Cultural storytelling at the closing ceremonies at the 2010 Arctic Winter Games in Grande Prairie, Alberta. ((Sue Glowach/CBC))

The 21st bi-annual Arctic Winter Games in Grande Prairie, Alta. came to a close on Saturday evening with a rich display of culture in the closing ceremonies.

Over 2,000 athletes, from nine teams throughout the Arctic, filed into the Canada Games arena to participate in and watch the ceremonies.

"It's our gift that we give back to the people, so that they have something to take home with them," said Garry Oker, co-creator of the ceremonies.

"And we hope that the experience that they had here would have revealed something important in their lives."

The closing ceremonies were the vehicle for the conclusion of "A Hero's Journey". A tale told by four characters of legend that began their story in the opening ceremonies then came back together to finish the story, sharing what gifts they received on their travels.


RCMP officers take part in the closing ceremonies. ((Sue Glowach/CBC))

"A typical hero's journey is that a hero hears or sees something, their calling, and they follow it," said Oker.

At the end of the ceremony, the flag and torch were handed over to Whitehorse, Yukon where, in two years, young athletes will once again vie for the gold ulu.


The athletes competed in 21 indoor and outdoor events in the week-long games.

The games included teams from Nunavut, Northwest Territories, Yukon, northern Alberta, Northern Quebec, Alaska, Greenland, Scandinavia, and Russia.