Nunavut preschool wins $1M Arctic Inspiration Prize

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A Nunavut preschool is the winner of this year’s $1 million Arctic Inspiration Prize.

The winners of five awards worth a collective $2.6 million were announced at a ceremony Tuesday night at the Yukon Arts Centre in Whitehorse.

Pirurvik: A Place to Grow is an early childhood education centre in Pond Inlet, Nunavut. The program, which began in 2016, is based on the Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit principle pilimmaksarniq, which allows children to learn at their own pace, according to the prize’s website.

« The Pirurvik preschool was born from a dream, » said an emotional Tessa Lochhead, a co-director at the centre, with her baby strapped to her back. « We had this dream for our children, and now we have realized that dream. »

According to their website, Pirurvik’s program aims to « change the lives of children » in Nunavut by offering education rooted in traditional child-rearing practices and is responsive to the needs of each community.

« Children learn at their own pace, they’re guided by their natural curiosity, » Lochhead told CBC in November.

A child plays with a sled and sealskin at Pirurvik: A Place to Grow. The centre offers education rooted in traditional child-rearing practices and the Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit principle of pilimmaksarniq. (Submitted by Tessa Lochhead)

« [Children] see seal skins on stretchers that they’re able to learn how to stretch and weave, » Karen Nutarak, who works alongside Lochhead at Pirurvik, previously told CBC. « They see Inuktitut syllabics. »

The project’s goal is to expand programming for toddlers and infants in seven Nunavut communities and, eventually, across the territory.

The Arctic Inspiration Prize rewards northern projects committed to addressing the « causes rather than the symptoms » of issues facing the North. This year’s awards mark the first time the awards ceremony has been held in the North.

The prize is the brainchild of Arnold Witzig and his wife Simi Sharifi, who donated millions to fund the awards.

Andrew Kitigon, 18, and Kaitak Allukpik, 20, were two of the delegates present representing From Scrap to Art. (Jane Sponagle/CBC)

Cambridge Bay youth win $100,000

Pirurvik was not the only winner at Tuesday night’s ceremony.

A youth prize of $100,000 was awarded to From Scrap to Art, a program in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, that teaches workshop skills by getting youth to convert scrap metal into art.

« Sculpture represents our resilience, our time, and our future, » said Andrew Kitigon, who is involved in the program, as he received the award.

« For youth like us, there’s not a lot of places or things we can do in a small community… our imagination runs a million miles a minute, but in the end, what do we do with all the ideas? »

« It changed our lives, » said Kaitak Allukpik, another student. « We thank God every day we’ve been given the gift to become leaders and share knowledge with other youth and young people like us. »

A Cambridge Bay program that puts teens to work making scrap metal artworks like these received the $100,000 youth prize at this year’s awards. (Alex Brockman/CBC)

Federal government matches $500k prize in surprise announcement

Three projects won in the AIP category, which allows for a prize of up to $500,000.

Yukon’s Tr’ondek Hwech’in Teaching and Working Farm received $500,000 for its program that offers farm training and locally-grown food to community members.

In an emotional surprise announcement made as they collected their award, Yukon MP Larry Bagnell said the federal government would be matching the prize.

« We couldn’t have done this if the Inspiration Prize money hadn’t been there, » said Bagnell, adding that the program could be imitated « across the North. »

The $1 million will go toward the construction of a cold-climate greenhouse on Tr’ondek Hwech’in traditional territory.

Yukon MP Larry Bagnell made a surprise appearance at the Arctic Inspiration Awards to announce matching federal funding for the Tr’ondek Hwech’in Teaching and Working Farm. (Jane Sponagle/CBC)

Two other projects won prizes in the AIP category. Nunavik’s Nunami Sukijainiq won $466,000 for a land-based ecology program.

The program will offer camps pairing elders with youth from Inuit communities in northern Quebec, covering topics like permafrost, lake ecology, and contaminants.

The final $500,000 prize was awarded to a project called Traditional Techniques Tweaked to Galvanize Indigenous Northern Artisans, led by Sue McNeil.

Based in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region and Gwich’in Settlement Area, the project would create an association for local artists and crafters to assist them in developing their business.


Disclosure: CBC North is a proud sponsor of the Arctic Inspiration Prize. Juanita Taylor, host of CBC’s Northbeat, was the emcee of Tuesday night’s ceremony.

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Runaway barges cause more than $1M in property damage, Vancouver police say

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Two heavy barges the size of soccer fields that broke loose of their moorings early Wednesday are believed to have caused at least $1 million in property damage, police say.

Sgt. Jason Robillard of the Vancouver Police Department told reporters at a press conference Thursday the barges were moored in North Vancouver when they came loose just after 5 a.m. and floated across Burrard Inlet toward Coal Harbour.

The barges, which were tied together and carrying shipping containers, damaged a seaplane base, a local restaurant and two luxury yachts in the Coal Harbour Marina.

« Fortunately, there were no injuries reported, » said Robillard.

VPD’s marine unit received a 911 call around 6:30 a.m. Wednesday regarding the floating barges, Robillard said.

Two local tugboats, two Port of Vancouver vessels and a VPD marine unit vessel managed to pull the barges back to North Vancouver just after 8 a.m.

The barges crashed into the harbourfront patio of the Lift Bar and Grill, breaking two glass panels on the Coal Harbour restaurant’s patio. (Ken Leedham/CBC)

Investigation underway

Vancouver police are investigating the the extent of the damage while the Transportation Safety Board investigates the cause.

Mohan Raman, operations manager for marine investigations at the Transportation Safety Board, told CBC News the barges were owned by two marine transportation companies, North Arm Transportation and Mercury Launch and Tug Ltd.

« We are still gathering information at this point and we don’t know the cause as to why the barge drifted or came out of its mooring, » said Raman.

CBC News contacted both companies but they have yet to respond.

One of the structures that suffered damage was the Lift Bar and Grill, a restaurant located next to the harbour. Restaurant manager Claire Clarke told CBC News two glass panels on the restaurant’s patio were smashed as a result of the impact.

Clarke said the restaurant’s engineers will assess the damage and the owners will be looking into making an insurance claim.

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Unemployed Hamilton man, retiree win $1M lotto prize – Hamilton

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Hamilton is home to some new millionaires.


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Hamilton lottery winner plans to give some proceeds to charity

Robert Benning and Catherine Bates won a $1-million MAXMILLIONS prize in the June 8 Lotto Max draw.

The couple says it was the first time they bought a lottery ticket online.

The windfall comes at a good time, since Robert, a 58-year-old former steel plant employee, recently lost his job after the plant closed.


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Two Hamilton-area residents win big in lotteries

He apparently proposed to Bates, a 59-year-old retiree, after telling her about their win.

The couple plans on using the money to help their three children and buy a new trailer somewhere down south.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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