Since its inception in 1995 as a small roofing and cladding company in Hay River, NT, ARCAN Group Inc. has evolved into an industry leader, leaving an indelible mark on the Northern construction landscape.

ARCAN was founded by Duncan Cooke, whose vision of expanding into general contracting across the Northwest Territories and Nunavut came through the amalgamation of ARCAN Roofing & Cladding and Doycon Northern Inc., a general contracting company owned by Kimble and Aaron Doyle. While ARCAN Roofing and Cladding remained a subsidiary, Arctic Canada Construction became the general contracting arm. This strategic move allowed ARCAN to broaden its scope and better serve the Northern communities.

Recognizing the growing importance of design-build projects in the North, ARCAN welcomed architect Daniel Adam as a major shareholder in 2010, allowing ARCAN to take control of design and costing. “In fact, ARCAN is the only general contractor with a permit to practice architecture, employing full time architects registered with the NWTAA,” says Caelin Cameron, Vice President, Design —a testament to the company’s commitment to innovation and efficiency.

“We have in-house professional architects and project managers who take responsibility for the project from concept to handing over the keys.

This includes detailed design and construction documents, construction services, quality control and safety, project management and documentation. Increasingly, design-build is being used by clients who want to work with a single firm to hold seamless accountability for their project’s success” says Cameron.

In 2015, ARCAN initiated an employee share purchase program, offering rewards and succession plans. Subsequently, the company expanded to include a Mechanical division and Mould and Abatement division, tackling some of the most challenging aspects of Northern construction.

In 2020, faced with the evolving demands of the Yellowknife region and the hurdles presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, ARCAN amalgamated with locally owned North West Builders and Can Pro Restorations. This strategic move bolstered their management capacity, clientele, and local labor force, enhancing their competitiveness and value to clients.

METCAN Building Solutions

Throughout its journey, ARCAN has placed a strong emphasis on collaboration with First Nation, Inuit, and Métis organizations in the North, recognizing the importance of involving local communities and businesses in project success and community sustainability. The partnership with the Hay River Métis Government Council led to the establishment of METCAN Building Solutions (MBS), a separate company dedicated to providing ready-to-move homes to Northern communities.

“It’s imperative as a responsible company operating in the north that we involve and include locals, local business and indigenous groups for the success of the project and longevity of the communities,” says Aaron Doyle, President. “Nearly three decades of changes and adjustments has created what we believe is the strongest team and delivery method for northern design build and lump sum construction projects in the company’s history. We are excited for the future and what opportunities await us and our indigenous partners.”

The Rebranding of ARCAN Group Inc.

In a rapidly evolving industry, ARCAN recently unveiled a new logo and branding to reflect its commitment to progress and innovation. The rebranding effort was driven by the desire to demonstrate that ARCAN is not anchored in the past but actively evolving to meet the demands of the future. The company chose to retain the name “ARCAN” due to its strong recognition and reputation in the North.

The new logo pays homage to the company’s heritage, incorporating elements from the logos of its previous subsidiaries, such as the maple leaf from Arctic Canada Construction and the swoop representing the aurora borealis from North West Builders. The color scheme integrates elements from all previous company logos, and the ARCAN font serves as a reminder of the company’s foundation. This modernized logo aligns with the evolving corporate culture and reaffirms ARCAN’s mission of “Building Trades for Arctic Canada.”

“It was important to us to keep the old name, even though for more than a decade the operating name of the main company was Arctic Canada Construction, we were still generally known as ARCAN,” says Cameron. “ARCAN is a well-established name as a northern contractor that is known for quality, indigenous relationships and importance placed upon local communities and building local relationships.

ARCAN acknowledges the evolving perspectives on cultural appropriation and strives to maintain respect and reverence in its branding. “The new logo plays homage to where we came from by continuing to use the maple leaf that was part of both Arctic Canada Construction and Can Pro’s logos,” says Cameron. “Whether loved or despised as a tourist novelty, the aurora borealis are an integral part of northern identity and were part of the North West Builders logo and are now represented by the tri colour swoop,” says Cameron.

ARCAN stands out in the construction industry for its specialized focus on Northern solutions. The company’s comprehensive approach to design-build, coupled with its status as the only general contractor with a permit to practice architecture in the Northwest Territories, sets it apart.

In addition to residential projects, ARCAN continues to focus on building its commercial construction division. The company aims to deliver projects owned and operated by community partners, benefiting both the communities and ARCAN itself.

ARCAN’s design-build process encourages exploration of alternative solutions, with input from the client, designer, and builder, resulting in optimal value for the client. “By involving all stakeholders from the outset, ARCAN ensures that constraints and opportunities are transparently communicated, enhancing client confidence in project success,” says Doyle.

Environmental Responsibility

Sustainability is at the core of ARCAN’s projects, with a focus on energy efficiency and environmental responsibility. ARCAN employs strategies to optimize site potential, minimize non-renewable energy consumption, use environmentally preferable products, conserve water, enhance indoor environmental quality, reduce energy consumption, and make responsible material choices.

A true testament to the quality of the team’s work, approximately 90 per cent of ARCAN’s private business comes from returning clients. ARCAN’s deep roots in the North, adaptability to change, and willingness to collaborate with clients and communities alike have solidified its position as a trusted partner in Northern construction.
“We live here and see the impact of our projects and our team everyday and over the long haul,” says Doyle.

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