Circumpolar voices united in song

Contingents travelling to the Arctic Winter Games are participating in a relay this year, but participants are not carrying a burning torch as one might typically expect. A song relay to develop a compilation video for the Arctic Winter Games' theme song was launched last March, and made its way through all nine of the participating regions.

A theme song kit was sent in a specific order to the various regions -- Alaska, northern Alberta, Greenland, Nunavut, NWT, Yamal, Russia, Sammi (Sweden, Finland, Norway) and Yukon. The relay circulated in the Northwest Territories from Nov. 9 to Dec. 2.

Sport North took care of organizing the NWT portion of the event.

During the opening ceremonies of the games, to be held March 4 in Whitehorse, the music video that accompanies the song, titled Play Your Part, will debut.

"Ours will be the same as everyone's (musically) ... we were asked to also provide photos and videos, which we did," said Melanie Kornacki, the marketing co-ordinator for Sport North.

Kornacki said when the federation knew the relay was coming to the territory they put out an open call to schools and all of the territorial sport organizations for content. Although submissions of images and videos poured in, the NWT came up short on audio content.

"We could not find anyone willing to (sing) on air, so, unfortunately, we did not get that portion."

Option to record

Different regions were given the option to record either throat singing, the lyrics to the theme song, various musical instruments -- such as the drum -- or recording the name of the contingent's region in traditional languages.

"I was told we ended up providing a lot of images and videos, which was great," said Kornacki, "We ended up with over 85 files. I was told, that compared to others, that was over and above."

Yukon musical duo the Root Sellers were commissioned to compose the games' theme song and the video. Both the song and the video will debut live at the opening ceremonies.

Images and videos submitted from the territory include scenes such as driving up the road to Inuvik, planes landing and taking off, dog mushing and images from Enterprise, Fort McPherson, Yellowknife and Hay River.

"We tried to make sure all of the regions were included."

Kornacki said they will not know which images were chosen until the video is revealed at the opening ceremonies. "It really depends on what they wanted to use."

After all nine regions competing in the game completed their portion of the song and music video, Root Sellers then took it to the studio for editing and blended the song and recordings into the video.

Play Your Part has been released online and can be heard on the Sport North Federation website.