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Nunavut Day at the Olympic Games: A Success

24 February 2010 

Vancouver, British Columbia (February 23, 2010) – The much-anticipated Nunavut Day, held Sunday, February 21st during the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, was a great success.

“In our mandate, Tamapta/ᑕᒪᑦᑕ: Building our future together, one of our key priorities is to raise awareness of Nunavut, our unique culture, and our useful contributions to Canadian and global issues,” said Premier Eva Aariak. “Nunavut Day at the Olympic Games was a wonderful opportunity for visitors from around the globe to learn more about our territory. It also provided our youth ambassadors with an opportunity to gain confidence while sharing their knowledge about Nunavut,” said Aariak.

About seven thousand people visited Canada’s Northern House on Nunavut Day. In total, over 100 thousand people have entered the house since it opened on January 15th, 2010. Soon more people will visit the house than live in all three Canadian territories combined.

Nunavut Day at Canada’s Northern House featured a speech from Premier Aariak and Iqaluit Mayor Elisapee Sheutiapik. Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) Chief Executive Officer John Furlong also gave a speech.

A Climate Change in Nunavut exhibition enlightened and entertained visitors who learned how the warming planet is affecting people living in Nunavut. The exhibition featured a series of stories and videos by the youth of Pangnirtung.

Nunavut’s Department of Environment Deputy Minister Simon Awa also spoke about sealing in the territory and how it is intrinsic to Inuit culture. A video was shown demonstrating the importance of sealing traditions and a fur fashion show also took place.

To cap off the evening, storyteller Michael Kusugak, Artcirq, break dancers Kaiva, throat singers and drum dancers performed in front of thousand of people at the Victory Ceremony in BC Place.
Nunavut Day was made possible when Nunavut become a contributing partner with VANOC.

Canada’s Northern House is located in downtown Vancouver at 602 West Hastings Street. It is a partnership between Nunavut and Northwest Territories with Yukon during the Olympic Games.

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For more information, contact:
Matthew Illaszewicz
Manager, Communications
Department of Economic Development & Transportation
Tel (867) 222-0122
E-mail: millaszewicz@gov.nu.ca