Three groups share $1.5 million Arctic Inspiration Prize

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This year’s Arctic Inspiration Prize is to be split between all three finalists after organizers announced a surprise jump in funding.

Billed as a million-dollar prize, organizers at Wednesday’s ceremony in Ottawa said increased support from partners had pushed that figure to $1.5 million.

As a result, two of the three finalists each received $600,000 while a third was awarded $300,000.

The Tri-Territorial Recreation Training project, based in Whitehorse, was one of the night’s two big winners – earning $600,000 for plans to help recreation leaders in northern communities with “sustainable, relevant training”.

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The project will benefit NWT communities alongside those in Nunavut and Yukon.

Qaggiq, which offers performing arts opportunities and mentorship in the Arctic, also picked up $600,000.

Better Hearing in Education for Northern Youth, or BHENY, took home $300,000 to help youth with hearing loss living in the Qikiqtani (Baffin) region of Nunavut.

Read: Find out more about the finalists

Wednesday’s awards mark a return to the prize’s tradition of dividing its funding between deserving groups.

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Last year’s Arctic Inspiration Prize was presented to FOXY, a Yellowknife-based group working to improve sexual health and sexual education among northern youth.

FOXY’s success marked the first time the annual million-dollar prize had been awarded to a sole winner.

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