Harper Government Supports the 2012 Arctic Winter Games Cultural Festival

WHITEHORSE, Jan. 26, 2012 /CNW/ - Participants and spectators at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games can discover and celebrate the diverse culture of the North, thanks to an investment from the Government of Canada. This was announced today by Ryan Leef, Member of Parliament (Yukon), on behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages.

Funding will support the 2012 Arctic Winter Games Cultural Festival, a celebration of Northern culture featuring artists from Canada and other countries in the circumpolar region. The Festival, which is taking place from March 4 to 10, 2012, will include daily performances and concerts, workshops, visual arts exhibits, and an interactive digital performing art project. The event will provide residents of remote Northern communities with opportunities to experience the professional performing arts, while allowing Northern artists to showcase their work.

"Our Government received a strong mandate from Canadians to invest in jobs and growth in our Northern communities," said Minister Moore. "By supporting important events like the Arctic Winter Games Cultural Festival, our Government is delivering on its commitment to boost tourism and support our arts, culture, and heritage."

"The Festival will be a focal point for Canadians and international visitors attending the 2012 Arctic Winter Games," said Mr. Leef. "Arts and culture spur creativity and innovation, which make our communities better places to live and work. This investment will benefit Yukon culturally and economically, and encourage knowledge sharing among the artists and performers."

"The Arctic Winter Games Host Society is very pleased and grateful to receive this funding from the Department of Canadian Heritage. This support will allow us to mount an exciting Canadian and pan-Northern festival with vibrant, eclectic, and challenging art performances and outreach activities," said Laurel Parry, Vice President of Culture and Ceremonies. "The Arctic Winter Games has a rich tradition rooted in Northern friendship and exchange, and this funding allows us to build connections between art disciplines, community, youth and professional arts, and athletic and artistic achievement, and to strengthen Northern producing and presenting networks."

The Festival is presented by the Whitehorse 2012 Arctic Winter Games Host Society. The Society, established in 2009, is mandated to produce a cultural program that helps develop geographic identity and maintain good relations among Northern peoples, while promoting indigenous cultural activities, exhibitions, and cultural interchange.

The Government of Canada has provided funding of $150,000 through the Canada Arts Presentation Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage. This program gives Canadians increased access to the variety and richness of Canada's culture through professional arts festivals, presentations of live professional performances, and other artistic experiences.

SOURCE Canadian Heritage

For further information:

For more information (media only), please contact:

Sébastien Gariépy
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Perry Boldt
Regional Manager
Western Region
Canadian Heritage

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage

(This news release is available on the Internet at www.canadianheritage.gc.ca under Newsroom.)


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