2015 Laureates

The fourth annual Arctic Inspiration Prize Awards Ceremony was held in Ottawa, Ontario on 27 January 2016 in conjunction with Northern Lights 2016. A total prize award of $1.5M was shared amongst three teams for their plans to mobilize knowledge into action for the benefit of Canada's Arctic peoples and communities: Better Hearing in Education for Northern Youth (BHENY), Qaggiq: Nurturing the Arctic Performing Arts, and the Tri-Territorial Recreation Training (TRT) project.

Better Hearing in Education for Northern Youth (BHENY)

Children in Arctic regions have a very high prevalence of hearing loss. Better Hearing in Education for Northern Youth (BHENY) addresses hearing loss as an underlying cause of poor literacy, academic success, school attendance and graduation rates. BHENY received $300,000 for their plan to improve the lives of youth with hearing loss living in the Qikiqtani (Baffin) region of Nunavut through a multipronged approach that includes, the implementation of classroom based sound amplification technology; provision of professional development, training and support for educators through a Virtual Resource Centre; improvement of audiology services in the North; and enabling parents and the community to support the needs of children with hearing loss. A diverse team of hearing health care professionals, educators, advocacy groups and Rotarians from the North and South will work towards improved learning and higher literacy rates for children in both Inuktitut and English.

Team members: Christy Douwsma, Mary Etuangat, Barbara Holmes, Kim Hurley, Tracy MacMillan, Ben McCarl, Lynne McCurdy (Team Leader), Pam Millett, Heather Moffett, Sandra Roberts, Ningeola Tiglik, David Webber

Nominator: Mary Ellen Thomas, Senior Research Officer, Nunavut Research Institute, Nunavut Arctic College, Iqaluit, Nunavut

Photo: Vincent L'Hérault/ArcticNet
Video: Sira Chayer/ArcticNet

Qaggiq: Nurturing the Arctic Performing Arts

There is no more powerful way of engaging creative thinking, communications and critical thought than the performing arts. Northern people have always celebrated life through artistry, however, without training and support, Arctic performing arts are at risk of being lost or never realized. With a diverse team of northern artists, administrators and arts educators, in partnership with national and circumpolar performing arts institutions, Qaggiq received $600,000 for their plan to strengthen Arctic culture and subsequently improve resiliency, self-worth, belonging and pride, particularly among youth at risk. The Qaggiq project will nurture and develop the skills of performing artists and arts administrators through a coordinated strategy that includes artist mapping, artist and teacher training, collaborative performance, mentorship and youth programming.

Team members: Tiffany Ayalik, Martha Burns, Geneviève Cimon, Beatrice Deer, Ellen Hamilton (Team Leader), Natasha Harwood, Sarah Olayok Jancke, Zacharius Kunuk, Kathleen Ivaluarjuk Merritt, Alisa Palmer, Aaju Peter, Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory

Nominator: Susan Chatwood, Executive and Scientific Director, Institute for Circumpolar Health Research

Photo: Dave Brosha
Video: Sira Chayer/ArcticNet

Tri-Territorial Recreation Training (TRT) Project

Although not always recognized as an essential service, recreation has the power to foster happiness and quality of life and contribute to greater balance in northern communities. The Tri-Territorial Recreation Training (TRT) project received $600,000 for their plan to empower people and communities to enhance individual, community and environmental wellbeing by strengthening the capacity of recreation leaders in northern communities through the delivery of a sustainable, relevant training program. With a skilled and diverse group of nonprofit, government and private sector organizations from the field of recreation, the TRT project will focus on the development and delivery of a specialized community recreation leadership training program in rural and remote communities across Canada's three territories. The goals of the project are to help people grow and be healthy, build strong families and communities, work with those who are disadvantaged, protect the environment, enhance economic growth, and add to the quality of life in northern communities.

Team members: Dawn Currie, Brenda Herchmer, Anne Morgan (Team Leader), Geoff Ray, Caroline Sparks

Nominator: Zach Bell, Olympic Cyclist, Yukon


  • AIP receives a letter of thanks from Tri-Territorial Recreation Training Initiative.

Photo: Fred Lemire
Video: Sira Chayer/ArcticNet