Nunavut Trade Show and Conference brings together 300 delegates in the capital

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Marking its 28th annual Nunavut Trade Show and Conference, the Baffin Regional Chamber of Commerce (BRCC) will welcome roughly 300 delegates in Iqaluit Sept. 17 to 19.

Premier Joe Savikataaq will welcome delegates at the Nunavut Trade Show and Conference’s Northwestel Opening Luncheon Sept. 17, as he did last year.
photo courtesy Baffin Regional Chamber of Commerce

“The theme for this year’s trade show and conference is Celebrating Partnerships, based on the Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit principle Piliriqatigiinniq/Ikajuqtigiinniq, working together for a common cause,” said the chamber’s manager of events and membership services Lauren Nevin.

“Partnerships between governments, Inuit organizations, and private businesses are essential to making a stronger Nunavut.”

That principle of partnership has been especially evident in the lead-up to the conference.

“There was a bit of concern this year due to hotel shortages but, miraculously, people have come together and invited people into their homes. Directors, managers and staff have also put up their homes,” said executive director Hudson Lester.

“I think it really goes to show the strength of community in Nunavut, and how everybody bonds together to achieve any task in front of them. So we managed to get up to pretty similar numbers (of delegates) as last year.”

A variety of conference topics are available to appeal to a wide range of interests.

“We’re going to have the NNI (Nunavummi Nangminiqaqtunik Ikajuuti) talk about the policy and Nunavut business,” said Lester.

Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. (NTI) policy advisor Travis Cooper and executive coordinator for the Department of Economic Development and Transportation’s NNI Secretariat Ron Dewar will speak on the procurement policies in place for the territorial and federal governments.

“We’re going to have (a session) on resources for business development. That will be opening up all the things that local businesses, people wanting to start a business, or grow their business can access that are available here in Nunavut,” said Lester.

The Kakivak Association’s career services senior project officer Pat Powell, RBC Insurance’s senior insurance specialist Bradley Roy, professor of marketing from Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire Jason Little, who did a study on marketing in Nunavut, and the Canadian Executive Service Organization community relations officer Rachel Davis will lead that discussion.

“We also have Entrepreneurs in Nunavut. Because we’re the Baffin Regional Chamber of Commerce, we’ve gone around the Baffin region and asked a few keynote speakers to talk about their entrepreneurial steps in building their business and where it has taken them so far,” Lester said.

Creative director of Hitmakerz Thor Simonsen, Uasau Soap owners Bernice and Justin Clarke, and Arctic Fresh chief executive officer Rhoda Angutimarik will share their stories.

Lester also notes the Land, Sea, and Air session.

Canadian North president and chief executive officer Chris Avery, who is leading the Canadian North and First Air merger, will speak on what the merger means for Nunavut. Kivalliq Hydro Fibre Link project lead Lawrence Mott will update participants on that project. Finally, a Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. representative will discuss the company’s proposed plans for a railroad at the Mary River mine site.

Other sessions include Innovation and Technology and Rebuilding Nunavut’s Sealing Industry.

The trade show, as in past years, will be held at the Arctic Winter Games Arena. Companies with a presence in Nunavut will have booths, as will artists.

“We try to get a diverse range (of artists). Usually, we block off a section every year and then we work with NACA (Nunavut Arts and Crafts Association) and they do a call-out for the artists,” said Lester.

The Nunavut Business Achievement Awards will be held Wednesday night, and the three-day trade show and conference will close with a gala and charity auction.