A giant Inuksuk to Guide Canadian Speed Skaters in Richmond

Speed Skating Canada (SSC) joined Alcoa Innovation and the Centre de formation professionnelle Qualitech, today, to introduce the giant Inuksuk that will guide the Canadian Speed Skating teams in Richmond, for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

The idea surfaced about a year ago when Jean R. Dupré, Director General of SSC noticed how popular the new logo developped by his organization was becoming. “We had designed a pin representing the inuksuk and our signature skater, and it became a very sought after item. The logo became the emblem of our quest towards Vancouver, both internally and externally,” explained M. Dupré.

The inuksuk emblem was adopted by SSC because of its symbolism. Just like Inuksuks are guiding beacons in the land of ice and snow used by the Inuit, Inupiat, Kalaallit, Yupik and other peoples of the Arctic, SSC wishes to guide its teams towards success on the Short Track ice of the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver and the Long Track ice of the Richmond Speed Skating Oval.

With that in mind, SSC’s Director General contacted with the President of the Fédération de patinage de vitesse du Québec, Mr Gilles Dufour, who is also Director Technology and Innovation with Alcoa Canada. Mr Dufour took charge of the project, sought after the necessary funds and partnerships, notably with the Centre de formation professionnelle Qualitech to build the main Inuksuk.

Thus, this five meter tall and four and a half meter wide Inuksuk was born, and it

The delegation that put together the three Inuksuks.
will now make its way to Richmond, British Columbia, where it will keep an eye on Speed Skating Canada House, near the Olympic Oval. After the 2010 Olympic Games, the Inuksuk will be auctioned. The proceeds will go to the Inuksuk Legacy Fund, a program designed to ensure the sustainability of development programs to support Canada’s next generations of speed skaters.

Two replicas of the Inuksuk will also be produced by the students of the Centre de formation professionnelle Qualitech, one of which will be placed at the Gaétan-Boucher Oval, where the Québec-based long track national and development team skaters train, and the other replica will be offered to the Commission scolaire du Chemin-du-Roy and installed at the Complexe sportif Alphonse-Desjardins in Trois-Rivières.

This project exemplifies the co-operation of various organizations, and the Canadian Olympic speed skaters know that numerous precious partners are behind this Inuksuk that will guide them towards success in February 2010