Northern Lights set to showcase best of North, eastern Arctic
Business and cultural showcase already counts 1,000 participants this year
Northern Lights 2012 is set to shine over Canada’s capital city this week.
The business and cultural showcase of Canada’s North and eastern Arctic will run for a third time from Feb. 1 to Feb. 4 at the Ottawa Convention Centre.
And event organizers, which include the Baffin Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Labrador North Chamber of Commerce, say they expect the trade show’s largest turnout this year.
More than 1,000 participants are already registered to take part in the four-day event.
That’s up from roughly 500 in 2008, Northern Lights’ opening year and about 800 who took part in Northern Lights 2010, hosted in Montreal.
But the basic framework of the showcase will be the same in 2012, and will offer a trade room floor, an arts and culture pavillion and workshop sessions.
Sessions, led by northern business leaders, will touch on northern sovereignty, Arctic mining developments and northern transportation.
The 2012 showcase, which has a budget of about $1 million, has attracted high-profile speakers like environmentalist David Suzuki, Quebec premier Jean Charest and Newfoundland and Labrador premier Kathy Dunderdale.
Inuit leader Mary Simon, Nunavut premier Eva Aariak and Nunavut MP Leona Aglukkaq are also scheduled to speak at the event.
Among the performers scheduled to appear at the event’s closing gala are singer Susan Aglukark and athletes from Team Nunavik-Quebec.
Although Northern Lights gathers business, political and cultural participants from across the North, Hal Timar, the executive director of the Baffin Regional Chamber of Commerce, said the event has proven most popular with those who are new to Arctic business and culture.
“We’ve had lots of southern businesses come tell us that, without this kind of event, they’d have had a very difficult time connecting with the North and probably wouldn’t have otherwise,” Timar told Nunatsiaq News last fall.
“It’s an inexpensive way to get a feel for the landscape.”
Northern Lights is also teaming up with the Arctic Children and Youth Foundation to present a charity auction during its gala dinner Feb. 4, where participants can bid on Inuit artwork, outdoor clothing, a guided Northern adventure or a diamond-studded watch.
All the proceeds from the auction will go directly to the foundation, which works to develop programs to benefit the social, educational and economic well being of young people living in the Canadian Arctic.
Participants can see a complete list if auction items here.
Trade show-goers can also visit the Northern Lights website by clicking here.