De Beers has announced that it is resuming its title sponsorship of an international ice carving competition in Canada’s Northwest Territories (NWT).
A recap of 2015's Inspired Ice Carving Competition.
The company will give C$25,000 (US$19,100) in funding for the De Beers Inspired Ice – NWT Ice Carving Championship during the Long John Jamboree in the NWT capital Yellowknife this month.
Tom Ormsby, Head of External and Corporate Affairs at De Beers Canada, said: “It’s very exciting for us. The Long John Jamboree is such a special event for Yellowknife that we wanted to be a part of it in any way we could.”
De Beers was the founding sponsor of the annual competition in 2012 but was unable to sponsor the event in 2016 following the decision to put its Snap Lake mine under care and maintenance. Now, with the company’s new joint venture Gahcho Kué mine in the final stages of reaching full production, the company has stepped back as the title sponsor.
Tom added: “Now we’re in a position where we can show our support again, and the De Beers Inspired Ice Carving Competition is really the marquee event of the Yellowknife Long John Jamboree. We wanted to make sure that we could continue to see it flourish into what is an international competition and maybe one of the top in the world in the very near future.”
He said he was keen to see the Long John Jamboree become a Yellowknife staple and tourist attraction for the NWT.
Gahcho Kué mine General Manager Allan Rodel, who lives in Yellowknife, said the Long John Jamboree and the De Beers Inspired Ice Carving Competition drew a large number of De Beers employees who live in Yellowknife and the surrounding communities. “Our employees are proud of the community investments we make here in the NWT and they often show their support by attending in person with their families and participating,” he said.
“Ten of my 13 senior management team members live in Yellowknife and we look forward to joining our colleagues at the Jamboree and seeing the amazing ice sculptures that these incredible artists can produce, especially our local carvers.”
The ice carving competition attracts two-person teams from the NWT, other parts of Canada and the US. So far, 10 teams are confirmed for 2017.
Carvers will start work on 23 March and finish two days later, when their sculptures will be judged. They will carve natural ‘Crystal Blue Aurora’ ice blocks from the Great Slave Lake, making it one of just two ice carving competitions in the world that uses natural ice. Each block is about 4ft by 8ft by 3ft, and the carving time allowed is 30 hours.