North

Air shows proposed in 97 northern communities to celebrate Canada's 150th birthday

From Yukon to Labrador, plans are underway to celebrate Canada's 150th birthday with a special aviation show for communities across the North.

Project's budget is $8M, still awaiting federal funding approval

Nancy McClure, an organizer with the Canadian Arctic Aviation Tour 2017 - Wings Over The North, hopes the air show will visit 97 northern communities, in celebration of Canada's 150th birthday in 2017. (Cheryl Kawaja/CBC)

From Yukon to Labrador, plans are underway to celebrate Canada's 150th birthday with a special aviation show for communities across the North.

Organizers hope the air show — the Canadian Arctic Aviation Tour 2017 - Wings Over The North — will visit 97 northern communities, but there's a ways to go before it gets off the ground.

"What we hope to do is be able to provide the same opportunity to people that live in northern communities... as would be provided to anybody living in the south part of Canada," said organizer Nancy McClure, who spoke to Whitehorse City Council about the project Monday night.

From Yukon to Labrador, 97 proposed northern communities could see an air show next year. (Cheryl Kawaja/CBC)

The tour's budget is $8 million, some of which McClure said is already secured through private sponsorship. Project organizers are depending on a federal funding application for the rest.

"We are still waiting for confirmation," she said. "We should know hopefully in the next couple of months."

With so many isolated communities, McClure said the air shows will vary depending on location.

"There's sort of four different sizes," she said, adding that northern runways will dictate what aircraft the crew can bring to a particular community.
Dan Curtis, the mayor of Whitehorse, supports the air show. (Cheryl Kawaja/CBC)

"Some of them will have the Canadian Forces Snowbirds, the CF-18 Demo Team," she said but adds all locations will have a core crew that includes the Canadian Forces SkyHawks.

Whitehorse Mayor Dan Curtis supports the project and although the city is not being asked for financial help, organizers do hope it can provide some in-kind donations if it goes ahead.

"It's a really exciting opportunity," Curtis said. "Especially in the summertime, to have so many aviation fans come forward and enjoy our past and our future."

now