Email this articleE-mail this story  Discuss this articleWrite letter to editor  Discuss this articleOrder a classified ad  Print this page

NWT invades Manhattan

Andrea Markey
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Dec 14/05) - The Rare in Nature campaign to promote the NWT and its diamonds had two Yellowknifers stationed in New York over the weekend talking up the territories during the gift-buying season.

NNSL Photo/graphic

Jeannine Pilon, left, of Arslanian Cutting Works, and Gayla Meredith, author of Canada's Northern Diamonds... From Rocks to Riches, were in Manhattan's Bryant Park over the weekend at the Rare in Nature booth to showcase NWT diamonds, qiviuq and other Northern offerings. The display will be set up until Jan. 15. - photo courtesy of Immedia

The campaign's 400-square-foot boutique, set up next to the Explore Canada pavilion in Manhattan's Bryant Park, is drawing large crowds, said Heather Kirk, of Immedia, the company charged with creating the international media campaign.

During the Fetes de Noel promotion in the park that began on Nov. 25 and runs until Jan. 15, between 500,000 and 750,000 people are expected to pass through the park, many stopping to find out more about the muskox qiviuq products available for purchase as well as the NWT and its government-certified diamonds, she said.

Jeannine Pilon, Canada's first certified women "brilliant round specialist" and a polisher at Arslanian Cutting Works, was at the Rare in Nature boutique over the weekend to demonstrate her craft.

Gayla Meredith, author of Canada's Northern Diamonds... From Rocks to Riches, was also there to discuss the highlights of the NWT.

Brendan Bell, the GNWT's Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment, said the marketing campaign to date is "exceeding our expectations."

Diamonds from Canada Dene Diamonds' facility in Yellowknife are used in the recently-unveiled Paul Hardy jewelry line, designed as part of the campaign.

The benefit of being involved in an international campaign such as Rare in Nature is the company is now on the map, said Neil McFadden, chief executive officer with Deton Cho Corporation, the majority shareholder of Canada Dene Diamonds.

"We are also getting into another stream, that being a line of jewelry," he said.

Previously, all completed diamonds would be used by Birks or under other trademark names, he said.

Now, Canada Dene Diamonds are specifically named in the Paul Hardy collection, in collaboration with Moshe Namdar & Co., a partner of Dene Diamonds, he said.