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Yellowknife's ice carving competition gets big funding boost

Yellowknife's Long John Jamboree is getting $150,000 in funding for its ice carving competition.

De Beers Canada will pour $150,000 into the Inspired Ice Carving Competition over the next 5 years

A man carves ice at a previous Inspired Ice Carving competition at the Long John Jamboree in Yellowknife. De Beers Canada announced Monday that it will fund the competition with $150,000 over the next five years. (Submitted by Long John Jamboree)

Yellowknife's Long John Jamboree is getting some major funding.

De Beers Canada announced Monday that it will be investing $150,000 in the Jamboree's Inspired Ice Carving Competition over the next five years — working out to $30,000 a year.

The competition brings ice carvers from across North America to the city, where they compete to create the best ice sculpture.

"This money… will allow us to bring over competitors from all over the world," said Garett Cochrane, the Jamboree's vice president.

The Long John Jamboree and the ice carving competition have run since 2012.

Larry MacFarlane, from Winnipeg, is carving ice. He is hoping to enter this year's competition. (Gabriela Panza-Beltrandi/CBC)

"[This money] will allow us to basically continue to reach our goal of transforming this competition into one of the world's premier ice carving competitions, and a local Yellowknife tradition," Cochrane said.

De Beers wants to create a legacy with the competition according to Allen Rodel, general manager for the company's Gahcho Kue mine, located about 280 kilometres northeast of Yellowknife.

"We believe that this competition and the Long John Jamboree is really close to the heart of the people of Yellowknife, and we want to be part of that process," he said.

DeBeers has invested on and off in the competition since 2012.

The Long John Jamboree will be on the weekend of March 23, 2018.

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