Clara's Big Ride for Bell Let's Talk to cross the Arctic Circle on the iconic Dempster Highway

Starting tomorrow, Clara Hughes continues the journey to a stigma-free Canada in the Northwest Territories and Yukon

IQALUIT, NU, May 2, 2014 /CNW/ - Bell Let's Talk spokesperson and 6-time Olympic medalist Clara Hughes is bringing the conversation about mental health and a stigma-free Canada to Yellowknife tomorrow, before heading out on May 7 to ride the Dempster Highway across the Arctic Circle – 776 kilometres from Inuvik, NT to Dawson City, YT. Clara wraps up her Ride across Canada's North in Whitehorse, YT on May 12.

Today, Clara is in Iqaluit on Day 50 of her Big Ride for Bell Let's Talk, the unprecedented 110-day, 12,000-kilometre bike journey around Canada to achieve a nation free of the stigma around mental illness.

While in Iqaluit, Clara announced $1 million in funding from Bell Let's Talk for community mental health resources in Nunavut, the Northwest Territories and Yukon. Over the next 5 years, Bell will work with local healthcare and community leaders to support mental health care and anti-stigma programs, with a focus on assisting Inuit and First Nation youth at the community level.

"I'm delighted to be back in Nunavut meeting so many great people here in Iqaluit – and connecting with more than 5,000 students across Canada during today's mental health webcast at Inuksuk High school," said Clara. "I look forward to sharing mental health stories with people in the Northwest Territories and Yukon as I once again ride the beautiful Dempster Highway. I would like to thank everyone here in Iqaluit so much for their warm welcome and look forward to visiting Rankin Inlet tomorrow on my way to Yellowknife."

Northwestel a partner on the Ride
Helping to connect Clara's Big Ride with communities in the territories is Northwestel, Bell's subsidiary serving Canada's North and a partner in the Ride.

"Northwestel is very proud to be a part of Clara's Big Ride," said Paul Flaherty, President and CEO of Northwestel. "Mental health needs to be discussed openly and we're glad to be helping Clara on her journey to build a stigma-free Canada. Clara's visit to the territories starts here in Iqaluit and we're very excited to see the momentum build as she continues across all 3 territories."

Clara's Big Ride in the Northwest Territories

Yellowknife - May 3 to 6
Clara will attend a welcome event at 3:50 pm on May 3 at the Yellowknife Airport.

On May 5, Clara will visit 2 schools and will meet with community members in Behchoko and Dettah.

InuvikMay 6 to 7
Clara will attend a community feast at 6 pm on May 6 at the Midnight Sun Recreation Complex, 194 Loucheux Rd.

Riding the Dempster Highway from Inuvik to Dawson City
Clara will spend 5 days riding the Dempster Highway, starting in Inuvik on May 7, crossing the Arctic Circle and arriving in Dawson City on May 11.

Clara's Big Ride in Yukon

Dawson CityMay 11 to 12
Upon arrival into Dawson City at 5 pm on May 11 at the Front Street gazebo, Clara will participate in a community event celebrating the launch of a community mental health program called 'Making Connections'.

WhitehorseMay 12 to 14
While in Whitehorse, Clara will attend a welcome event on May 12 at 4:10 pm at the Eric Neilsen Whitehorse International Airport.

On May 14, Clara will meet with members of the community at a community walk starting at 11:50 am at the Main Street Wharf.

Starting at 5:30 pm, Clara will attend a barbeque and concert at Mount McIntyre Recreation Centre, 200-1 Sumanik Drive.

Events in communities along Clara's route are organized by local Community Champions. More details on daily events and the Big Ride Community Champions can be found at

"We thank our Community Champions in Nunavut, the Northwest Territories, Yukon and across the country for their leadership and hard work in helping build a stigma-free Canada," said Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let's Talk. "With the support of so many partners across Canada, Clara's Big Ride is growing awareness, acceptance and action in communities at the grassroots level."

Share in Clara's Big Ride
Clara's Big Ride for Bell Let's Talk began on March 14 and will cover 12,000 kilometres through every province and territory before concluding in Ottawa on Canada Day, July 1. Everyone can participate in the Ride through community events and social media. Please visit or follow the latest Ride news on Twitter at @Bell_LetsTalk or on Facebook at

Clara's Big Ride is powered by our National Partners – Aimia, BMO, Canadian Tire, Cisco, Lundbeck, President's Choice and Samsung – who are providing significant support for the Ride. For more information, please visit

Bell Let's Talk
Bell Let's Talk promotes Canadian mental health with national awareness and anti-stigma campaigns, like Clara's Big Ride for Bell Let's Talk and Bell Let's Talk Day, and significant Bell funding of community care and access, research, and workplace initiatives. To learn more, please visit

In 2013, Northwestel contributed more than $550,000 in cash and in-kind donations to a variety of northern community groups. Throughout its history, Northwestel has played a key role in the economic, social and cultural development of the North. Northwestel is recognized as a key contributor to the well-being of northern communities through its community investment program and the volunteer contributions of its employees.

SOURCE: Bell Canada

For further information: Jacqueline Michelis, Bell Media Relations, 613 785-1427,; Sunny Patch, Community Investment Manager, Northwestel, 867 332-4357,,


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