Manufacturing Today

The number of people employed in the NWT manufacturing sector (direct and indirect) in 2015 was approximately 140. In 2014, the estimated revenue derived from manufacturing was $35 million, up from $12 million in 2012.  (Statistics Canada)

Examples of items that are manufactured in the NWT include:

Other Manufacturing

The NWT manufacturing sector includes a number of small-scale “cottage based” manufacturers (i.e. individuals producing and selling out of their homes). The most prominent types of cottage-based manufacturing are the processing of locally harvested animal, plant and biomass products and the creation of arts and fine crafts.

Participation in local food production is increasing in all regions in the NWT. It ranges in production scale from small gardens to commercial greenhouses, and includes the harvesting of wild products. The processing, transformation and/or packaging and sale of mushrooms, berries, syrup, herbs, plants and animal products for food, medicinal and other purposes are examples of NWT products currently available for local consumption and export.

Characterized by a wide range of traditional and modern products, the NWT arts and fine crafts sector makes an important contribution to our economy as an export industry as well as a cultural identifier.

Regional Activities

South Slave Region

The South Slave Region benefits from its access to southern markets (making the purchase of raw materials less costly), rail and marine transportation assets, close proximity to the Talston hydro system, an extensive forestry inventory, a developed fishing sector and significant agricultural potential (with Polar Eggs being a sizable producer of eggs).  Manufacturing has historically been an important sector in this region and there are several major projects being advanced; notably a biomass processing plant to produce wood pellets and the Great Slave Lake commercial fishery in Hay River.

North Slave Region

The North Slave Region benefits from being the Territorial capital and the sourcing community for decades worth of mining activity. Manufactured goods from this region
have readily available customers in mining companies and those that support and supply the mining industry. The GNWT’s Diamond Policy Framework provides for local production of polished diamonds for export.  Meanwhile, a strong and vibrant tourism industry provides opportunity for cottage manufacturers to sell their products.

Beaufort Delta Region

The Beaufort Delta Region’s strengths include extensive oil and natural gas reserves, a sizable population base (for a remote region), important physical tourism assets, a
presence on the Arctic Ocean and a burgeoning innovation sector.  The arts and crafts sector is an important cottage industry in this region and some potential exists to expand the agricultural sector (greenhouses, etc.). Manufacturing is already an active industry and any serious development in the oil and gas sector would drive solid growth in the sector.

Dehcho Region

The Dehcho Region’s strengths include extensive mineral deposits, oil and natural gas reserves, forestry inventory and physical tourism assets. The arts and crafts sector is an important cottage industry in the Dehcho and serious potential exists to expand the agricultural sector. While room currently exists for some small-scale manufacturing in the region, any serious development in the mining, oil and gas, or forestry sectors would provide a solid customer base for local manufacturing efforts.

Sahtu Region

The Sahtu Region’s strengths include extensive mineral deposits, oil and natural gas reserves and physical tourism assets. The arts and crafts sector is an important cottage industry in the Sahtu, and potential exists to expand the agricultural sector. While room currently exists for some small scale manufacturing in the region, any serious development in the mining or oil and gas sectors would provide opportunity for larger scale manufacturing efforts.