Three programs dedicated to advancing the quality of life in Canada’s northern communities received a much-needed funding boost on January 27 through the annual Arctic Inspiration Prize.
This year’s laureates — Better Hearing in Education for Northern Youth (BHENY); Qaggiq: Nurturing the Arctic Performing Arts; and the Tri-Territorial Recreation Training — each received a portion of the $1.5 million prize, which was bumped up from the usual $1 million thanks to extra partner support.
On hand to present the awards in Ottawa was His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, who expressed his admiration for all the 2015 laureates.
Better Hearing in Education for Northern Youth (BHENY) was awarded $300,000 for its plan to foster literacy and academic outcomes for youth living with hearing loss in the Qikiqtani Region of Nunavut.
“It is much more difficult to learn when you cannot hear,” said Lynne McCurdy, an audiologist from Guelph, Ontario. The BHENY project will include classroom-based sound amplification technology, professional development, training and support for educators, parents and the community.
Qaggiq: Nurturing the Arctic Performing Arts was awarded $600,000 to implement its plan to revitalize Arctic culture and the performing arts.
“The Arctic Inspiration Prize arrives at a time when Arctic performing arts are at risk of being lost or never realized,” said team leader Ellen Hamilton of the Qaggiavuut Society in Iqaluit, Nunavut. The Qaggiq team's strategy includes artist mapping, artist and teacher training, collaborative performance, mentorship and youth programming.
The Tri-Territorial Recreation Training (TRT) Project received $600,000 for its plan to develop recreation leadership training programs in rural and remote communities across Canada’s three territories.
“Recreation has the power to improve community health, wellbeing and quality of life,” said team leader Anne Morgan from the Recreation and Parks Association of the Yukon.