Arctic Games need more volunteers

The Arctic Winter Games in Whitehorse kick off in just 51 days and organizers still need of a lot of volunteers. The AWG Host Society estimates it requires 700 more people.

The Arctic Winter Games in Whitehorse kick off in just 51 days and organizers still need of a lot of volunteers.

The AWG Host Society estimates it requires 700 more people to step forward to reach its goal of 2,500 volunteers.

But people shouldn’t wait until the last minute to register, said volunteer services co-ordinator Rachel Clarke.

“We do need more volunteers,” said Clarke. “If people in Whitehorse haven’t signed up yet, it’s imperative that they do as soon as possible. We ask all volunteers to go through a record check because we’re working with a vulnerable sector – this is a youth Games. That takes up the bulk of the time.”

If the background check sounds tedious or expensive, don’t sweat it, she said. The Host Society will take care of it.

“If you come down to our office at 308 Wood Street, we will handle the processing of it,” said Clarke. “Just bring two pieces of ID to verify your identity.”

“If there are folks out there who are interested, we just need them to get on the website and volunteer,” said Host Society president George Arcand. “We’re looking for any help anyone is willing to give us, in terms of sponsorship as well.”

People don’t need to worry about signing away their lives either, explained Clarke. Volunteers can select from a list of duties, sports and/or venues to donate their time.

“There is quite a range of positions people can volunteer for,” said Clarke.

In the highest demand are positions in food services, security and the motor pool.

The 50 Day Countdown celebration, which will take place 12 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Jan. 14 at the Canada Games Centre, will feature the unveiling of the volunteer jacket. The event will also include free public skating, live music, ticket sales, giveaways and a chance to meet the Games mascot Borealis.

There will also be a volunteer station where people can learn more and register.

“I’m positive that the community will step up and support this,” said Clarke. “It’s been 12 years since we’ve had the Arctic Winter Games … Everyone in town is aware of big events like this and typically they wait until the last moment to sign up. But we are really encouraging them to sign up early – to sign up right away – so all their pieces will get into place and there are no glitches once the Games happen.”

This will be the sixth time Whitehorse has hosted the Arctic Games. They run from March 4 to 10. More than 2,000 athletes, coaches and mission staff expected to participate, including the Yukon contingent.

All nine northern contingents will be in Whitehorse for the event, each contributing to the cultural component of the Games.

Contact Tom Patrick at

tomp@yukon-news.com