Ontario Strengthening Economic Development Opportunities in Rainy River District

Posted on October 12, 2023

FORT FRANCES – The Ontario government is providing more than $1.5 million through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) to four economic development projects in the Rainy River District. This investment will help improve municipal infrastructure, promote Indigenous culture, expand company operations and create jobs in the Northwest.

“Our government’s modernized NOHFC programs make it easier for more people and businesses to apply, and support more projects in small, rural communities across the Northwest,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development and Member of Provincial Parliament for Kenora-Rainy River. “We are proud to invest in projects that support business diversification, as well as projects that help First Nations communities continue to thrive.”

The NOHFC is funding the following projects:

  • $500,000 for Big Grassy River First Nation to renovate its community centre, including replacing outdoor siding, roof shingles and windows, and upgrading the HVAC and lighting systems
  • $499,980 for Titan Manufacturing – a manufacturer of prefabricated building components located in Devlin – to purchase a building and equipment to expand its production capacity
  • $375,000 for Anishinaabeg of Naongashiing First Nation (Big Island First Nation) to update its Pow Wow grounds, including upgrading the lighting system, pouring a concrete slab, and installing an overhead canopy and permanent seating for 600 people
  • $160,839 for Big Grassy River First Nation to replace and make accessible the Pegamigaabo School playground structures.

The NOHFC promotes economic prosperity across Northern Ontario by providing financial assistance to projects—big and small, rural and urban—that stimulate growth, job creation and skills development. Since June 2018, the NOHFC has invested more than $717 million in 5,875 projects in Northern Ontario, leveraging more than $2.3 billion in investment and creating or sustaining over 9,260 jobs.

Quick Fact

  • The Ontario government launched new and improved NOHFC programs that support more projects in rural northern communities and make it easier for more people and businesses to apply. The programs target existing and emerging markets, provide more work opportunities for Indigenous people and address the skilled labour shortage in the North.

Additional Resources


“Big Grassy River First Nation is excited to be a recipient for funding from The NOHFC. This funding will address the critical needs and current condition of the community centre in providing a safe workspace. We look forward to the cooperation and are indeed grateful for the support. As well, the positive impacts of the renovation project will help the overall well-being of the community, while sustaining a multitude of cultural events for all members of Big Grassy River First Nation.” – Lynn Indian, Chief, Big Grassy River First Nation

"Titan Manufacturing is extremely grateful for the financial assistance it has received through the NOHFC. This assistance has helped us purchase our manufacturing facility and a new computerized saw to expand our business operations in Devlin. We currently have 16 full-time employees, and we are continuing to grow. 2023 will be our most successful year ever and we project we will have 25 full-time positions next year. The NOHFC support we have received strengthens the Rainy River District economy by creating new jobs, economic growth and business expansion.” – Brian Hagarty, President, Titan Manufacturing

“The Anishinaabeg of Naongashiing First Nation, as well as the community of Morson and the local tourism industry, certainly appreciated NOHFC assistance in funding the Pow Wow grounds upgrades. Because of this assistance, we will be able to make our grounds more accessible to all. Thank you.” – John Amundsen, Economic Development Officer, Anishinaabeg of Naongashiing First Nation

"The students and staff of Pegamigaabo School and the community of Big Grassy River First Nation are very excited about receiving funding from NOHFC. This represents a significant step towards enhancing educational opportunities for our students. The funding is earmarked for the installation of a new and more accessible playground, with which we hope to further strengthen our positive and inclusive learning environment. The playground will be designed with careful consideration of the unique needs of our students, ensuring that it becomes a space where they can play, learn and grow as a school community. This project is a testament to the commitment to equity and diversity in education, recognizing the importance of providing equal opportunities for all students, regardless of their background.” – Chris Johnson, Principal, Pegamigaabo School

Media Contacts

Curtis Lindsay, Minister’s Office -- 437-240-7317 -- curtis.lindsay@ontario.ca

Media Desk, Communications Branch -- mediadesk.ndm@ontario.ca