The ninth annual Kivalliq Trade Show attracted its largest number of participants yet this past week in Rankin Inlet.
The event ran from Sept. 24 to 26 and featured a large gathering of presenters, an art market, fashion show, entrepreneur activities, a community talent spotlight and a gala supper, ceremony and dance to close things out for another year.
Kivalliq Inuit Association social development co-ordinator Sam Tutanuak has represented a number of organizations at the trade show over the years.
Tutanuak said the trade show puts a bright spotlight on the business and employment opportunities in the Kivalliq region.
He said the show also gathers the main players of the commercial world under one roof.
“Even after all these years, connections are still made and deals, official or unofficial, are still struck during the Kivalliq Trade Show,” he said.
“It can seem like it’s always the same group of people at the show, overall, but there’s always someone new who comes in and forms a new relationship with someone at the event.
“The show also gives good exposure to the art world and, hopefully, some good sales for our region’s seamstresses, carvers and whatnot.
“There are also monies raised for local charities or organizations through silent auctions and live auctions, so it’s really a win-win for everyone involved.”
Tutanuak still sees a bright future ahead for the Kivalliq Trade Show.
He said he sees the event continuing for many years to come.
“Rankin is still a growing community, as are most Kivalliq communities and we’re just scratching the surface of our potential, so there will be plenty of good years to come.”
David Fredlund, a member of the Kivalliq Trade Show Society, said this was definitely the biggest trade show yet.
He said the event plays an important role in the region’s overall economy, as more and more businesses get involved with each other at the show.
“There are more partnerships happening all the time and the show plays a large part in that and, in my opinion, is something that should continue as we move forward,” said Fredlund.
“Artists and the art they produce is an industry unto itself and the trade show helps them bring in revenue for themselves, which definitely ties into the business aspect of things and it helps increase the visibility, or exposure, of artists in our community and those from across the region who come in for the show.”
Fredlund said Rankin Inlet continues to grow, as does mining activity and exploration in the Kivalliq region, so there’s no reason the trade show can’t continue to grow right along with them.
“The logistics of the show are formidable,” he said.
“To put on this kind of thing takes a lot of manpower, financial support from outside organizations and, of course, the support of the community itself.”