CEDF/Look North Congratulate imagiNorthern and Uptown Emporium on Funding Received to expand their Mission and Vision

ImagiNorthern and Uptown Emporium submit proposal to Canada Council for the Arts Strategic Innovation Fund and are awarded with $250,000.  CEDF congratulates you on this and look forward to our continued working relationship on advancing Northern Arts and Culture across Manitoba.

Below is the news release shared with CEDF that we want to share with our readers:

NEWS RELEASE:  imagiNorthern/Uptown Emporium project awarded $250,000 from the Canada Council For The Arts Strategic Innovation Fund

The Flin Flon Arts Council has been awarded a grant of $250,000 from the Canada Council For The Arts Strategic Innovation Fund to grow the network of artists supported by the ImagiNorthern Strategy and digital infrastructure using the Uptown Emporium model.

The Uptown Emporium began its journey through networking with local artists, leading to the development of the online platform. Today the Uptown Emporium is an e-commerce site, physical storefront, photography centre, and drop-shipping warehouse.

With representation from Flin Flon, Churchill, Thompson, The Pas, and several other communities – the ImagiNorthern network is driving a unified arts agenda in Northern Manitoba. With the Uptown Emporium as a working model, the long term strategy will see physical depots established in a number of northern communities. Supported by a network of “Northern Champions” this project is acting as a conduit between our arts, culture, tourism, economic, and small business sectors.

The Flin Flon Arts Council is honoured to be the recipient of the Canada Council For The Arts Strategic Initiative Fund, as this opportunity will allow both initiatives to take the next steps in this exciting journey: building infrastructure to support artists and makers in Manitoba’s north, strengthening our dynamic communities by introducing economic growth and creating markets for distinct and inspiring goods.

About Uptown Emporium

As a non-profit organization, as one of its many endeavors, the Flin Flon Arts Council initiated the Uptown Emporium project in December 2020 starting as a physical and virtual storefront. Its goal was to provide solutions to the north’s unique challenges and opportunities.  The Uptown Emporium’s mission is to expand opportunities in the north by highlighting arts and culture, small business owners, and the tourism sector.

About ImagiNorthern

The imagiNorthern team is made up of a partnership between the Flin Flon Arts Council, Thompson Mall of the Arts, Churchill Creative Collective, The Pas imagiNorthern and a network of Northern Champions collaborating to bring Northern Manitoba to the world. Driven by the north and supported by Creative Manitoba and the Manitoba Arts Network, imagiNorthern welcomes others to join our quest.


‘The imagiNorthern vision is just what Churchill Needs right now. We are ready to connect and create.’

Roy Mexted – Churchill Creative Collective

‘The strategy is another positive step toward reconciliation in the north. As a Metis woman, I appreciate  the effort and the plan and how it includes the Indigenous People’

Cheryl Antonio –  The Pas Arts Council

‘The imagiNorthern strategy will: play a vital role in connecting, fostering and nurturing the arts within the Northern region; Improve the health, wellbeing, and financial security of artists and arts professionals; build networks and partnerships to strengthen the arts ecosystem and the role of arts in society. The outcomes of this endeavor will open the door for future paid opportunities worldwide.

Rose-Anne Harder Executive director, Manitoba Arts Network

‘The Flin Flon Arts Council is grateful for this opportunity to scale up our efforts to actively support more artisans and makers across the North’

Linda Eryou – Flin Flon Arts Council Past President

“The imagiNorthern strategy is an essential building block for bringing strength in unity throughout our Northern MB  communities.  It will finally enable us to showcase our many diverse artists and their products to a much wider audience benefiting both sides of the Manitoba spectrum.”

Andrea Stephens – Mall of the Arts Thompson

“Our region consists of many artists that are extremely talented, with traditionally few resources to reach an international audience.  ImagiNorthern is a consortium of artist supports which will spur economic growth with some of the greatest resources we have in the North – our people.”

Jerome James Conaty  Entrepreneur-in-Residence, North Forge