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Inuvik Gateway Welcome Sign

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 PROJECT BACKGROUND

The Town of Inuvik is located 200 km north of the Arctic Circle, nestled between the treeless tundra and the northern Boreal Forest, and the vast Mackenzie Delta. The Town serves as the administrative center and is a key gateway to other communities in the North like Aklavik, Tuktoyaktuk, Sachs Harbour, Ulukhaktok, and Paulatuk and communities to the South such as Tsiigehtchic and Fort McPherson.


Traditional land of the local Indigenous Inuvialuit and Gwich’in people & cultures as well as a wide variety of other multi-cultural residents that now live in our community, Inuvik is home to approximately 3,200 residents, with increased visitors travelling from across Canada and the world.

The majority of our visitors arrive to Inuvik during the summer months via the Dempster Highway. Increasingly visitors to Inuvik plan their trips to venture North and to experience the incredible drive along the Inuvik To Tuk Highway that brings you from the treeline to the Arctic Ocean.

 

Tourism and the visitor economy is increasingly becoming a significant industry for the region and with significant upgrades to our gateway entrance signage, we have a perfect opportunity to increase economic growth, visitor impact, and enhance our local infrastructure while at the same time presenting to the world a warm and friendly welcome to our Northern community.

 

The Gateway Sign is designed to:

  • Replace existing ageing signage with new, appealing, & weather-resistant infrastructure
  • To provide a significant gateway and a photo-friendly destination for visitors upon entry to Inuvik

  • To establish and enhance a sense of place and visual branding to increase awareness of Inuvik as a destination ready to welcome visitors
  • Provide a comfortable Public Space for both visitors and local residents

 

 PROJECT TIMELINE

2015

 

In 2015 Mayor & Town Council note the aging and deterioration of the existing Welcome Sign and the anticipated increase in visitor traffic with the soon-to-be-built Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk Highway and make the building of a new Inuvik Gateway Welcome Sign a priority thereby allocating $200,000.00 in the Capital Budget with work to begin in 2017.

 

 

2016

 

The Mayor & Town Council defer the Inuvik Gateway Welcome Sign project to 2018

 

 

2017

 

The Mayor & Town Council confirm Inuvik Gateway Welcome Sign to begin in 2018.

 

 

2018

 

The Mayor & Town Council approve 2018 Capital Budget and initial work on the Inuvik Gateway Welcome Sign begins.

 

 

June 2018

New Site Chosen & GNWT Issues Access Permit to Town of Inuvik.

 

 

Summer/Fall 2018

Early site work including surveying and laying of gravel fill occur at site

 

2019

 

The Mayor & Town Council approve 2019 Capital Budget and work on the Inuvik Gateway Welcome Sign continues.

 

 

September 10, 2019

 

RFP Issued for Gateway Sign Design. Ad placed in following locations:

  • Town Website
  • Facebook
  • Inuvik Drum
  • Rolling Channel
  • Print Posters
  • Discussed at Town Council
  • Discussed at Inuvik Tourism Stakeholder Meetings

 

September 25, 2019

RFP for Gateway Sign Closed

 

October 2019

Town of Inuvik Administration awards Gateway Sign Design RFP to Fathom Studios.

 

October/November 2019

Design consultation begins with Town Administration, Mayor & Town Council, Stakeholders, Community Organizations, local Indigenous Governments, Residents, & the local community.

 

November 13-15, 2019

A consultant from Fathom Studios travels to Inuvik and presents to Town Council, meets with local organizations and residents, seeks feedback through individual stakeholder interviews, public consultations, booth displays, and an online survey.

 

November 13, 2019

Fathom Studios presents 3 Draft Design Concepts to Town Council.

Town Council indicates preference for "landscape wall" like design.

 

 

November 14, 2019

Public Engagement Session is held as a Public Open House from 6 to 9 at the Midnight Sun Complex

 

 

November 15, 2019

Public Outreach Table - Foyer of the Midnight Sun Complex - 5-9 (During GNAF Artisan Craft Fair)

 

 

 

November 25, 2019

Fathom Studios submits a "What We Heard Report" including the following information:

  • Areas of Consideration for Sign:
    • While use of local and organic materials is preferred and encouraged (wood, stone) it is noted that timber can be easily damaged
    • Important to have the phrase "Welcome" integrated into sign. Should have translation into English, Inuvialuktun, & Gwich'in. It is noted to be cautious & diligent when finalizing spelling
    • Consider impacts of wildlife on sign; grizzlies, ravens, etc
  • Motifs that are of high value include:
    • Animals (Caribou, Fish, Whales
    • Drums
    • Kamiks, Beaded Slippers
    • Colours (Aurora, Delta, Local Landscapes)
    • Dog Teams
    • Delta Braid
    • Local plants (Fireweed, cranberries, blueberries, akpiks/cloudberries)
  • Motifs that do not represent Inuvik and that should NOT be included:
    • Igloo
    • Inuksuk
    • Polar Bears
    • Musk Ox

 

2020

 

The Mayor & Town Council approve 2020 Interim Capital Budget and work on the Inuvik Gateway Welcome Sign continues.

 

 

February 12, 2020

 

Mayor & Town Council passes a motion that provides direction to Administration to move forward with the Tourism Gateway Sign giving consideration to the following recommendations:

  • To proceed with the landscape wall concept;
  • Thoughtful reconsideration be given to finding an alternative to using wood as a material given the strong potential for early wear & tear;
  • To incorporate animal motifs that are not overpowering to other elements into the design;
  • A platform/walkway/access point be created in front of the sign as well as to the reverse;
  • To incorporate the Delta Braid & local languages and animal motifs into the design;
  • Consideration be given regarding the potential for graffiti, vandalism, and alterations to the sign and surrounding area;
  • To utilize local resources as much as possible for the project;
  • Council to receive, review, and approve the final Sign Design prior to the issue of the construction tender;,
  • To add an on-site sticker board

 

Official Minutes of the February 12, 2020 Inuvik Town Council Meeting Here

   

March, 2020    

 

Town of Inuvik works with the Inuvialuit Cultural Resource Centre and the Gwich'in Department of Culture & Heritage to approve and finalize the correct Inuvialuktun & Gwich'in language spellings of the word "Welcome" to be placed on the sign.

 

May, 2020 

 

Town of Inuvik Administration, through consultation with the Mayor and Inuvik Town Council, approves the Final Design and authorizes preparation of the Tender for the Fabrication, Supply, & Installation of the new Gateway Welcome Sign

 

May 20, 2020

 

Town of Inuvik issues Tender for the Fabrication, Supply & Installation of the new Gateway Welcome Sign.

 

June 23, 2020

 

Tender for the Fabrication, Supply & Installation of the new Gateway Welcome Sign closes.

 

July 2020

 

Following multiple media stories and public commentary, Mayor and Town Council discussed the overall project at the Committee of the Whole Meeting on Monday, July 13th. Because of COVID restrictions this meeting was held over a Zoom call and broadcast LIVE on the Town of Inuvik YouTube Channel.

 

To View the Council Discussion & Recorded Broadcast Click Here

 

July 2020

 

Shortlist of interested bidders created.

Administration, Designers, & Council currently reviewing submissions; reviewing budget, materials, & design potential modifications

  

 

 

 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ'S)

 

WHO PAINTED THE ORIGINAL SIGN?

Max Morin, a First Nation RCMP member living in Inuvik at the time, painted the original sign in 1992. Read more in the following CBC article here:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/welcome-to-inuvik-sign-1.5021527

 

WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE EXISTING SIGN?

The current sign is almost 30 years old. The current pilings are showing signs of deterioration and the sign itself, which has been repaired and touched up several times over the years, was painted on plywood. The plywood is now separating, peeling, and has been significantly damaged by weather and is suggested to be beyond repair.

 

WHEN DID YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A NEW SIGN?

While over the years there has been discussions regarding the sign in Town Council, it was in 2015 that it was first put forth as a Capital Budget expenditure item for the Town of Inuvik municipal budget. It was deferred for the next few years, but in 2018 site work began to select and prepare the new site location.

 

WHAT IS THE BUDGET FOR THIS PROJECT?

The total budget for the project is $200,000.00 but this includes site preparation, sign design, sign fabrication, & installation.

This amount has been approved in the Municipal Capital Budget since 2015.

All Municipal Budget documents are public and accessible by visiting the Town of Inuvik website at: https://www.inuvik.ca/en/town-hall/Budget-and-Finance.asp

 

WHEN WAS THE TENDER FOR DESIGN ISSUED?

The RFP for the design of the new Tourism Gateway Sign was issued on September 10, 2019

 

WHERE DID YOU POST THE TENDER?

Advertising of the RFP for the design of the new Tourism Gateway Sign was placed in the following locations:

  • Town Website
  • Facebook
  • Inuvik Drum
  • Rolling Channel
  • Print Posters (Northmart, Post Office, Gas Stations, MSC, Town Office, Drug Store, Library)
  • Discussed at Town Council
  • Discussed at Inuvik Tourism Stakeholder Meetings

 

 

 

WHO SUBMITTED BIDS TO THE TENDER?

 

FATHOM STUDIO

NOVA SCOTIA

CYGNUS GROUP

BRITISH COLUMBIA

TAYLOR ARCHITECTURE GROUP

NORTHWEST TERRITORIES

PANTHER CREATIVE

BRITISH COLUMBIA

GRANT ILLUMINATED SIGNS

BRITISH COLUMBIA

 

WHO WAS THE SUCCESSFUL BIDDER & WHY?

The RFP was awarded to Fathom Studios because in addition to being on scope and on budget, after a follow-up discussion with shortlisted candidates, Fathom was seen to be the best equipped (tools, team, experience, & resources) but also included a significant public consultation component to their bid, which was deemed as very important for selection committee.

Bids were evaluated based on weighted scores under the following criteria:

  • Have necessary staffing, facilities, materials, experience, ability to complete project effectively (20%)
  • Have the ability and experience leading design projects (30%)
  • Have significant demonstrated knowledge and experience of design projects in the North (20%)
  • Provide appropriate costing (30%)

 

DID ANY LOCAL FIRMS PLACE A BID?

No Inuvik-based firms or individuals submitted a bid.

 

DID ANY LOCAL FIRM, BUSINESS, OR ARTIST APPROACH THE TOWN WITH ALTERNATIVE PROPOSALS, RECOMMENDATIONS, REQUESTS OR SUGGESTIONS TO SPLIT THE TENDER OR TO OFFER TO PARTNER WITH ANOTHER FIRM?

No.

 

HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE DESIGN OF THE SIGN?

While Fathom Studios provided three rudimentary early design concepts to Town Council, the ultimate design including colours, motifs, and languages to be included was heavily influenced by community and stakeholder input for those that attended the public open house, answered the online survey, or interviewed directly with the consultants.

Inuvik Town Council and Administration also provided recommendations for various elements of the sign including suggested materials to be used.

 

DID YOU PROVIDE OPPORTUNITIES FOR FEEDBACK ON THE DESIGN?

The Town of Inuvik and Fathom Studios utilized numerous methods to solicit public input including:

  • One-on-one Stakeholder interviews
  • Presentation & dialogue with Inuvik Town Council
  • On-line survey
  • Public Engagement Session & Open House
  • Information / Engagement Booth at the GNAF Fall Craft Fair

 

WHERE DID YOU PROMOTE THE PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT FOR THE SIGN?

Public Notice for Public Engagement posted to the following locations

  • Town Website
  • Town of Inuvik Facebook Page
  • Inuvik Events Facebook Page
  • Rolling Channel
  • Announced on CBC
  • Printed posters around Town

 

 

Invitation to Public Engagement send directly by email to 150+ stakeholders including:

  • Local Businesses
  • Inuvik Youth Centre
  • Northern Games Society
  • Ingamo Hall
  • Joint Secretariat
  • Aurora College
  • GNWT-ITI
  • Great Northern Arts Society / Festival
  • Inuvik Community Greenhouse
  • Inuvik Community Corporation
  • Inuvialuit Communications Society
  • Parks Canada
  • Inuvialuit Regional Corporation
  • Local Tourism Operators
  • Aurora Research Institute
  • Gwich’in Tribal Council
  • Aklak Air
  • Ladies Auxiliary
  • Canadian Reindeer
  • Muskrat Jamboree
  • Northern Properties
  • Nihtat Gwich’in Council
  • Inuvik Native Band
  • Inuvik Road’s End Golf Course
  • Air North
  • Canadian North
  • Mayor & Council
  • Nova Hotel
  • Mackenzie Hotel
  • Arctic Chalet
  • Capital Suites
  • Tuktoyaktuk Tourism Coordinator & EDO
  • Inuvik EDO
  • Originals on Mackenzie
  • Blackfly Studios
  • Moe’s Stationary
  • CBC North
  • Inuvik Drum
  • Local Artists
  • Inuvik Drummers & Dancers
  • Inuvik Community Events Society
  • Wrangling River Supply
  • ACTMC
  • NRCAN / Satellite Station
  • MLA Diane Thom
  • MLA Lesa Semmler

 

 

DID YOU CONSULT WITH LOCAL INDIGENOUS GOVERNMENTS?

Invitation & requests for one-on-one interviews were sent to local Indigenous Government leadership including:

  • Inuvialuit Regional Corporation 
  • Inuvik Community Corporation 
  • Gwich’in Tribal Council 
  • Inuvik Native Band 
  • Nihtat Gwich’in Council 

 

WHO APPROVED THE DESIGN & WHEN?

After discussions and taking into consideration public input, Town Council provides direction to Administration to move forward with project with an official motion passed during Town of Inuvik Town Council meeting on February 12, 2020.

http://calendar.inuvik.icreate6.esolutionsgroup.ca/council/Detail/2020-02-12-1900-Town-Council-Regular-Council-Meeting/ea9ae9d7-2e6a-4105-bf21-ab6e00b420e7

 

HOW DID YOU DECIDE ON THE LANGUAGES USED ON THE SIGN?

During the public consultation it was made know that the desire was to have the word “WELCOME” in English, Inuvialuktun, & Gwich’in. The Town of Inuvik approached both the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation and the Gwich’in Tribal Council for guidance on how best to source the correct spelling in both languages.

  • Inuvialuit Cultural Resource Centre provided final translation for preferred Inuvialuktun dialect & spelling of Welcome
  • Gwich’in Department of Culture & Heritage designated Elder to provide final translation for preferred Gwich’in dialect & spelling of Welcome

 

WHEN WAS THE TENDER FOR CONSTRUCTION & INSTALLATION POSTED?

May 20, 2020

 

WHERE DID YOU POST THE OPPORTUNITY TO BID ON THE CONSTRUCTION & INSTALLATION?

Advertising of the RFP for the design of the new Tourism Gateway Sign was placed in the following locations:

  • Town Website
  • Facebook
  • Inuvik Drum
  • Discussed at Town Council

 

 

 

HAS THERE BEEN ANY MEDIA COVERAGE OF THE SIGN PROJECT?

 

TOWN SEEKS RESIDENT INPUT ON NEW GATEWAY SIGN – INUVIK DRUM - NOV 2019

https://nnsl.com/inuvikdrum/town-seeks-residents-input-on-new-gateway-sign/

 

HOW THE TOWN OF INUVIK GOT ITS WELCOME SIGN – CBC ARTICLE – FEB 2019

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/welcome-to-inuvik-sign-1.5021527

 

TOWN COUNCIL GETS LATEST LOOK AT UPCOMING NEW GATEWAY SIGN – INUVIK DRUM – MAY 2020

https://nnsl.com/inuvikdrum/town-council-gets-latest-look-at-upcoming-new-gateway-sign-arctic-market-and-chief-jim-koe-stage/

 

LOVE IT OR HATE IT – THIS IS INUVIK’S NEW TOWN SIGN – CBC ARTICLE – JULY 4 2020

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/inuvik-new-town-sign-1.5637464

 

AFTER BACKLASH OVER NEW SIGN, TOWN HOPEFUL INUVIK ARTISTS WILL GET INVOLVED IN FUTURE PROJECTS – CBC ARTICLE – JULY 9 2020

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/inuvik-sign-reaction-1.5643169

 

GATEWAY SIGN: SEPARATE DESIGN AND ENGINEERING TENDERS TO AVOID PUBLIC OUTCRY OVER CIVIC PROJECTS, SUGGEST INUVIK ARTIST – INUVIK DRUM – JULY 11 2020

https://nnsl.com/inuvikdrum/gateway-sign-separate-design-and-engineering-tenders-to-avoid-public-outcry-over-civic-projects-suggests-inuvik-artist/

 

WHAT IS THE STATUS OF THE SIGN NOW?

The design has been finalized with Fathom Studios.

The tender (Issued on May 20, 2020 and closed June 23, 2020) for the fabrication & installation of the sign.

A shortlist of candidates have resubmitted bids and are now under review by the Committee.

 

WHAT WOULD BE THE ADDITIONAL COSTS IF TOWN COUNCIL DECIDED TO RE-ISSUE THE TENDER FOR THE DESIGN CONCEPT OF THE SIGN?

At this time, it would be difficult to provide an exact estimate, as it would vary greatly depending on the change in scope or design of the sign. Several options are possible should Town Council decide to go “back to the drawing board”.

The initial approximate break down of the overall $200,000.00 budget is 10% to site preparation, 40% to sign design, & 50% to sign fabrication & installation

Should Council wish to re-evaluate or re-issue the design component, it has, under this funding model the potential to cost an additional $20K to $80K to complete.


ARE THERE PHOTOS OF THE FINAL DESIGN OF THE SIGN?

 

 

 

*note the language translations shown on these early designs are not the final version