(Fort McMurray, AB – October 24, 2022) – The Wood Buffalo 2023 Arctic Winter Games Host Society in collaboration with the Arctic Winter Games International Committee (AWGIC) is inviting Indigenous artists to participate in a design competition to create a pin bag as part of the Hodgson Trophy award.

Artists are encouraged to produce a design centered around the theme of team spirit and togetherness. Designs will be judged on the creativity of the theme, functionality and the proposal of the materials incorporated into the final bag design.

“The theme is inspired by the representation and uniqueness of the Hodgson Trophy and the design should reflect that while incorporating local Indigenous culture,” said John Rodda, AWGIC President. “The Trophy is a piece of Inuit artwork from the Canadian Arctic featuring a narwhal tusk on a soapstone base, and we look forward to seeing a local Indigenous artist’s design accompany this prestigious award.”

The Hodgson Trophy will be awarded by the AWGIC at the closing ceremonies on February 4, 2023, to the contingent whose participants best exemplify the ideals of fair play and team spirit. The winning team receives the pin bag and a distinctive pin in recognition of their accomplishments.

“This is a great opportunity for a local artist’s work to be shared and displayed for years to come by the winning contingent,” added Rodda.

The design competition is open to Indigenous individuals living in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. Artists can submit their designs in a variety of media such as drawing, painting, collage, digital and mixed media. The selection panel will choose one artist who will receive a $1,000 honorarium for their design. Only the selected winner must then physically create the bag, which they will receive fair market value for.

The deadline to send in a submission is November 15, 2022. The entry form can be found at awg2023.org. Submissions can be sent to contests@awg2023.org or dropped off at our office,

10019 Franklin Ave. People can also call 1-866-AWG-2023 or email contests@awg2023.org for more information.

The Arctic Winter Games is an international biennial celebration of circumpolar sports and culture taking place in the Wood Buffalo region from January 29 – February 4, 2023. The Games will highlight the region and its culture through the spirit of sport to an international audience and visitors from around the world. The week-long event will see participants from our own backyard along with international circumpolar North regions during their Time to Shine.


Related information

  • The Hodgson Trophy was donated to the Arctic Winter Games Corporation in 1978 by Commissioner S.M. Hodgson of the Northwest Territories.
  • The Hodgson Trophy features a narwhal tusk as the centerpiece and is mounted on a soapstone base. A walrus is carved into the base and wraps itself around the tusk. Near the top, a soapstone bear clings to the tusk, symbolizing “reaching for the top” in competition and fair play.
  • The Hodgson Trophy is on display on the second floor at the Canada Games Centre in Whitehorse, Yukon. A framed photograph of the trophy is presented to the winning contingent at each set of Arctic Winter Games.
  • Chef de Mission, mission staff, coaches, technical officials, AWGIC members, registered media and Host Society senior staff and board members are eligible to vote for the team that they feel demonstrates and exemplifies the spirit of fair play during the Games.
  • Team Alaska has won the Hodgson Trophy five times – more than any other contingent.

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