Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut July 06, 2017 - 8:00 am

Red Bull plans adventure filming in Nunavut’s High Arctic

Film crew aims to spend July on Axel Heiberg Island

A view to the mountains and glaciers that characterize Axel Heiberg Island in Nunavut's High Arctic. (FILE PHOTO)
A view to the mountains and glaciers that characterize Axel Heiberg Island in Nunavut's High Arctic. (FILE PHOTO)
Here you can see an aerial map from the Nunavut Impact Review Board proposal of where Arctic Kingdom wants to set up operations for Red Bull's proposed filming in July.
Here you can see an aerial map from the Nunavut Impact Review Board proposal of where Arctic Kingdom wants to set up operations for Red Bull's proposed filming in July.

Among the many places on which you can land in Nunavut’s High Arctic islands, Axel Heiberg Island, just south of Ellesmere Island, stands out as being among the most remote and isolated.

The island’s closest neighbours: the listening station and research base at Eureka and the community of Grise Fiord, about 400 kilometres to the north.

But although it’s far removed from the world of caffeinated energy drinks, Axel Heiberg’s isolated glaciers and mountains appear to be a draw for Red Bull, the largest seller of energy drinks in the world.

The company, between now and Aug. 2,  plans to film extreme sports activities such as mountain biking and do aerial photography of Axel Heiberg’s landscapes, after getting a thumbs-up on July 5 from the Nunavut Impact Review Board.

Red Bull, an energy drink sold by the Austrian company Red Bull GmbH, claims the highest market share of any energy drink in the world with more than five billion cans sold in 2013.

As part of its sales pitch, Red Bull uses content to market the product to potential consumers, and it avoids even mentioning the term “energy drink.”

Instead, Red Bull has its own network, Red Bull TV, as an online video-on-demand platform to sell its product and extreme lifestyle brand.

Red Bull TV Online shows live webcasts of Red Bull’s event series and of world championship mountain biking and endurance racing events.

According to information from its website, Red Bull TV also serves as a global platform for non-fiction productions from the Red Bull Media House and its partners, through scheduled programming and video on demand, including daily uploads of clips, action features and web series.

So it’s easy to see where some extreme footage from Axel Heiberg would find a home.

The film production plan for Axel Heiberg isn’t part of the project proposal information filed with the NIRB, but some activities are revealed in its project description, which talks about the base camp that the film crew wants to set up on Axel Heiberg.

The camp, run by the Arctic Kingdom tour company, and located inside or close to Inuit-owned lands, will be the base of operations, providing staff and clients with lodging and food.

For supplies, the group plans to charter a Twin Otter, which will make weekly trips and require an off-strip landing place by the camp.

All-terrain vehicles will bring people and equipment to multiple locations on the land for filming, the project description says, while drones and a helicopter will provide aerial filming of mountain biking on the land.

And the project will be conducted with co-operation and support from the nearest communities of Grise Fiord and Resolute Bay: they plan to hire guides, bear monitors, and other personnel as needed.

The NIRB approved the project July 5, but that approval came with 35 project specific terms and conditions including that Arctic Kingdom outfitters mitigate impacts on wildlife, such as caribou, preserve the integrity of the local environment and refrain from hunting or fishing unless they acquired approval.

The NIRB also said the project shouldn’t interfere with Inuit harvesting activities and traditional land uses and that the company must “consult with local residents regarding their activities in the area and solicit available Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit and information that can inform project activities.”

Those terms and conditions were in response to a number of submissions made to the NIRB including comments from the Grise Fiord Iviq hunters and trappers association.

The HTA raised concerns about potential impacts on Peary caribou and also said that Arctic Kingdom left garbage and propane on the ice last time it was in the area.

“They will need to bring back their garbage to keep our land clean,” the HTA said in its comment to the NIRB.

To that, Arctic Kingdom responded with detailed plans on how it will take out trash or otherwise deal with waste issues.

The Government of Nunavut also noted concerns about the disturbance of archeological sites.

A search of the Nunavut Archaeological Site Database showed no recorded archaeological sites near the camp location, the GN said in its comment to the NIRB. But this doesn’t mean that there aren’t unrecorded sites or cultural features.

A cluster of archaeological sites showed up 25 kilometres east of the camp site, the GN said—and no activities should be conducted in the vicinity of any archaeological or historical sites.

The GN said “it is the responsibility of the expedition leader to steer people away from any encountered archaeological site or feature. If sites are encountered they should be recorded (GPS + photographs) and reported to the Government of Nunavut Territorial Archaeology Office.”

Although not mentioned in the project proposal to the NIRB, Axel Heiberg is home to an ancient fossil forest. That’s where the GN is still looking at establishing a territorial park, Napaaqtulik, “where there are trees,” a name inspired by the forest of towering trees which once thrived on Axel Heiberg 50 million years ago, and then died back and were buried under the sandy soil of the Geodetic Hills.

Axel Heiberg is also rich in fossils, such as those of ancient turtles and alligators from 90 million years ago and even older duck-billed dinosaurs.

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(24) Comments:

#1. Posted by Good for the Goose on July 06, 2017

“They will need to bring back their garbage to keep our land clean,” the HTA said in its comment to the NIRB.

True… now if they can only get the other 30,000 residents of Nunavut to do the same we’ll be golden.

#2. Posted by Harold (iqaluit) on July 06, 2017

i am not a bioligist nor am i an expert in land mammals but i do not belive introducing big dumb bulls to the high arctic will be good for anyone . the bulls will terrorize the people of grise ford and they will shirley freeze when winter comes around because they are essencialy furless meat bags . i also belive this will be a big waste of my tax dollors !

#3. Posted by pissed off on July 06, 2017

no. 2
What are you talking about?

#4. Posted by In Rankin on July 06, 2017

#1 I totally agree… especially here in Rankin, I love my home town but the garbage problem is horrible and embarrassing.

#5. Posted by wow on July 06, 2017

#2: You deserve an award.

#6. Posted by Minds fried on July 06, 2017

#3, Harold(Iqaluit) #2 is talking humor as in Dry, Satire, Parody. 

Around 50% of population don’t have a sense of humor.  It drops further into the 80% range who don’t get satire. 

With the many post replying to Harold(Iqaluit), from other articles he has commented on, proves the above stats to a T, many lack a sense of humor. Cannot comprehend it.

Harold(Iqaluit)’s comments are funny. What becomes hilarious to read are the non-humorousness minds becoming fried trying to scholarly post back to Harold(Iqaluit) when his/her humor has flown over their heads. 

The sad part, it’s not that they have no-sense of humor but their critical thinking skills also don’t fire.

#7. Posted by on July 06, 2017

#3 As you haven’t figured it out yet, ‘Harold’ from (Iqaluit) is someone’s satirical shtick. Google that if you need to.

#8. Posted by Wait a Second on July 06, 2017

Harold, they are Red Bulls, a certain kind of breed that can survive in moderate climate temperatures and are people friendly.

Legend has it that if you capture one it gives you wings hence the saying “red bull gives you wings” raspberryraspberry

#9. Posted by Skwaddy on July 06, 2017

Good comments,
As we used to say, when very young, in church.
Our father who art in heaven,
HAROLD be thy name!

#10. Posted by Yes it's true on July 06, 2017

#4 I live in Rankin too and I agree, it’s sad and embarrassing to see how little people care about the garbage they toss onto the ground in town and on the land too. Sickening.

#11. Posted by Red BS on July 06, 2017

The fact that Nunavut has sold out to Red Bull, it is not about the environmental damage, among other damage, but about the cold hard cash they can get.

The fragile arctic environment, etc. will be pummeled by mountain dirt bikes for more stupid bike porn.

Is everyone that greedy and that ignorant?

#12. Posted by Mike Vandeman on July 06, 2017

Bicycles should not be allowed in any natural area. They are inanimate objects and have no rights. There is also no right to mountain bike. That was settled in federal court in 1996: . It’s dishonest of mountain bikers to say that they don’t have access to trails closed to bikes. They have EXACTLY the same access as everyone else—ON FOOT! Why isn’t that good enough for mountain bikers? They are all capable of walking….

A favorite myth of mountain bikers is that mountain biking is no more harmful to wildlife, people, and the environment than hiking, and that science supports that view. Of course, it’s not true. To settle the matter once and for all, I read all of the research they cited, and wrote a review of the research on mountain biking impacts (see ). I found that of the seven studies they cited, (1) all were written by mountain bikers, and (2) in every case, the authors misinterpreted their own data.

#13. Posted by Pete Rose on July 07, 2017

#12 Are you also doing satire? Just wondering

#14. Posted by Mike Vandeman on July 07, 2017

Of course not. Absolutely factual.

#15. Posted by Jerry on July 08, 2017

The Red Bull only wants to up their advertising and they’re going to be using Inuit Land. I say don’t welcome them if it’s only for their own good.

#16. Posted by Stan on July 10, 2017

Good job! It’s a great way to promote northern tourism to a worldwide audience and share Nunavut’s wonderfull landscapes.

#17. Posted by Mike Vandeman on July 10, 2017

BS. Nunavut’s “wonderful landscapes” won’t be so wonderful, after the mountain bikers finish with them. Red Bull obviously doesn’t care a whit about nature. They only care about publicity. This event should be cancelled.

#18. Posted by Stan on July 10, 2017

@ Vandeman
What’s the problem?
A film crew from a cool company is looking to promote sports, Nunavut and their product . Hiring locals is another bonus.
Saying the bikes are the problem? Look on Google earth and zoom in and you’ll see trails all over the island.
By the way, more and more mining projects are opening on the land, the impact (as opposed to bikes) is not reversible.
Your study is irrelevant. Learn to pick your fights better.


#19. Posted by Mike Vandeman on July 10, 2017

“What’s the problem?”
The existence of other problems doesn’t lessen the harm done by mountain biking one iota (to say nothing of all the motor vehicle use getting there).

#20. Posted by Inuk from the North on July 11, 2017

Red Bull is a energy drink that has health risks, such as effects of intoxication when consumed with alcohol and excessive or repeated consumption can lead to cardiac and psychiatric conditions.

Do we really need this money for them to ruin our land our air and our livelihood so they can show that they also got Nunavut on the map as their playground.

NO! we don’t.

#21. Posted by Stan on July 11, 2017

You sir are a wet blanket.
In one year there won’t be a trace remaining.
There’s no problem there. It really is a great thing.
Enjoy life, have a Redbull! 😉

#22. Posted by Mike Vandeman on July 12, 2017

You must not have much of a life, if you think that a bunch of people trying to kill themselves on bicycles for no good reason is a good thing. People who actually enjoy life don’t risk serious accidents or death. And drinking junk food like Redbull is counterproductive.

#23. Posted by Stan on July 12, 2017

These are not regular Joe’s bombing down the hill but professional athletes, it’s extreme sport and calculated risk. Think of the determination and courage and dedication one must have to reach such a level.
And about enjoying life and taking risk,again they are professional athletes, I’m certain that they have had broken bones and plenty trips to the emergency room.Getting paid and traveling doing something they are passionate about I’m certain is worth it.
Enjoying life is taking risks, falling, getting back up and striving for something better or the next level. Hurting is part of life,scared of getting hurt doesn’t get anywhere.
And finally, the caffeine content and ginseng of redbull is actually good for the body and the mind, read up on it. Of course it’s loaded with sugar but like anything else it’s always better to use moderation.
Also I have a great life. I’m healthy and thankful I have the freedom to do anything I want that I put my mind to.

#24. Posted by Mike Vandeman on July 13, 2017

Hogwash. Being a “professional” mountain biker is no protection against serious injury or death from mountain biking: Redbull, as I said, is junk food. No one in his/her right mind would drink such crap. Evolution stops for no man….

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