Carrefour Nunavut launches new audio walking tours of Iqaluit
Free tour takes two hours to complete
If you’re a tourist in Iqaluit, you can now use a free guided walking tour in three languages in Nunavut’s capital city thanks to Carrefour Nunavut.
Carrefour — the French word for crossroads — is a non-profit organization that aims to kick-start and develop Nunavut’s economy, focusing on employability, entrepreneurship and tourism.
In 2010, the non-profit group took over economic projects which were formerly managed by the Association des francophones de Nunavut in Iqaluit.
To use the audio guide, a visitor exchanges a piece of identification for an iPod shuffle at the Unikkaarvik Visitors Centre.
The iPod comes fully loaded with 36 descriptions of places around Iqaluit.
Those descriptions include the history of the inuksuk, an explanation of police services, information about the city’s francophone community, an explanation on how social housing in Iqaluit works and many more important details about Iqaluit.
The 36 audio descriptions are also available for download on Carrefour’s website, as well as a PDF text version of the audio guide.
The tour — which took Carrefour 15 months to piece together — is also available for Iqaluit residents. The free tour takes two hours to complete, and you can pick one up at the Unikkaarvik Visitor Centre.
Anyone who takes the walking tour also receives a free map and a brochure.
“You often see traffic jams at the Four Corners — true, even at the heart of the Arctic. You might even witness it at this moment! What’s more, this is the only intersection with four stop signs,” says audio guide number 12 describing what Iqaluit’s busiest downtown intersection is all about.
The guide is also full of facts like, “there’s not one traffic light in Iqaluit” and “Iqaluit means place of many fish in Inuktitut.”
The English translation of the audio guide is narrated by former Iqaluit resident and musician Daniel Farrow, the French translation by Quebec-based anthropologist Serge Bouchard, and the Inuktitut version by Iqaluit resident Karliin Aariak.
The audio guide cost $63,000 to produce, with that money coming from the Government of Nunavut’s departments of Transportation, Economic Development, and Culture and Heritage.
“The guide will enrich the visit of the capital of Iqaluit. The tourists will have a quick insight on all the history, and of the places in Iqaluit,” said François Fortin, Carrefour Nunavut’s communications officer, at an Aug. 14 press conference at the Unikkaarvik Visitor Centre.
There are currently nine audio guides at the Visitor Centre and 11 others will be made available to all the hotels in Iqaluit as well for tourists.
A goal of Carrefour is to get the audio guide released in other Nunavut communities in the future, maybe Pangnirtung said Fortin.
By partnering with Nunavut Tourism, the Carrefour also hopes to attract more francophone tourists.
“We believe we can promote [Nunavut], in French, in the francophone market. So we are targeting Quebec, France and French-speaking countries in Europe,” said Carrefour Nunavut’s director general, Danielle Samson.
Samson said citizens of France are among the top three nationalities who visit Canada each year, numbering about 420,000 per year, just behind the United Kingdom and the United States.
“I believe we should tap [in] on that,” Samson said.
To that end, Carrefour Nunavut has bought advertisements that aired during hockey games and promoted the North, according to Samson.