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Tally-ho to Chester
Museum in England shares name, site link to Chesterfield Inlet

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The community of Chesterfield Inlet is one cool place, and we're not talking the temperature in mid January.

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A wall hanging by Eva Tanuyak depicts an Inuk drum dancer at the Chesterfield Museum and Art Gallery exhibitions in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, England. - photo courtesy of Anne-Marie Knowles

All things related to the community, and its people, have become a little star in the virtual world for people who visit the Chesterfield Museum and Art Gallery exhibitions in the town of Chesterfield, Derbyshire, England.

Chester has its own display at the museum, featuring the Municipality of Chesterfield Inlet flag, an amauti made by Rita Kadluk, and embroidery by Eva Tanuyak, among other items.

The relationship between the English town and the small Kivalliq hamlet began in 2003, when Chesterfield Museum curator AnneMarie Knowles launched her exhibit, What's in a Name?

The exhibit ran from Aug. 16 to Nov. 7, 2003 and sought to find out more about other places, people and things in the world that share the same name.

With a population of about 100,000, and located just north of London, the museum draws in a healthy stream of visitors, averaging between 25,000 to 27,000 annually.

The original project was helped along in 2003 by Shaun Klassen of Winnipeg, Man., who took part while working in Chesterfield Inlet as an intern summer student.

Today, the exhibit features a computer link to Chesterfield Inlet's web page, as well as numerous photographs and a history of the community that showcases Inuit culture, history and traditional clothing. Chester's website also links up with the Mystic Seaport Museum and the New Bedford Whaling Museum, focusing on the whaling era of the mid1800s to early 1900s.

It's hoped the exposure may lead to gains in tourism and other economic opportunities for the tiny community.

Chester community economic development officer David Kattegatsiak said the museum exhibit and computer links have made people more aware of Chesterfield Inlet and what it has to offer.

He said every little bit helps when it comes to promoting the community.

"The museum purchased the wall hanging and amauti for the exhibit and everything, big or small, that helps local sales is a good thing.

"The exhibit and link to England also boosts community pride a bit.

"They actually linked-up our website to a computer right in their museum, so people are learning about us.

"But, unfortunately, there's no way of tracking it, so I have no clue as to how many might use the link."

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