Shane Thompson: Arctic Winter Games 2023 and Canada Winter Games

Déclarations aux médias

Yellowknife — 14 février 2023

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Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the athletes, coaches, managers, and mission staff who represented Team Northwest Territories, better known as Team NT, at the 2023 Arctic Winter Games recently held in Wood Buffalo, Alberta. I also want to acknowledge those who are representing Team NT at the upcoming 2023 Canada Winter Games in Prince Edward Island, scheduled from February 18 to March 5.

It was exciting to finally see the return of the Arctic Winter Games after five years. Team NT was 347 participants strong, comprised of a diverse group of athletes who competed in 19 different sports.

The Arctic Winter Games provide an opportunity for our coaches, officials, and athletes to engage with and compete against other circumpolar countries. Not only are the Games an athletic competition, they are also an opportunity to promote social exchanges and learn about cultural values from other countries and regions. I would like to thank the Team NT leaders: the Chef de Mission, Mr. Bill Othmer and Assistant Chefs de Mission, Mr. Damon Crossman and Ms. Rita Mercredi, and the rest of the Mission staff.

In addition to Team NT, the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs was pleased to support the Northwest Territories Youth Ambassadors Program at the Arctic Winter Games. This Program offers a wonderful volunteer experience for youth at major territorial, national and international events. Participants work to develop life and job skills, and to build the confidence necessary to deal with complex life challenges. There were nine youth volunteering with the 2023 Arctic Winter Games host society who were between the ages of 16-19 and from seven different communities across the Northwest Territories. These youth are the role models and leaders of tomorrow and I commend them for taking the opportunity to learn and grow by participating in this exciting volunteer experience.


In the coming days, Team NT will again be represented by 155 athletes and coaches competing in 11 sports at the 2023 Canada Winter Games.  The Canada Games showcases the highest level of national competition for Canadian athletes and provides our nation’s high-performance athletes a venue to compete with the hope of earning a spot on Team Canada for the Olympics or other international events.

I would like to wish the very best to our leaders for the Canada Winter Games: the Chef de Mission, Ms. Rita Mercredi and Assistant Chef de Mission, Mr. Damon Crossman, as they and Team NT make their way to the Games.

I also want to recognize the many volunteers who are responsible for supporting Team NT. This includes Sport North Federation and Territorial Sport Organizations volunteers who are responsible for selecting and managing teams. Volunteers are a significant and an important part of sport and recreation programs that contribute to a healthier Northwest Territories.

The Government of the Northwest Territories is extremely proud to support our teams at both the Arctic and Canada Winter Games through financial assistance and a range of other programs that support development of coaches and athletes at the local, regional, territorial, and national levels.

For those of you still celebrating the successes the 2023 Arctic Winter Games, I sincerely hope you all enjoyed this truly wonderful experience. For those about to attend the Canada Winter Games, have fun, work hard, and make us proud, as you always do.

Go Team NT!

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.