Lost bid a letdown for mayor

Arctic Winter Games to go to South Slave in 2018

Shawn Giilck | INUVIK
March 26, 2015

Inuvik Mayor Floyd Roland reacted with obvious disappointment to the news the town’s bid to hold the 2018 Arctic Winter Games (AWG) has failed.

“Of course we are disappointed to lose the opportunity to host this iconic Northern event,” Roland stated in a media release from the town. “We would have loved to bring the Games north of the Arctic Circle for the first time ever.”

Roland has been the face of the bid, and confirmed his disappointment in an e-mailed statement to Inuvik Drum.

“Needless to say we are disappointed that we were not successful in our bid to host the 2018 AWG,” he wrote. “The only thing was that both bids were close, it came down to depth and balance.”

The town had spearheaded a joint bid with surrounding communities, seeing Inuvik as the central hub, and other communities hosting events suited to their facilities.

“We worked with the Beaufort-Delta communities to present what we thought would be a winning package,” Roland stated.

“We wish to thank the Arctic Winter Games International Committee for the opportunity to bid, and our partner communities and bid committee members for the hard work they put in to preparing the bid. The process has helped us imagine what we are capable of doing.”

The AWG has never been held inside the Arctic Circle, and Roland has said in the past that he thought that would be a selling point for the bid.

“We put in a lot of work with the communities here – Aklavik, Fort McPherson, Tuktoyaktuk and ourselves – to put the best package we could together and we felt it was a winning combination,” he wrote. “Unfortunately, we found out that wasn’t the case but we wish the committee in the South Slave all the best.”

The region previously launched a bid for the 1994 AWG, during which time Roland was on council.

He said, at the time, there was a parade through town and plenty of bells and whistles when the international committee came in to do its site inspections.

This time, Roland said the bid committee decided to take a different approach.

“We felt it would be better to be a bit more measured and show everyone the facilities and venues we had and the folks on the ground we had in the communities,” he stated.

“Until we have a chance to go over the details of both bids, we won’t know how we could have strengthened our approach.” No other Inuvik officials were willing to comment on the matter.

Coun. Alana Mero said Roland and senior administrative officer Grant Hood were the only people authorized to comment on the bid. Kelly Penner, the town’s community services manager, and recreation director Steve Krug, who had been the principal staff members working on the bid, also said they couldn’t comment due to a directive from the town.

– with files from James McCarthy