As Canada's newest and northernmost territory, Nunavut comprises most of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, covering a mass about the size of Western Europe. In 2010, however, its capital city, Iqaluit, garnered worldwide attention when it successfully hosted the meeting of G7 Finance Ministers from Canada, the U.S., Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Japan. While the territory's isolation is an asset for security conscious groups and corporations, Nunavut event venues also serve as launchpads for adventure, including true north experiences like the dazzling Northern Lights; nature treks to view Arctic wildlife including polar bears, beluga whales, muskox, walrus and more.
There are no roads to Nunavut, which is accessible only by airplanes or ship. Multi-day Arctic cruises from Cruise North Adventure Canada call at several ports; however, most groups connect from cities in Canada (including Ottawa, Montreal, Winnipeg, Edmonton, and Yellowknife). Regional airlines serving Nunavut include First Air, Calm Air, Canadian North, Air Canada Jazz, Air Inuit and Kivalliq Air.
As Nunavut's capital, is most suited for large conferences, high-end incentive programs and trade shows. Chief among large Nunavut event venues is Iqaluit's largest conference facility, the 95-room Frobisher Inn, with flexible meeting space in four conference rooms. Located in the same building, movie theaters are also accessible for meetings and video presentations. Smaller meetings can be held at Hotel Arctic and the Discovery Lodge, both operating with full-service restaurants and catering facilities. Other cities in Nunavut are conducive to smaller group meetings and CEO retreats in wilderness lodges include Cape Dorset, Cambridge Bay, Rankin Inlet, Arviat, Pond Inlet and Baker Lake.
Iqaluit is an excellent base for day trips, from husky mushing, hiking, fishing, kayaking and outdoor adventures in Sylvia Grinnell Park. Among the most exciting day trips is a short flight to Cape Dorset, famed for its Inuit artists; Auyuittuq National Park for hiking and animal viewing; or to Pangnirtung, which is popular for the scenic fjord location that invites hiking and skiing, as well as the local artisans famed for woven crafts.
In a planner's world where meeting expectations are crucial, it's important to note that – while meeting north of the 60th parallel is a departure from the norm of meeting in urban, 5 Star hotels – Nunavut is a destination with unique possibilities. At the end of the day, creative planners should not be surprised to hear delegates saying "Uaruluujaalu!" That's the Inuktitut expression for "awesome."