A 10th Anniversary Ceremony to Remember!

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Treaty Talks, 2021 AIP Youth Laureate

What an incredible celebration! The 10th anniversary Arctic Inspiration Prize awards ceremony touched the hearts of many across the country: North, South, East and West. And while the celebration is done for another year, the Laureates are just getting started and there will certainly be more to hear from them!

If you weren’t able to watch the show live you can stream it on CBC Gem, CBC North Facebook and APTN Lumi. You can also check out the digital ceremony program here.

“We feel so honoured that Ilagiitigut anngiangijaqatigiinnirq ilurqusivuttigut was chosen by the National Selection Committee as an Arctic Inspiration Prize laureate. Not only will the $1 million prize provide us with what we need to make our project happen, but the recognition that comes with being chosen by such an esteemed group of people from across the North means so much to us.”

George Kauki, Co-Team Leader, Ilagiitigut anngiangijaqatigiinnirq ilurqusivuttigut, 2021 $1 Million AIP Laureate

The ceremony opened in Cambridge Bay with Julia Ogina and her granddaughter as they performed the Qulliq Lighting ceremony, ensuring this tradition gets passed on to the next generation of Qulliq maintainers. On behalf of the Laureates and Finalists, thank you to all the speakers, presenters, dignitaries, performers and hosts who made this awards ceremony so special, including:

  • Our ceremony hosts: Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory and William Greenland
  • Her Excellency the Right Honourable Mary Simon, Governor General of Canada
  • Yukon Regional Chief Kluane Adamek (Aagé), Assembly of First Nations
  • Grand Chief Ken Kyikavichik, Gwich’in Tribal Council
  • Gerald Antoine, Dene National Chief and Assembly of First Nations Regional Chief for the NWT
  • The Honourable Margaret Thom, Commissioner of the NWT
  • The Honourable Sandy Silver, Premier of Yukon
  • The Honourable Frederick Blake Jr., NWT Member of the Legislative Assembly for Mackenzie Delta & Speaker of the House
  • Natan Obed, President, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami
  • Grand Chief Peter Johnston, Council of Yukon First Nations
  • Lesa Semmler, NWT Member of the Legislative Assembly for Inuvik Twin Lakes
  • Duane Smith, Chair & CEO, Inuvialuit Regional Corporation
  • Pita Aatami, President, Makivik Corporation

“As the AIP celebrates 10 years of by the North, for the North impact, we are so honoured to recognize these 8 teams for their innovation, creativity and dedication to their communities. What’s more, this investment of over $3 million will unlock so many more contributions from project partners from across the North and South who have already committed to supporting these important initiatives, bringing the total project value to over $5.8 million for these laureates.”

Wally Schumann, Chair, Arctic Inspiration Prize Charitable Trust
Dena Zagi

The AIP is proud to have worked again with Leela Gilday as artistic director and Indigenous production company Animiki See Digital Production to produce this year’s special 10th anniversary awards ceremony, which included past finalists or laureates in every aspect of the show. The awards ceremony also included performances from northern performers, PIQSIQ (NWT/Nunavut), Dena Zagi (Yukon) and the Huqqullaaqatigiit Drum Dancers (Nunavut).


We also want to thank all the AIP Laureates that participated in the special 10th anniversary retrospectives – FOXY (Fostering Open Expression Among Youth), Pirurvik – A Place to Grow, Resilience Training and Healing Program, SmartICE, Rankin Rock Hockey Camp and Western Arctic Youth Collective as well as the northern artists, all of them past AIP Laureates or Finalists, who contributed one of kind pieces to each of the winning teams.

Mary Gord Aitchison (Kuujjuaq, Nunavik), Wallhanging and Purses; From Scrap to Art, 2018 Youth Laureate (Cambridge Bay, Nunavut), Inuuqatigiitsiarniq and Pilimmaksarniq
Dennis Shorty (Ross River, Yukon), Grandpa in -70; Charlie Elijassiapik (Inukjuak, Nunavik), Unaaq; Michael Fatt (Łutselkʼe, Northwest Territories), Prayer to our Ancestors and Spirit Of Our Way

Finally, thank you to APTN and CBC for their work in bringing the AIP’s 10th anniversary awards ceremony to Canadians from coast to coast to coast and to all of the AIP’s co-owners, partners and supporters who continue to promote and encourage northern innovation.