Northern Lights conference a gathering spot for political, business leaders

Five-day event in Ottawa wraps up Saturday with gala event

Artist shops crowded by potential buyers coming from all around at the Northern Lights conference and trade show. (Photo by Cedric Gallant, special to Nunatsiaq News)

By Cedric Gallant
Special to Nunatsiaq News

The Northern Lights conference and trade show has been in full throttle this week, providing a gathering ground for political, cultural and business leaders from the North.

The five-day event at the Shaw Centre in Ottawa, which wraps up Saturday, has featured conferences on topics ranging from Indigenous-led economic development and tourism, to discussions on the military and green energy.

Keynote speakers have included Makivik Corp. president Pita Aatami, Inuit Circumpolar Council Canada vice-president Lisa Koperqualuk, activist and Nobel Prize nominee Siila-Watt Cloutier, and Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. CEO Brian Penney.

Meanwhile, on the third floor at the centre dozens of artists from the North have been showing and selling their works at an exposition.

Nearby, a trade show has allowed Northern businesses and organizations to open booths to show off their products and discuss future plans.

The annual conference, organized by the Baffin Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Labrador North Chamber of Commerce, was paused during the first years of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year, it opened on Tuesday and the lineup for the final day gala on Saturday includes traditional performers Janice Parsons and Sandy Emudluk from Nunavik, the Not Even Band from Nunavut, and the Silver Wolf Band from Labrador.

  • Ruben Komangapik cutting seal meat to promote his company, Reconseal Inuksiuti, at the Trade Show. (Photo by Cedric Gallant, special to Nunatsiaq News)
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