Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut October 20, 2016 - 1:10 pm

Nunavut groups get $738K to spend on Canada’s big birthday

Iqaluit group gets $100K to revamp New Year's party

STEVE DUCHARME
Nunavut recipients of grants under the Canada 150th Fund pose with Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly and Nunavut MP Hunter Tootoo, middle of shot, at the Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum in Iqaluit Oct. 19. (PHOTOS BY STEVE DUCHARME)
Nunavut recipients of grants under the Canada 150th Fund pose with Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly and Nunavut MP Hunter Tootoo, middle of shot, at the Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum in Iqaluit Oct. 19. (PHOTOS BY STEVE DUCHARME)
Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly in Iqaluit Oct. 19 announces $738,000 worth of funding will flow to local groups to help celebrate Canada's 150th birthday year in 2017.
Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly in Iqaluit Oct. 19 announces $738,000 worth of funding will flow to local groups to help celebrate Canada's 150th birthday year in 2017.

Nunavut will celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary year in style thanks in part to $738,000 in additional cash for local projects, courtesy of the federal government’s “Canada 150” fund.

Federal Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly announced the funding—along with plans for the 150th celebration of Confederation—during a news conference held Oct. 19 in the Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum in Iqaluit.

“These festivities, rather than being only in the national capital region… will be in 19 centres in Canada and Iqaluit is one of them,” Joly told the crowd, which included independent Nunavut MP Hunter Tootoo, Nunavut’s commissioner Nellie Kusugak and Iqaluit mayor Madeleine Redfern.

The museum will get $288,000 from the fund to invest in a new, modern exhibit using video panels outlining the cultural diversity of Nunavut’s 25 communities.
“Young people from each community will build collages using different types of media, creating an audio-visual representation of what makes each Nunavut community unique,” a museum release stated.

The Nunavut Arts and Crafts Association will receive $350,000 for its community project “Nunavummiut Celebrate Canada’s 150th Birthday,” which will take place in “close to a dozen” Nunavut communities on July 1 next year.

“One of Canada 150’s themes is reconciliation so our project is about that—allowing each community in Nunavut to celebrate in their own way,” said NACA communications manager Kathleen Nicholls.

In Iqaluit, the newly non-profit organization, Iqaluit Action Lab, will receive $100,000 in funding to revamp the city’s 2017 New Year’s festivities with new programming and additional fireworks.

“The money is going to be distributed to local leaders in our community to be able to do what they want to do, whether they are Inuit or non-Inuit. [It will have] creative, cultural activities that are interactive for families,” said Iqaluit Action Lab spokesperson Robin Campbell.

Campbell formed the organization with fellow Iqalungmiut Bethany Scott and Romani Makkik and says the New Year’s event will focus on family-friendly entertainment: drawing in part on a relationship with the Alianait Arts Festival.

The Canada 150th fund was created in April 2015 under the Conservative Government lead by then-Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

The fund was designed to assist communities and Canadians to “participate in local, regional and national celebrations that contribute to a sense of pride and attachment to Canada,” says the fund’s Government of Canada website.

Recently, the fund was injected with additional cash from the new Liberal government—and now touts a $210 million budget.

Canada’s 150th anniversary will focus on “inclusion, reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, the environment and young people,” according to a statement from the Government of Canada.

“We know that the past 150 years were less than perfect, way less than perfect, when it comes to our relationship with Indigenous peoples of this land,” Joly added in her remarks.

“But we want to make sure the next 150 years are way better and this way we’re taking the opportunity and the context of Canada 150 to showcase interesting and important projects that are in line with these four themes and, of course, reconciliation.”

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