well, the arts program does work with partners across Canada. They are working also internationally at this point. There's been showcases of NWT arts products at the WAG, in Edmonton, and internationally at the British Museum. So there's quite a lot happening in the recent couple of years to try to promote and increase awareness of the incredible arts that we have here.

That said, the demographic information that we have is that at this time, a majority of the artwork is still being sold here within the Northwest Territories. I mean, I can look around the room here and see a number of people wearing, whether it's clothing or jewelry or otherwise. So we all know the value of the arts product that is in the Northwest Territories but it is clear that we still need to get that message out more broadly beyond -- beyond the borders of the territory. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Oral Question 773-19(2): Northwest Territories Arts Program
Oral Questions

Page 11

Caitlin Cleveland Kam Lake

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. And I appreciate that and I appreciate the work that is being done by ITI. I do, however, think that ITI needs to understand, and I'm sure that they do, that the cost of web sites is very expensive. And also sometimes technology is just -- it gets the best of us, Mr. Speaker. And so I think that expanding into an e-commerce type platform for NWT arts brings people together to that site where people are already being brought to, in order to not only showcase artists but then be able to say, 'hey, look at that person and what can I purchase from Tanya Larson that's already on that website?' What -- how can I get there? And so I think that being able to capitalize on people's desire to -- you know, instant gratification - buy right away. I think we're missing out on a big opportunity. And so I'd like to ask the Minister to please explore an e-commerce platform for NWT arts. Thank you.

Oral Question 773-19(2): Northwest Territories Arts Program
Oral Questions

Page 11

Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I, you know, would be remiss not to acknowledge that, of course, the Department of EC and E has a shared responsibility over the arts. With respect to e-commerce, I can say that the challenge here -- one of the challenges here, far apart from the technology alone, is, of course, then are we at risk of displacing those who may not wish to be part of the GNWT process? Would we be at risk where we are creating a situation where we're influencing or, you know, creating a market place that isn't fully fair and accessible to all? So there are some challenges in an online platform that is administered or run by the government. It's -- I think part of the bigger challenge, is it the role of government to create the market, to create the economy, or is it the role of government to enable and facilitate that kind of work happening within the arts community in the Northwest Territories. So I know when there's questions earlier about an arts council, I'm obviously paying attention keenly as well. EC and E may be the lead but, again, we're taking a whole-of-government view here. We're going to certainly all be conscious and be aware of what work we can do together to support the arts community so that they can get their products out there, whether it's through a government-enabled website or through their own methodologies. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Oral Question 773-19(2): Northwest Territories Arts Program
Oral Questions

Page 11

Speaker

Thank you, Minister. Final supplementary, Member for Kam Lake.

Oral Question 773-19(2): Northwest Territories Arts Program
Oral Questions

Page 11

Caitlin Cleveland Kam Lake

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I think that there's some great precedent already within ITI. We have the fur program which works quite well and has been very successful. I guess the -- my last question for the Minister, then, is would the Minister of ITI, given that they do have the film commission and they do have support for entrepreneurs of the arts, would they support an independent arm's length council? Thank you.

Oral Question 773-19(2): Northwest Territories Arts Program
Oral Questions

Page 11

Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

Well, so, again, Mr. Speaker, this is an -- the area of the arts, it's an area with joint responsibility between EC and E and ITI. So it's not a simple question that I have the opportunity to say yes or no to. It's a question to which, you know, again there needs to be discussion between us, between the two departments, as well as with the various councils and commissions that already exist. The arts program, the film commission for example. You know, and determining what it is that the community would benefit most from. I can say I've had inquiries to my office under ITI from members of the arts community in this regard so there certainly seems to be some buzz happening within the community around better and new ways to organize and to promote the arts in the Northwest Territories. And I'm sure that we will continue to have those conversations internally as well as with the external partners. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Oral Question 773-19(2): Northwest Territories Arts Program
Oral Questions

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Speaker

Thank you, Minister. Oral questions. Member for Hay River South.

Oral Question 774-19(2): Hay River Homeless Shelter
Oral Questions

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Rocky Simpson Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I want to talk about night shelters for homeless, and I'd like to I guess ask the Minister of Housing and the Minister responsible for Homelessness is that in Hay River, we had a shelter this last winter, but as of March 31st, it's no longer operational. And so I'd ask the Minister if she -- or if her department has been in discussions with anyone in Hay River to deliver that service for this coming winter because, you know, we might be in spring but winter's going to be here fairly soon. So I just want to get ahead of the game here. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Oral Question 774-19(2): Hay River Homeless Shelter
Oral Questions

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Speaker

Thank you, Member for Hay River South. Minister responsible for Homelessness.

Oral Question 774-19(2): Hay River Homeless Shelter
Oral Questions

Page 11

Paulie Chinna Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The Housing Corporation provides the homelessness initiatives during the winter months. I'm not too sure of the date that the shelter would be open again in the fall. I will have to get back to the Member with those specific -- with that specific date. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Oral Question 774-19(2): Hay River Homeless Shelter
Oral Questions

Page 11

Rocky Simpson Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The shelter was funded by Housing last winter. So I'm just -- I ask the Minister is there ongoing funding, is there funding that's earmarked for shelter for Hay River for this year, or is it -- or are you looking for a proposal to make it happen? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Oral Question 774-19(2): Hay River Homeless Shelter
Oral Questions

Page 11

Paulie Chinna Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. At the beginning of assembly, there was a lot of, you know, concern about Hay River and looking at what we had experienced during COVID-19 and recognizing the most vulnerable at the ground level. There was a lot of advocacy from Hay River to establish a homeless shelter. So with that, we ended up working with one of the nonprofit organizations and opened up a homeless shelter in Hay River. Just to answer the question, yes, we will be continuing those efforts. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Oral Question 774-19(2): Hay River Homeless Shelter
Oral Questions

Page 11

Rocky Simpson Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, there's a number of federal government units, I think that are becoming available or that are available in Hay River, and I ask the Minister if she's willing to look at those units and possibly securing one and -- you know, with four bedrooms at least, and making that available to a nonprofit group to provide shelter this winter. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.