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Nunavut Quest dog-mushing race cancelled due to Covid

Because all non-essential travel has been discouraged by Nunavut's chief public health officer, the Nunavut Quest dog-mushing race has been cancelled. photo courtesy Baffin Fisheries

The COVID-19 pandemic has prevented the Nunavut Quest from going ahead for a second straight year.

Organizers announced on Thursday that the 425-km competition from Arctic Bay to Iglulik, scheduled for April 26 to May 3, will not proceed due to current COVID-19 restrictions, including the chief public health officer's order advisory that all non-essential travel should be avoided.

The Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA), which had previously designated $100,000 toward the event, has decided to give each of the 14 registered teams $5,000 to cover costs incurred while preparing for the race.

The organizing committee will receive $10,000 to pay for expenses to date and to prepare for next year's race.

The Qimmiit Revitalization Program will get $20,000 to in support of future races.

“QIA and the race organizers did not come to these decisions lightly,” QIA President P.J. Akeeagok stated. “We were eagerly anticipating being vocal fans of this year’s race, but the health and safety of Qikiqtani Inuit must be the number one priority of both sponsors and race organizers. We are all doing our part to flatten the curve and reduce the spread of COVID-19.”