Arctic Inspiration Prize announces it’s going virtual

Winners of the prizes up to $1 million will be announced Feb. 19 on APTN

Performers from the 2019 Arctic Inspiration Prize Awards ceremony are pictured here, pre-COVID-19. (Photo courtesy of AIP)

By Mélanie Ritchot

The ceremony for the Arctic Inspiration Prize will shift online this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, making it accessible “from coast to coast to coast,” according to a news release from the prize organization and APTN.

“The AIP is one of Canada’s best kept secrets and we’re thrilled to be able to give this incredible prize, its laureates and the performers from the North the national reach they so deserve,” Monika Ille, CEO of APTN, said in the release.

One $1-million prize, up to four $500,000 prizes and up to seven youth prizes of $100,000 will be awarded to teams for innovative projects related to education, sustainable housing, health, performance art, traditional knowledge, language and science, states the release.

Two Nunavut projects and two Nunavik projects are among the finalists this year.

Iqaluit-based music program “Imaa, Like this” is in the running for the top prize. Run by the Iqaluit Music Society, the program aims to teach Inuit children traditional music, including throat singing and drum dancing.

The Nunavik-based project competing for the $1-million prize is run by the Isuarsivik Regional Recovery Centre.

The project aims to bring together elders, addiction counsellors, hunters, scholars and community members in a holistic approach to addiction counselling.

The second Nunavut project in the running is a food sovereignty project based in Taloyoak, which is up for a $500,000 prize.

Nunavik’s school board, Kativik Ilisarniliriniq, also has a project in the $500,000 category, which involves educating residents about hearing loss and providing access to hearing care.

The theme of this year’s performances is “their blood runs through our blood,” and artists set to perform include Nunavut’s Silla & Rise, the Yukon’s Dakhká Khwáan Dancers, Wesley Hardisty from the N.W.T., and The Pan Lab Alumni Choir from Nunatsiavut.

Last year, the winner of the $1 million top prize was Northern Compass, a program that helps youth in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories navigate post-secondary education in the south.

APTN will broadcast the ceremony on Feb. 19 at 7:30 p.m. CST, and make it available to stream online at 8:30 p.m. CST. It will be available to watch for free for 24 hours.

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