On the northern coast of the massive Great Slave Lake, Yellowknife is the territorial capital of Northwest Territories. Traditionally the home of the Yellowknife Dene First Nations people, the modern town of Yellowknife was founded in the 1930s upon the discovery of gold. Slightly more than half of the territory's population of some 40,000 persons lives in Yellowknife, which sits 250 miles south of the Arctic Circle. While the city is surrounded gorgeous wilderness, and set in the sunniest place in Canada, Yellowknife MICE venues come into their own in winter, when visitors flock to see the aurora borealis.
Three miles northwest of the city center, Yellowknife Airport (YZF) is the lifeline of the entire area. It is not an international airport, but has service to the large Canadian cities of Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa.
There are no large dedicated MICE venues in Yellowknife, but there are several hotels that cater very well to events and meetings, including the 187-room Explorer Hotel, which has the 4,000-square-foot Katimavik Banquet Room and event space for up to 350 persons; the 129-room Yellowknife Inn, which has seven meeting rooms, all named after precious metals and stones, the largest being Copper for 120 persons; the 80-room Days Inn & Suites Yellowknife, which has three meeting rooms, the largest able to host up to 60 persons; and the Capital Suites Yellowknife and Fraser Coast Tower Suite Hotel, both of which have 58 guest rooms and meeting room for 20 persons.
Unique MICE venues in Yellowknife include the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre, a startlingly pied structure right on smaller Frame Lake and with a cafe, museum, and an auditorium that can host 120 persons seated and 180 standing; the Northern Arts & Cultural Centre, which has a theater with 297 seats, and Northwest Territories Diamond Centre, which opened in 2014 and has a theater, gallery space, and some sparkling stones (thanks to the local diamond mining industry). To fully enjoy the Great Outdoors with your team, consider Yellowknife Open Water Charters, which has a fleet of float planes to truly see the beautiful countryside hereabouts, and Yellow Dog Lodge, which is one of quite a number of hunting, fishing, outdoors lodges in various locations of splendid isolation, this one with cabins and a main lodge, outfitters, and transport to and from its Duncan and Graham lakes location. Winter provides such rare opportunities as viewing the aurora borealis and going dog-sledding.
Restaurants able to host parties here include Italian fine-dining restaurant Diamante, which is next to Sam's Monkey Tree pub in the Range Lake Mall and has seating for 70 persons; Dancing Moose Cafe, which is part of the five-guestroom Bayside B&B and in the middle of Yellowknife's Old Town district; Wildcat Cafe, which has a history dating to 1937 but which reopened in 2013 for summer months only (book ahead) and with live music, and The Lodge at Aurora Village, which specializes in local fish and other produce and which has a range of accommodations options (it also specializes in aurora borealis extravaganzas) for up to 400 persons.