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2020 Arctic Winter Games location announced

by James McCarthy

Northern News Services

Team NWT knows where it will be heading in three years' time.

The 2020 Arctic Winter Games will be in Whitehorse, two years ahead of when they were scheduled to hit the Yukon capital.

Linda Rapp, Whitehorse's acting city manager, said city council unanimously passed a motion at its meeting on May 23 to approve Dan Curtis, the city's mayor, to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Yukon government and form a host society.

“It was a unanimous vote,” she said.

The city was asked by the Yukon Government to consider hosting two years ahead of schedule and Rapp said it all came down to whether the city was ready.

“We looked at what would make the most sense because the Games are a big deal,” she said. “We've always been supporters of the Games as being one of the original jurisdictions involved in getting it going and we decided to make it happen.”

The work on getting everything going is expected to get started this summer, she added.

“We'll file the papers to establish the society and get people in positions quickly,” she said.

Rapp will be meeting with the Games' international committee in Calgary next week to work on hammering out a hosting agreement.

Whitehorse last hosted the Games in 2012 and will take Iqaluit's place. The Nunavut capital was slated to host the 2020 Games before it was announced this past February that the Nunavut Government pulled out, citing a lack of infrastructure and funding.

Because Whitehorse is hosting ahead of its turn on the rotation, Alberta North, which was slated to be the host jurisdiction in 2024, will now take over Whitehorse's spot in 2022.

Right now Team NWT is planning for the 2018 Arctic Winter Games, which are happening in the South Slave next March.