2024-2025 Expression of Interest Guide

The Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency's Expression of Interest (EOI) for new single or multi-year projects beginning after March 31, 2024, closed on November 20, 2023.

If you missed the deadline but have a project or an idea you would like to discuss, contact your CanNor regional office to explore other possible funding options (if available).

Only successful EOI submissions will be invited to submit full applications. EOIs submitted past this deadline will only be considered should funding remain available following the completion of this initial EOI assessment process.

This EOI Guide provides information on eligibility criteria, priority areas, project selection process and instructions to applicants on how to complete CanNor's EOI Form and how to submit it.

Additional information on CanNor's economic development programs, services and priorities can be found on CanNor's programs and services page.

On this page

  1. Eligibility requirements
  2. EOI priority areas
  3. Project selection process
  4. Information for completing your EOI
  5. Submitting your EOI
  6. For more information

1. Eligibility requirements

1.1 Eligible recipients

You can apply to this EOI if you are:

  • A small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME), not-for-profit association, or organization with a project that will provide economic benefits to one or more of the territories; or
  • A non-federal entity or other level of government, public or private, Indigenous or non-Indigenous, that works to promote economic development in the territories.

Priority will be given to recipients who can demonstrate proven capacity to deliver projects in the North and interest/engagement in territorial economic development.

1.2 Cost sharing

Cost sharing is required as part of this EOI. The maximum CanNor contribution to eligible project costs will be as follows:

Cost sharing ratio
Not-for-profit organizations, other levels of government, and Indigenous organizations For-profit or small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME) recipients
up to 80% up to 50%

Note that projects that present a higher leveraging ratio (i.e. where applicants are seeking a lower contribution from CanNor towards total project costs) may be ranked higher as part of the assessment process.

1.3 Maximum amount payable

For the purposes of this EOI, the maximum amount payable to any single eligible recipient per project has been set at $6M.

For-profit entities are eligible for a one-time non-repayable contribution of up to $99,999.

Note: Indigenous economic development corporations or other Indigenous-controlled for-profit businesses whose articles of incorporation do not permit dividends to be paid or distributed to shareholders may be exempt from this $99,999 limit.

Repayable contribution agreements may also be considered by CanNor for for-profit entities seeking financing in excess of $99,999. A repayable contribution is financial assistance that a client is expected to repay.

Agreements cannot combine repayable and non-repayable contributions.

2. EOI priority areas

As part of this EOI, priority will be given to projects that address one or more of the following business and community economic development priorities, in line with the four key themes of CanNor's Pan-Territorial Growth Strategy.

  1. Diversification and Innovation – including:
    • Business Scale up and Market Expansion – projects that help businesses to accelerate their growth and assist with the adoption of innovative technologies that support scale-up, productivity and global competitiveness. (e.g. clean technologies, digital adoption, e-commerce offerings) This may include:
      • Funding for the development of business plans, feasibility and engineering / design work
      • The purchase / replacement / upgrade of equipment in order to increase productivity or production capacity
      • The development and rollout of marketing strategies, plans and products
      • Any other investments to support business growth, market expansion or product development
    • Regional Innovation Ecosystems – projects that help create, grow and develop strong and inclusive (e.g. women, youth, Indigenous peoples) regional networks that support business growth and innovation, that foster the entrepreneurial environment, and that increase the competitiveness of SMEs. This may include:
      • Funding for the development / expansion of business resource centres, makerspaces, incubators or other services and programs targeting the business community
      • Programs / services that target specific / designated business groups (e.g. women entrepreneurs)
      • Targeted northern-based and led business events / conferences that can demonstrate a clear return on investment for the northern business community
    • Indigenous Economic Development – projects that support and increase the participation of northern Indigenous communities and businesses in economic opportunities (e.g. tourism, blue economy, mineral sector, housing industry). This may include:
      • Indigenous community economic development plans / strategies / capacity development projects
      • The purchase / replacement / upgrade of equipment required to run or grow the business
      • Funding towards Indigenous cultural tourism product development or cultural heritage site development / enhancement
      • Funding towards projects that support housing initiatives in Nunavut
    • Sector Development – projects that foster the development and growth of key sectors (e.g. tourism, fisheries, agriculture & food systems) in a manner which increases community capacity and maximizes jobs and enhances long-term wellbeing (e.g. circular economy) within the territories. This may include:
      • Fisheries research, capacity development and capital investments
      • Tourism product development, marketing plans & destination marketing
      • Deployment / adaptation of clean technologies (solar, wind, hydroelectric, biomass, geothermal)
      • Funding towards the development of other new / emerging sectors (wildfire suppression, climate change adaptation, innovative construction technologies)
      • The design / construction / expansion / upgrade of greenhouses, hydroponics and other innovative food production facilities
  2. Infrastructure Investments and Development – projects that leverage other investments to maximize local and regional opportunities by closing the economic infrastructure gap, as well as by supporting broadband and clean technology initiatives. This may include:
    • Support towards the design / construction / renovation / expansion of visitor centres, hotels, campgrounds and tourist attractions
    • Feasibility studies, geotechnical analysis and engineering designs for major infrastructure projects
    • Support towards public infrastructure upgrades that have a direct economic development link
    • Capital investments towards the deployment / adaptation of clean technologies (solar, wind, hydroelectric, biomass, geothermal)
  3. Resource Development – projects that support the development and growth of SMEs within the supply chain and remediation sectors, as well as the exploration and development of critical minerals, innovative mining techniques and clean technology innovation. This may include:
    • The design and deployment of innovative new mining techniques and tools
    • Support towards transportation infrastructure innovation / investments (land, sea and air)
    • Development of renewable energy sectors (biomass, geothermal, hydro, etc.)
    • Development of supply chain and mining remediation-related business opportunities
  4. Skilled Workforce – projects that will increase the availability and quality of pre-employment and targeted job skills training based on industry demand, through support for curriculum development, equipment and infrastructure investments. This may include:
    • Construction / renovation / expansion of training
    • Development of course curriculum, training software and online training portals
    • Entrepreneur development programs and support services
    • Purchase of training equipment (e.g. simulators, certified safety gear, classroom equipment) required for delivery of training
  5. Economic Recovery & Stabilization – projects that support communities, not for profit organizations and SMEs in the economic recovery of their sector (e.g. tourism).
  6. Tourism Growth – to support communities, small- and medium-sized businesses, and non-profit organizations in developing local, community-level tourism projects and events.  This may include projects that
    • support the Indigenous tourism industry,
    • promote regional dispersion, including to rural areas,
    • support sustainable tourism,
    • extend the season (seasonal dispersion),
    • support active tourism such as trails, and/or
    • be complementary to the support provided through provincial/territorial programs.

It should be noted that funding may not be available for all EOIs. Proposals that demonstrate that they can best meet the outlined priority areas will be given priority.

Eligible projects may be approved for funding for multiple years. Funding is subject to an annual review of the project's progress and its outcomes and benefits.

3. Project selection process

3.1 Selection process

This EOI seeks to identify potential projects for funding under any of CanNor's funding programs.

All EOIs will be screened for eligibility, using the criteria outlined in this document.

All applicants who submit an EOI will be contacted and advised of the outcome. Decisions will be communicated to applicants as they become available. Applicants successful in the EOI assessment round (i.e. those EOIs that rank the highest) will be invited to submit a full application.

Note: A project may be funded in one Territory but not in another. CanNor uses "place-based" decision making when assessing and ranking projects. This process respects that what is required in terms of funding and project priority in one community/Territory, to further economic development, may be different than what is needed in other communities/territories.

3.2 EOI selection criteria

EOI will be evaluated on the following criteria.

EOI selection criteria
Selection criteria Relevant Sections of the EOI Form
Are the project activities achievable within the time frames of the project? Project Overview; Prior Work
Is the budget reasonable for the project? Budget
Is there a clear need or opportunity for this project? Need/Opportunity; Prior Work
Do the expected project outcomes align with the EOI priorities? Project Overview; Outcomes
Are the expected economic benefits realistic? (e.g. jobs created or maintained) Economic Benefits
Does the applicant have the capacity to deliver the project? (e.g. financial leveraging, partnerships, resources) Organizational Mandate; Partners/Supporters, Budget

3.3 Request for additional information

At any time during the intake and assessment process, a CanNor Officer may contact the applicant for additional information.

3.4 Applicants successful under EOI

Applicants selected for further consideration will be invited to submit a full application that will be subject to further assessment based on the chosen program/stream. It should be noted however that an invitation to proceed to the full application stage does not in any way guarantee that the project in question will ultimately be recommended for funding.

4. Information for completing your EOI

It is the responsibility of the applicant to complete all sections as accurately and completely as possible. The EOI form contains the following sections:

A description of each section is included below to assist you in completing your EOI. The numbered segments within each section correspond with the numbering on the EOI Form.

It is recommended you save your work often, prior to submitting your EOI to CanNor.

Applicant and contact information

4.1. Legal Name of Applicant

The legal name is the official name of the Organization or Business at registration or incorporation. This may be different from the organization's operating name (e.g. Legal Name 123456 Northern Ltd, operating publicly as ABC Moving Services).

Note: Proof of good legal standing may be required.

4.2. Project Name

Provide a short, clear and concise name describing your project. Please include what the project is about in the title (e.g. Wind Turbine Feasibility Study, Improvements to Facility Energy Efficiency, Expansion of Food Distribution System).

4.3. Primary Contact Name

Enter the person authorized to represent the business or organization. This person will be the main point of contact regarding the EOI.

4.4. Phone Number (Primary Contact)

Be sure to include the area code of the primary contact's phone number.

4.5. Email Address (Primary Contact)

Include the direct email address for the primary contact and not a generic email address for the organization.

4.6. Applicant Mailing Address

Include the full mailing address of the Headquarters of the organization or business applying for the funding. Include the address, city, territory/province and postal code.

4.7. Applicant Business Number

The business number is a unique 9-digit number assigned by the Canada Revenue Agency.

4.8. Business Sector Type

A business sector corresponds with the primary or main activity of a business or organization. List the Applicant Sector Type e.g. Applicant Sector = Accommodations & Food Services - for establishments primarily engaged in providing short-term lodging or preparing meals, snacks for immediate consumption; Applicant Sector = Public Administration - for establishments primarily engaged in activities of governmental nature.  The following link may be accessed for more information on the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).

4.9. Applicant Type

This information is important to determine if the applicant is an eligible recipient.

  • For-Profit includes businesses such as incorporated companies, corporations or co-operatives, or Indigenous organizations such as Indigenous/First Nation/Métis Settlement owned businesses that are located or operating in the territories.
  • Non-Profit Association includes organizations such as Chambers of Commerce, Industry or Sector Associations and Tourism organizations that are based in the territories and offer support to the local economy. Indigenous Economic Development Organizations that provide economic benefits to one or more territories and do not distribute dividends to their members, are considered Non-Profit organizations.
  • Indigenous Government includes First Nation, Métis and Inuit community/regional governments and Tribal Councils.
  • Territorial Government includes a territorial department or territorial corporation that works to promote economic development in one or more territories.
  • Municipal Government includes local forms of government with elected authorities (e.g. mayor and council).
  • Other: Please Specify. A sole proprietorship would be an example of other applicant type.

4.10. Brief Description of Organization and its Mandate

This information will be used in part to determine if the applicant has the mandate and capacity to undertake a project of this nature.

Project information

4.11. Project Location (Community)

Provide the name of the community/communities where the project will take place. For projects in multiple communities, identify the number of communities (e.g. seven Nunavut communities). Later, in the project description section (14a), identify the names of each of the communities involved in your project.

4.12. Expected Start Date

The date the first activity of the project is expected to get underway. Costs incurred before the start of the project may not be reimbursed.

4.13. Expected End Date

The date all project activities are expected to be completed.

4.14. Project Description

In this section, you will describe the project in a few paragraphs.

  1. Overview: What is the project about? What are the key activities you will complete? What is the proposed timeline for this project? Be specific.
  2. Need or Opportunity: Why is the project needed? What sector does the project support? Why is that sector important to the economy right now? Why should CanNor invest in this project? Is the activity, service or product already available or offered by another organization or private sector company? If yes, describe how your project will be beneficial and what it adds to what is already available. If not, please describe what need is being met by this project and, if applicable, the market potential.
  3. Outcomes: What products (e.g. publications, educational materials) or services (e.g. programs, workshops services provided to the committee) will the project produce? Describe the broader impacts that will result in the products or services. Describe how the sector will benefit and grow as a result of this project. Address why this project is important to your business or organization. Briefly describe who or what will change and when you expect to see these changes (immediately, in the short-term or over a longer time period).
  4. Benefits: List the expected measurable economic benefits associated with the project. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:
    1. Number of jobs created, maintained or expanded
    2. Number of participants trained in skilled shortage areas
    3. Expanded market access for distribution and sale of local products
    4. Improved regional tourism draw through expansion of local products and services
    5. Increased business sustainability through improved energy and operational efficiencies
  5. Prior Work: List any work that has been completed in preparation for this project.
  6. Partners/Supporters: Explain how regional or community-based partnerships will be developed as a result of the project. Have you confirmed community, territorial or private industry partners (financial) or supporters (non-financial in nature) for your project? If so, please identify them in this section. It is expected that documentation to confirm project partners/supporters will be identified and verified at the time of a full application.
Project Description Examples
Community Freezer Business Scale Up Solar Upgrade
Overview: The community is seeking CanNor funding towards 50% of the cost of the purchase of a community freezer. The project will purchase, ship, install and operate a community freezer where none currently exists. Key activities in this project include council approval for the community freezer location, requesting quotes for commercial (seacan size) freezers, obtain permits to build and install freezer at planned location, purchase the freezer and coordinate shipment via sealift, coordinate land transportation of freezer to location, confirm installation of electrical service with power corporation, confirm local operating team and management of the freezer, advertise the new freezer on local radio, community feast for official opening of new freezer. Overview: This project is to expand our business operations by creating new packaging for our product to make it more competitive for domestic export and in local markets. The key activities include the design of new packaging, securing distribution agreements with retailers in Canada and the United States. Overview: This project will complete the planning requirements and to construct a solar facility. The key activities to build the facility include finalizing the engineering designs, and permitting requirements, finalizing the power purchase agreement, purchasing solar panels and other capital, hiring contractors, and completing construction.
Need & Opportunity: Traditional industries, including hunting, is an important sector to the economy. The community is fortunate to be located close to good hunting grounds as well easy access to inshore fishing. However, without a community freezer the seasonal harvest cannot support the communities food security needs. A community freezer will also support the development of a commercial fishery, and would ensure the harvest is safely stored and shared over longer periods of time. Need & Opportunity: The retail and manufacturing sectors in the North are small, but through investments can grow and provide employment in small communities. The business has grown significantly in the local market and there is opportunity to expand to other domestic and international markets. This project will allow the business to hire more staff and increase revenues through more sales of the product. The market research undertake to date indicates that the product is unique and would face only indirect competition from similar products. Need & Opportunity: The energy sector is a growing economy in the North as communities are moving to renewables. A solar facility will produce enough renewable energy for our community and it will displace diesel usage. Solar energy offers a local, energy efficient alternative for our community.
Outcomes: The project will produce a plan, equipment list, scheduled delivery and installation and official opening of the community freezer. Outcomes: As a result of this project I expect to be able to hire 2-3 additional full time staff to support the increased sales volumes. Increased sales of my product will also result in expanded market access for local products. Also the increased sales volumes will translate in to increased revenues. Outcomes: The project will produce all the regulatory requirements needed to construct the facility, will have a power purchase agreement in place, and a solar facility will be constructed. This project will generate 800 MWh of renewable energy.
Benefits: 4 jobs will be maintained during the delivery and installation period of the project. The project will help to reduce local food insecurity in the community and will support the traditional economy, potentially allowing for further economic opportunities including cut-and-wrap facilities. Benefits: As a result of this project, I expect to be able to hire 2-3 additional full time staff to support the increased sales volumes. Increased sales of my product will also result in expanded market access for local products. Also the increased sales volumes will translate in to increased revenues. This project will benefit the tourism sector as many tourists want to purchase products from their trips, and it will be available at restaurants and stores that are tourist destinations. Benefits: This project will allow us to become an Independent Power Producer and sell electricity to the Territorial Electric Company. This will create 4-8 jobs for the construction of the facility, 2 long-term full time jobs for ongoing maintenance, and create a long term revenue stream for the community. In addition, the project will result in a reduction of the community's annual consumption of diesel and corresponding GHG emissions. It will complement the other energy investments made in the sector.
Prior Work: Public consultations were held last year to confirm the communities' support for the project and their commitment to use the freezer to store and share their harvest with all community members. Prior Work: The initial market research in to potential competition has been initiated. As well, preliminary conversations with package designers are under way to understand the costs associated with the project. Prior Work: Last year, the following work was completed: feasibility study, pre engineering designs, environmental evaluation, grid impact study, land selection and site preparation, engagement with the community, and power purchase agreement pre-negotiations.
Partners/Supporters: Community partners include the Mayor and Council, the local food security coalition, the local Hunters and Trappers Organization, and the regional construction/delivery company. The Government of the Territory is also assisting the community to source the community freezer equipment from southern suppliers. $15,000 in financial support for this project is confirmed from the community towards the cost of shipping and installing the freezer. The Territorial government has advised verbally they would fund 50% of the cost of the freezer if the community could source the remaining 50%. Partners/Supporters: Initial conversation with the territorial government regarding financial support are underway. To date the government is supportive and an application for funding will be submitted. Partners/Supporters: Community consultations have confirmed general support for the project. Financial partners include ABC enterprises, the Territorial Government and XYZ Partners in Development will co-manage the building portion of the project. The Territorial Power Company is supportive and negotiating a power purchase agreement.

Forecasted project costs and funding sources

4.15. Forecasted Total Project Cost

Please round up to the nearest full dollar amount.

4.16. Amount Requested from CanNor

Do a quick check to make sure it does not exceed allowable limits including:

  • the maximum payable to a single recipient (Section 1.3 above)
  • maximum cost-sharing ratio (see Section 1.2 above).

4.17. Forecasted Budget and Anticipated Sources of Funds

Forecasted budget

The project budget is to include all costs directly related to the project. The project budget will be assessed for its reasonableness in comparison to similar projects, as well as the proposed equity and partner contributions / leveraging ratio. Projects up to five years may be considered. Should the project be approved for funding, all project costs must be incurred within the timeframe specified in the Agreement. Examples of single year and multi-year forecasted budgets are shown below.

Single year project

For a single (one-year) project, enter information in the Total Budget and Year 1 columns. Leave the rest of the columns blank. The information entered in the Total Budget and Year 1 budget columns will be the same.

One year project sample
Funding partners Total budget Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5
CanNor 10,000 10,000        
Applicant 20,000 20,000        
Additional Funders (specify)
Government of Nunavut
10,000 10,000        
Additional Funders (specify)            
Additional Funders (specify)            
Additional Funders (specify)            
Total $40,000 $40,000        
Multi-year project

For multi-year projects, determine the amount that you expect each funding partner to contribute to the project and enter these amounts in the appropriate Year column (Year 1, Year 2, etc.). It is not necessary that funding partners contribute to multi-year projects on an annual basis. Leave blank any years in which a funding partner is not expected to make a financial contribution to the project.

Once annual amounts have been determined for each funding partner, identify the total amount you expect each funding partner to contribute to the project by adding together their yearly contribution and entering this amount in Column 2 (Total Budget).

Multi-year project sample
Funding partners Total budget Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5
CanNor 60,000 10,000 30,000 20,000    
Applicant 40,000 20,000 10,000 10,000    
Additional Funders (specify)
ABC Organization
10,000 10,000        
Additional Funders (specify)            
Additional Funders (specify)            
Additional Funders (specify)            
Total $110,000 $40,000 $40,000 $30,000    
Anticipated Sources of Funds

In the first column of the table, identify all sources that are expected to contribute financially to the project. It is not necessary that these financial contributions be committed at this time, but will need to do so should the project be approved for funding.

  • CanNor: Indicate how much funding you are seeking. For eligible projects, priority may be given to applicants that provide a higher leveraging ratio (i.e. where applicants are seeking a lower contribution from CanNor towards total project costs).
  • Applicant: This represents the dollar value contribution made by you or your organization to the project. Do not include in-kind contributions that you will be providing to the project (non-monetary contribution of goods, services, equipment or time). If you are a for-profit business/organization, review the maximum allowable repayable and non-repayable limits (Section 1.3 above). Also note that For-Profit recipients are expected to provide a percentage of their own equity towards the project.
  • Additional Funders: Use the additional funder rows to identify other funders for your project, including government and private sector. At the EOI stage, this may include other "expected" funders, even though confirmation of funding may still be pending.
    • Government funding: Indicate the specific program name and amount of any other federal, territorial or municipal funding being requested for the project.
    • Other funding: Indicate other non-government funding anticipated or already committed to the project, including non-profit and private sector.

Please ensure that total anticipated funding from all sources equals total project costs.

4.18. Have you already incurred costs or made legal commitments to the project?

Costs incurred before the start of the project may not be reimbursed. If applicable, please describe the legal and financial nature of existing commitments to this project.

Diversity and Inclusion

4.19. Sustainable, inclusive and dynamic economy

Building a sustainable, inclusive and dynamic economy helps all Canadians prosper. Recognizing that systemic barriers remain in achieving the full participation of underrepresented, disadvantaged or equity-seeking groups, the information collected in this section helps the Government of Canada identify the potential impacts of its policies, programs and services on diverse groups of people.

Priority may be given to EOIs that can demonstrate how they support inclusive growth. If your organization does not align with or support the below groups, or you do not wish to declare your status, leave the fields blank.

To qualify as an Indigenous organization or business applicant, the enterprise must be majority Indigenous owned or controlled. If the applicant is invited to the full application stage, they may be required to supply a current list of the Board of Directors as well as the articles of incorporation to support this applicant type.

5. Submitting your EOI

Please follow the following steps to submit your EOI.

  1. Save and initial a copy of your EOI
  2. Scan and email your EOI to: operations@cannor.gc.ca
  3. In the email subject line, use the following format to assist CanNor in processing your EOI.

Format: 2024-25 EOI - [Territory (i.e., NU, NWT or YT] – [Organization Name]

Example: 2024-25 EOI – NWT – ABC Enterprises

Replace the information in the square brackets with the appropriate territory and organization name for your project.


All proprietary data, commercially sensitive information and potentially valuable results or ideas will be protected from unauthorized, inadvertent or untimely disclosure. This information will be treated in accordance with the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act.

These laws govern, protect and limit the collection, use and disclosure of personal and confidential information by federal government departments and agencies. Beyond the parties already mentioned above, confidential commercial information will not be shared without the applicant's consent.

6. For more information

For any questions surrounding this EOI process, please don't hesitate to contact us by email at operations@cannor.gc.ca, or reach out to one of our regional offices by phone.

Regional Office Iqaluit, Nunavut
Tel: 867-975-3757

Northwest Territories
Regional Office Yellowknife, NWT
Tel: 867-669-2608

Regional Office Whitehorse, Yukon
Tel: 867-667-3346

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