Nunavut singer 'disappointed' Arctic Winter Games theme song not by northern artist

Kelly Fraser, a singer and songwriter from Sanikiluaq, Nunavut, says she's 'disappointed' the Games chose to showcase a song by Ontario artist Serena Ryder.

A Serena Ryder song was selected as the theme for the 2018 games

'I really wish they would just hire someone in the Arctic,' says Kelly Fraser, a singer and songwriter from Sanikiluaq, Nunavut.

A Nunavut songwriter is "disappointed" that this year's Arctic Winter Games will have a theme song by an artist from outside the circumpolar world.

Earlier this month the Arctic Winter Games released a promo of the chosen song — Be the Ones by Serena Ryder, who is from Ontario. The Games will get a portion of the profits from its iTunes sales.

"Could not find a talented circumpolar artist to represent the Arctic?" Kelly Fraser, a singer and songwriter from Sanikiluaq, posted on Facebook.

"I really wish they would just hire someone in the Arctic," she told CBC.

"It would really help our people and show the rest of the world that they are being supported."

Ryder's song was originally written for the Toronto 2015 Pan Am & Parapan Am Games, but it never aired.

Serena Ryder performs during the closing ceremony of the Pan Am Games in 2015. The song 'Be the Ones' was originally written for those games. (Julio Cortez/The Associated Press)

Fraser said she's a fan of Ryder's work, but she hopes the Arctic Winter Games will try to hire someone from the Arctic at future games.

​"I'm really disappointed in the Arctic Winter Games," she said.

Northern artists will be featured, AWG says

Todd Shafer, general manager of the AWG 2018 host committee, says the committee reached out to a specific group of artists and Ryder responded.

"There was an interest in the North from Serena Ryder and so it was a good fit for us," Shafer said.

"But we definitely are utilizing and incorporating northern artists throughout the games in other facets." 

He says it's mainly artists from the Northwest Territories featured in the opening and closing ceremonies and cultural events during the Games.

Ryder will not be performing at the Games, which begin on March 18 and are taking place in Hay River and Fort Smith.