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'Buzz' returns to Kitikmeot
Annual trade show sees more sponsors, more exhibitors

Thandiwe Vela
Northern News Services
Published Saturday, February 23, 2013

Exhibitor booths were sold out for this year's Kitikmeot Trade Show as growing economic development in the region continues to draw industry interest to the annual event, which was held Feb. 11 to 13 in Cambridge Bay.

NNSL photo/graphic

Helen Kaloon of Gjoa Haven had a booth with crafts made by herself and other seamstresses from Gjoa Haven, who attended the 2013 Kitikmeot Tradeshow. - Navalik Tologanak/NNSL photo

"It was really good. We ended up with more sponsors, more exhibitors than ever before," said economic development officer Jim MacEachern.

Only 48 of the 56 registered exhibitors were able to take part after flight cancellations on the Monday night, but some 186 delegates representing a cross-section of sectors including mining and exploration, hospitality, construction, fashion, arts and crafts, aviation, government and aboriginal organizations created "a real buzz" in the community, said attendee Elizabeth Kingston, general manager of the NWT and Nunavut Chamber of Mines office in Nunavut.

"It seemed to be a really positive buzz," Kingston said. "There seemed to be a really healthy cross-section of players that were participating. It was well organized and when you go to Cambridge Bay you get a real sense of welcoming there from the community."

Kingston was one of the speakers at this year's show speaking on growth and development in the Kitikmeot region, and how partnerships with the mining sector, government, land owners and education groups could provide maximum benefits.

Kingston's presentation tied in with the overall theme of this year's show which was BET on the Kitikmeot, the B.E.T. standing for business, education and training.

"Our mining industry in Nunavut is our economic strength. The different mining opportunities ahead of us, economic growth, will lead to economic development," Kingston said.

Advanced projects in the region highlighted at the show included Xstrata Zinc's Hackett River, Sabina Gold and Silver's Back River project, MMG Ltd.'s Izok Corridor, and the Hope Bay Project recently acquired by TMAC Resources.

"There's a lot going on in the Kitikmeot, particularly in Cambridge Bay right now," MacEachern said, adding the Canadian High Arctic Research Station, a new head office under construction by the Kitikmeot Inuit Association, and a new municipal office being built to keep up with the region's growth to the list of projects.

The only challenge to growing the trade show, MacEachern said, is it has reached maximum capacity with the venues and accommodation availability in the hamlet.

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