AWG organizers update council on preparations

NNSL file photo Greg Rowe, at the time co-chair of the South Slave bid committee for the 2018 Arctic Winter Games, holds the bid book in March of last year. Rowe is now president of the 2018 South Slave Arctic Winter Games Host Society.

NNSL file photo
Greg Rowe, at the time co-chair of the South Slave bid committee for the 2018 Arctic Winter Games, holds the bid book in March of last year. Rowe is now president of the 2018 South Slave Arctic Winter Games Host Society.

The organizers of the 2018 South Slave Arctic Winter Games have updated town council on their progress.

Greg Rowe, the president of the host society, and Todd Shafer, the general manager of the Games, appeared before council on May 16.

“Given the calendar of events of where we’re going to be over the next six months, our big one coming up is in September, the international committee is going to be here,” said Rowe. “We’ll be presenting our first budget, as well as confirming our MOUs (memorandums of understanding) which we need to have in order to get our budgets.”

The target date to complete the initial budget is the end of June in advance of the international committee visit Sept. 11 to 13.

Rowe said organizers had already spoken with town administration about getting an MOU with Hay River and Fort Smith, which will co-host the games.

“The international committee has asked for that,” he said, adding MOUs will also be drafted with other organizations, such as the South Slave Divisional Education Council and Northern Transportation Company Ltd. (NTCL).

The games’ organizers are hoping to hold some ceremonies and events in the Northern Transportation Company’s Synchrolift building but Rowe said those plans are “a little up in the air” in light of the company’s well-known financial difficulties. Still, he said discussions are still proceeding with NTCL as normal.

Rowe said organizers also had the opportunity to meet with Aurora College in Fort Smith in late April.

“They’d given us a letter of support for the Games when we put the package together but they hadn’t committed to their facilities or their accommodations,” he said. “So they have come on side and basically said that all their facilities will be available to us, as well they will be closing that session for that week that we’re there.”

The 2018 South Slave Arctic Winter Games Host Society was incorporated in September, and since then there have been a number of meetings of members in Hay River and Fort Smith.

“Our next meeting is June 4 and 5 here in Hay River,” said Rowe, adding that will be just after the NWT Track and Field Championships. “Most of the board members from Fort Smith are going to be over here already. The opportunity to get together is a huge value to us.”

Shafer said much of his work since becoming general manager in late April has been preparing for the September meeting with the AWG’s international committee.

Plus, he said he has been working with the host society’s sponsors and fundraising director, Shari Olsen of Fort Smith, on finalizing a sponsor package.

Deputy mayor Donna Lee Jungkind asked Rowe about updates in the future.

“What type of reporting will we get from the host committee through to the two councils, and how often?” she asked.

Rowe said the reporting would be done quarterly.

Jungkind also requested that future updates contain information on fundraising, resources, volunteers and other things that the host society is going to need.

She said such information would ensure that a conversation on requirements is always happening between the host society and Hay River and Fort Smith.

Paul Bickford