Posted in About Alaska

Join us at the Westmark Fairbanks Hotel this March 15-22 in Alaska’s Golden Heart City to celebrate the 2014 Arctic Winter Games! The weeklong sporting event is the world’s largest northern multi-sport and cultural event, hosted every two years by northern communities such as Alaska, Greenland and Canada.

The Arctic Winter Games brings together more than 2,000 athletes ages 13 to 24 to compete in a variety of sporting events, including hockey, dog mushing, biathlon, skiing, gymnastics, soccer and more. The games focus not only on competition but the cultural experiences and social aspect of the event as well, such as visual arts, dance, ceremonies and galas with attendees from across the circumpolar region of the world.

The renowned event began as an idea born by three community leaders in 1969. Commissioner James Smith (Yukon), Commissioner Stuart Hodgson (Northwest Territories) and Governor Walter Hickel (Alaska) put together plans for a grand event to encourage competition in a social environment in the North. The inaugural games kicked off in 1970 with only Alaska, Yukon and Northwest Territories participants, and has since grown to nine regional contingents including Alaska; Alberta, Canada; Greenland; Northwest Territories, Canada; Nunavik-Quebec, Canada; Nunavut, Canada; Sapmi, Scandinavia; Yamal, Russia; and Yukon, Canada.

Each year, the regions participating in the games bring a group of performing artists to showcase a tradition native to their communities. Other artistic displays at the games include school art projects, the Arctic Winter Games Traveling Exhibit, the Arctic Winter Games Pin Exhibit, a visual arts exhibit and much more. Fairbanks’ Pioneer Park will also host a Folk Art Festival and Exposition for pin trading and other activities for all to join!

The Westmark Fairbanks Hotel is proud to sponsor the 2014 Arctic Winter Games and we look forward to welcoming visitors, locals and athletes from around the world to discover the special camaraderie of the events and additional cultural and recreational opportunities Fairbanks has to offer. Good luck to all!