GNWT takes action to improve progress on NWT Arts Strategy

News Releases

Yellowknife — June 8, 2023

The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) has released its response to the recommendations of the Arts Program Review.

The GNWT agrees with all the report’s recommendations and has started to make operational changes based on the recommendations and feedback gathered from the arts and creative sector during engagement session for the NWT Arts Strategy and during the program review. This will include:

  • Updating departmental arts mandates to clearly show what each department will work to accomplish regarding the arts.
  • Implementing ongoing monitoring and assessment of arts programs to ensure they are continually improved.
  • Improving how artists can find and learn about the arts programs and funding available to them to inform them of funding opportunities.
  • Improving arts funding program eligibility requirements and distribution to increase access in small communities.

The Government Response to the Arts Program Review provides a list of the planned changes that the GNWT will be making and expected completion dates to meet the needs of artists, craftspeople, and creatives who rely on its programs and funding.


“We have heard the concerns voiced by our artists and agree with all the Reviews’ recommendations.  We now have the important insight we needed to make changes to GNWT arts funding. We are committed to making meaningful changes to government arts funding to help establish a strong and valued arts and creative sector which will benefit everyone living in the NWT.”

- R.J. Simpson, Minister of Education, Culture and Employment

“The arts contribute to a strong economy and enhance shared community identity and belonging. In response to the recommendations of the review, we are working closely with our colleagues at ECE to collaborate on improving programs and services to the NWT creative sector. With a focus on fostering the economic aspirations of NWT art stakeholders, ITI will continue to develop and seek out new marketing and business development opportunities for northern artists that will empower them to improve their presence in the NWT creative economy.”

- Caroline Wawzonek, Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment

Quick facts

  • The NWT Arts Strategy released in 2021 sets out a vision for how the GNWT will help to support the arts and creative sector for the next 10 years.
  • The release the Arts Program Review in November 2022 was the first key action item of the NWT Arts Strategy to be completed.
  • View the NWT Arts Strategy Progress Tracker for an overview of the progress of all actions and deliverables of the plan.

Related links


For media requests, please contact:

Briony Grabke

Manager, Public Affairs and Communications

Department of Education, Culture and Employment

Government of the Northwest Territories

867-767-9352 Ext. 71073


Drew Williams

Asst. Director, Strategic Communications

Industry, Tourism and Investment

Government of the Northwest Territories

867-767-9202 Ext. 63037