Kitikmeot Trade Show set to celebrate 15 years
Canadian High Arctic Research Station expected to bring more investment to the region
Cambridge Bay will open the door to opportunities in the Kitikmeot region, Feb. 10 to Feb. 12, when it hosts the Kitikmeot Trade Show.
This year’s 15th edition, under the banner “Proud past, bright future,” takes a look back at the region’s successes since the show kicked off in the same year as Nunavut’s creation as a territory, and provides a look ahead to future opportunities.
“All of the guest speakers will be looking at the 15-year history of the trade show and doing business in the Kitikmeot,” said Jim MacEachern, Cambridge Bay’s manager of economic development and organizer of the show.
Plans to build the Canadian High Arctic Research Station (CHARS) in Cambridge Bay may have drawn more attention to science and technology at this year’s event, MacEachern said.
The $142-million facility has created more interest in infrastructure development and overall business opportunities in the region as a whole. Construction begins this year, and it’s slated for completion by July 2017.
Fixed capacity in the hamlet of 1,700 has limited the trade show’s size to the usual 50 exhibitors and some 150 delegates, who quickly booked up hotels and space at the event. Even so, MacEachern said more delegates are welcome to register as long as they have a place to stay.
Events open with a meet and greet evening, Monday Feb. 10 at the community hall, where mayor Jeannie Ehaloak will welcome delegates and exhibitors.
The trade show floor at Kiilinik High School opens up the next day, first for delegates in the morning, and the general public in the afternoon. A banquet and awards evening that night will feature an auction to raise funds for youth recreation programs throughout the region.
Exhibitors will include a broad swath of companies who do business in the region related to mining, transport, infrastructure and engineering, communications, finance, and retailers.
Inuit organizations and government agencies will also make up a large share, including Nunavut’s department of Economic Development and Transportation, CanNor, and Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada.
The hamlet’s community hall will host a morning of presentations on Feb. 12. Highlights will include a briefing on the Canadian High Arctic Research Station, and a run-down of mining opportunities in the region by the Nunavut Chamber of Mines.
Keith Peterson, MLA for Cambridge Bay and territorial minister of finance, will reflect on the trade show’s history, starting with his involvement in the first one 15 years ago.
“He’s going to talk about how the trade show has grown, what their initial goals were and how it’s transformed the region,” MacEachern said.
The trade show floor will be open again that afternoon for all.
The three-day event closes with an evening show at Kullik Ilihakvik elementary school’s gymnasium at 7 p.m., with performances by musicians from all three regions of the territory.
They include local father and son duo Colin and Gustin Adjun, Nelson Tagoona of Baker Lake and Iqaluit-based singer Kelly Fraser, of Sanikiluaq.
MacEachern said the trade show will draw delegates from across the country, including company representatives from as far as Vancouver, Ottawa and Edmonton.