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Sponsors benefit games

Contributions total nearly $4 million for AWGs

Thorunn Howatt
Northern News Services

Iqaluit (Jan 28/02) - When the Arctic Winter Games are finished, thanks to business sponsorship Iqaluit will be left with more than just good feelings.

The Driving Force Nunavut sealifted 58 vehicles and five school buses just for the occasion.

NNSL Photo

The Driving Force Nunavut's fleet manager, Rick Gauthier, shows off one of the vehicles that was sealifted to Baffin Island especially for the Arctic Winter Games. - Jennifer McPhee/NNSL photo

The Iqaluit company has spent well over $80,000 so far as a games sponsor. It's a lot of money for a locally-owned, small business that employs 12 people. So why would they do it?

"I want the Arctic Winter Games to work and I want people to remember us when they remember the games," said the company's manager, Dan Gauthier.

The brand new sport utility vehicles and 38 pick-ups will be used for only 10 days and will then be for sale as demo vehicles or shipped south.

"Nunavut Auto is also donating our complete top floor as a command centre," said Gauthier, referring to the building's 2,500-square-foot upper floor. "That's where the RCMP and the games control are going to be."

Communications people will converge on the auto dealership two days before the games begin.

The vehicles deal, along with other donations, make the Driving Force one of the games' silver sponsors, an arrangement that was made two years ago.

The games have different levels of sponsorship starting with the highest level, an official sponsor. Then there is a diamond sponsor, gold, silver and bronze as laid out in the games' 10-page sponsorship package. Cash and in-kind sponsorships toward the games add up to about $3.8 million, a conservative estimate say games organizers.

"To be an official sponsor, you have to donate $175,000 plus. That could be in cash or that could be in value in-kind," said games manager, Kim Wasylyshen. Canadian North, an official sponsor, is giving free flights and cargo, she said. In return, Canadian North will receive a list of 24 benefits, such as a chance to advertise on the games' Web site, jackets and access to hospitality suites.

A diamond sponsor gives between $120,000 to $174,999. Gold is $80,000 to $119,999, silver is $40,000 to $79,999 and bronze is $10,000 to $39,999.

"The games will leave a legacy to the city of Iqaluit," said Wasylyshen, who noted there will be 371 bunk beds and 1,200 mattresses brought in especially for the games. "When we do our audit, if we break even or if we make money, then everything will stay as a legacy."