Arctic Inspiration Prize invites Iqaluit to become funding partner

Deputy mayor says city is looking into a ‘giving’ policy that would help accommodate proposals like this

The Iqaluit Music Society’s “Imaa, Like This” program won the 2021 Arctic Inspiration Prize’s $1-million prize. Project co-leader Darlene Nuqingaq is AIP’s new Nunavut region manager and invited the City of Iqaluit to become an official funding partner for the prize in a council meeting Tuesday. (Screenshot from Arctic Inspiration Prize/APTN broadcast)

By Meral Jamal

The Arctic Inspiration Prize wants the City of Iqaluit to contribute to its cause.

The organization’s Nunavut region manager, Darlene Nuqingaq, made a presentation at Tuesday’s council meeting.

She invited the city to join Whitehorse and Yellowknife as a prize partner, which would require it to commit $10,000 per year for three years.

The Arctic Inspiration Prize bills itself as the largest annual prize in Canada. It has awarded up to $3.7 million to innovative projects across the North every year for the past 12 years.

Nuqingaq said the prize has been beneficial to people in Iqaluit.

She pointed to a project she was involved in, the prize’s 2021 $1-million winner. Iqaluit Music Society’s program — titled Imaa, Like This — won that year for its effort to bring Inuit-specific music curriculum into Nunavut schools.

As well, in 2019 three teams with Iqaluit team members were prize winners in all three categories: the $1 million prize category, the AIP category and the youth category, Nuqingaq stated in a letter sent earlier to Mayor Solomon Awa about the proposal.

As a partner to Arctic Inspiration Prize, Nuqingaq said the city would have its logo displayed on the organization’s website and be widely recognized as a contributor.

“Your partnership will help [Arctic Inspiration Prize] to continue to prosper and support northern citizens for more decades and to truly be a ‘By the North, For the North’ award,” she stated in her letter.

Deputy Mayor Kyle Sheppard said he is in favour of Nuqingaq’s proposal. He said council is looking into a “giving” policy which would provide an avenue for the city to make contributions like this.

Council has already approved its 2022-23 budget, but Sheppard said he hopes the City of Iqaluit will be able to contribute to the Arctic Inspiration Prize in the coming years.

“The program has benefited the services being provided in our community over the years,” he said. “It’s a wonderful program that I hope we are able to take part in.”


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(7) Comments:

  1. Posted by Fix City Services First on

    While the AIP is a great initiative, I think the city needs to get its house in order before it can look into a “Giving Policy”. I have no problem with reduced rates, or waived fees/taxes for entities that are of social value in Iqaluit, but to now start handing out cash that would need to come from taxpayer revenue is a slippery slope. Everyone will be coming and asking for a donation. I understand with the shelters there is funding flowed via the City, but funding this AIP request would not be. The City is not in the financial position to start giving out 10k here and there!

    • Posted by Ask NTI on

      Agree with you 100%. Instead of hitting up the cash strapped city why not bang on NTI’s door, they are sitting on wads of cash and doing nothing of discernable use with it.

      • Posted by Darlene on

        NTI is one of the Arctic Inspiration Prize (AIP) co-owners. We are proud to say that we have many indigenous co-owners across the north; and that the AIP is truly an award “for the north, by the north”. ( There are many ways to invest and support the hopes and dreams of Northerners to become a reality. Our AIP team consists of many indigenous co-owners across the north; northern and southern prize partners; official ambassadors / nominators; mentors; regional selection committee members; national selection committee members; patrons, and of course all of our wonderful laureates over the past eleven years. Please check out our website to learn more about the AIP!

        • Posted by One Trick Pony on

          Why don’t you leave the city alone? Unlike NTI, it is forced to deal with serious budgeting and spending issues, it does not enjoy the luxury of easy money and complete unaccountability

  2. Posted by DudeTown on

    No. Iqaluit is always increasing their rates as they say they are cash strapped. Unless they have been lying about all of their crises.

  3. Posted by Disagree on

    Sure sure sure hit us home owners again and the elected affiliates laughs for approval as interest for us will hit the roofs again on 2023 and they say they want to get involved of affordable housing and lie again 2 bedroom house cost over $500k and some asking million todate come on soon to hit the CBC radio to protest.

    Ridiculous disagreement

  4. Posted by Put it on the backburner on

    Maybe the City should leave this request alone for now to be dealt with after the next election. The City’s publicly elected government is, at this point, mostly not currently elected representatives. There’s not even a full-time mayor at this point. And of the people that are currently on Council, financial management is, let’s say… not a strength.

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