Arctic Winter Games apologizes, promises 'financial compensation' for northern performers after backlash

Arctic Winter Games organizers confirmed they will now give some money to northern performers at the Arctic Winter Games in March.

'It was not our intention to disrespect the arts community,' says marketing manager Thorsten Gohl

Unlike opening ceremony performers seen here in 2016, Northern musicians, dancers and storytellers who perform during the games were being recruited as unpaid volunteers by the AWG Host Society. (Vagn Hansen/AWG 2016)

Organizers of the Arctic Winter Games are responding to recent backlash on their unpaid northern performers posting, and is promising "financial compensation" for local performances in Fort Smith and Hay River, N.W.T., this March.

Earlier this week, artists from across the territory accused the games of undervaluing cultural and artistic contributions after organizers said local performers would not be paid.

"The 2018 South Slave Arctic Winter Games would like to apologize for the way that our call for Northern performers and musicians was perceived recently," writes Thorsten Gohl, marketing manager for the games, in a news release.  

"It was not our intention to disrespect the arts community."

Gohl added that there will be financial compensation for performing artists at the opening and closing ceremonies, local performances and those who run workshops. It is unclear how much pay performers will receive.

An updated call for performers will be issued in the near future, Gohl said.

With files from Kirsten Murphy


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