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THE CALL OF THE ONLINE WILD

In the 1990s a handful of Internet start-ups duked it out for dominance of the Yukon’s online market. How did Northwestel come out on top?

BY JACQUELINE RONSON  |  ILLUSTRATION BY GRAHAM ROUMIEU

It’s 1997. A handful of Internet service providers are jockeying to gain a foothold in the Yukon’s infant dial-up market. In an unregulated marketplace, there are no holds barred. “It really was the Wild West, back in the day. It was crazy Wild West,” says Andrew Robulack, a technology consultant based in Whitehorse. In the late ‘90s he worked for a company called Hypertech North, which later changed its name to Internet Yukon. “It was a constant gun show,” he says. One day his boss, Clay Perrault, hatched a plan to take over one of the biggest ISPs in town. “He walked in the office  and he’s like, ‘We’re going to take over YKnet.’” 

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A gem of a museum

Despite delays, Crossworks’ NWT Diamond Centre debuts with plenty of sparkle

By Tim Edwards  |  Photos Angela Gzowski

Though it showed up much later than expected, Crossworks Manufacturing Ltd.’s NWT Diamond Centre is passing itself off as fashionably late. After all, the diamonds of the NWT formed in the bellies of volcanoes up to three billion years before we dug them up, polished them and set them in rings—a story played out on the walls of the centre. So what’s an extra two years’ wait for an interpretive centre that tells their story?

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Brewin’ for change

A Yellowknife brewer’s struggle to operate might force us to take a look at our liquor laws. The view isn’t pretty

BY ASHLEIGH GAUL  |  PHOTOGRAPHY BY ANGELA GZOWSKI

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These days, Fletcher Stevens spends a lot of time drinking beer in the afternoon. 

It’s Monday, much of Yellowknife is still at work. Stevens pours me a mini-pint of dark brown ale. His wife, Miranda, prepares a cheese platter in the kitchen and clucks, “You trying to get her schplashed?”

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The Up Here Business Money Guide - Part One

Starting or expanding a business is no easy task. But for owners of small to medium-sized enterprises in Canada’s North, it’s about to get easier. We’ve amassed the most definitive list of all funding sources available to Northern businesses.

Today we start with programs in Nunavut, were support for arts and crafts makers is particularly strong.     

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Illustration by Till Hafenbrak

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THE ELEPHANT IN THE GOLD MINE

Is there an economic upside to the mess under Yellowknife’s Giant Mine?

By Herb Mathisen  |  Illustration by Jenn Lawrence

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WE’VE ALL BEEN TOLD NOT TO WORRY: those 237,000 tonnes of arsenic trioxide under ol’ Giant Mine aren’t going anywhere. If that proves true, I suppose it’s comforting to know that this highly toxic compound won’t soon find its way into Great Slave Lake, and subsequently into the residents of Yellowknife, Ndilo and Dettah.

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DRIVING SOUTH?

Check out these three Northern roadside stops 

By Ashleigh Gaul

The road from Yellowknife through the South Slave to Alberta is mostly straight, hardly paved, with barely a winding turn to break the monotony. Add to that the regularity of black bear and bison road crossings and getting bored is practically a liability. So it was almost a public service this year when three new businesses opened up in the South Slave, all combined to make the road trip to Alberta just a little bit more splashy. I recently took a little test drive.

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