On the long list of pandemic postponements was Rankin Inlet’s iconic Kivalliq Trade Show, but the annual networking and business event is finally coming back to its in-person glory this September in the Agnico Eagle Arena.
“It’s arguably one of the largest events in Rankin, for sure in the Kivalliq,” said Megan Pizzo-Lyall, president of the trade show society.
The last trade show was held in 2019, before the new arena opened. Since the pandemic, the society has offered virtual events, including a winter speaker series this March that has seen keynotes on renewable energy in the region and the future of the Kivalliq workforce. The last one is set for Wednesday, March 30, and will feature a discussion about the pandemic and adapting to the new normal.
Pizzo-Lyall said up to 400 people come in and out of town during the trade show week, with lots of delegates from the territorial and federal government, as well as 40-odd booths for exhibitors and a day set aside for the public.
Included with the trade show, but running as a separate initiative, is the Kivalliq Entrepreneur Program.
That program will bookend the trade show this summer. It teaches existing or potential entrepreneurs how to start a business, what supports are available and how to keep it running. It includes discussions on networking, financing and bookkeeping.
“It’s a very in-depth program and it’s been successful,” said Pizzo-Lyall, adding that it’s been run in other Kivalliq communities as well.
Rankin Inlet has seen several entrepreneurs pop up during the pandemic, from dental services to cabs and restaurants, something Pizzo-Lyall applauds.
“It’s a whole movement,” she said. “People want to be their own bosses. They want to do what they love and they want to make it successful.”
One underserved need in Nunavut businesses is bookkeeping, she added.
“It’s one of those things that start-ups and existing businesses need to have to be successful,” she said. “They need to have good bookkeeping and they need to be filing with the government in a timely fashion and properly.”
The 2022 Kivalliq Trade Show is scheduled for Sept. 26 to 28. Pizzo-Lyall suggests booking accommodations early. More information on the trade show and winter speaker series can be found at kivalliqtradeshow.ca.