About The Challenge
The Smart Cities Challenge is a national competition open to communities of all sizes, including municipalities, regional governments and Indigenous communities (First Nations, Métis and Inuit).
The challenge encourages communities to adopt a smart cities approach to improve the lives of their residents through innovation, data and connected technology. There are four prizes for this competition:
- One prize of up to $50 million open to all communities, regardless of population;
- Two prizes of up to $10 million open to all communities with populations under 500,000 people;
- One prize of up to $5 million open to all communities with populations under 30,000 people.
The application process closed on April 24, 2018. They received 130 eligible applications from communities across Canada. The Smart Cities Challenge Jury helped select 20 of those applications to move on to the finalist stage of the competition, with a deadline of March 5, 2019.
Nunavut (all 25 communities) is one of the 20 finalists. We are competing in the $10 million category, with our focus area being healthy living and recreation, as well as empowerment and inclusion.
The Nunavut Association of Municipalities represents community officials across Nunavut. The group provides a single voice for mayors and municipal administrators of the territory’s 25 communities.
Embrace Life Council is a non-profit suicide prevention organization based in Iqaluit, Nunavut. It was established in January 2004 as a result of partnerships of many organizations. The council aims to contribute to the mental, emotional, and physical health and community wellness of Nunavut residents by providing education, research and statistical analysis, training, and a coordinated holistic approach to suicide prevention activities.
Qaujigiartiit Health Research Centre’s goal is to enable health research to be conducted locally, by Nunavummiut, and with communities in a supportive, safe, culturally-sensitive and ethical environment, as well as promote the inclusion of both Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit and western ways of knowing and understanding wellness to address health concerns, create healthy environments, and improve the health of Nunavummiut.
Pinnguaq Association is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to embrace and use technology as a means of unifying and enabling Nunavummiut and Indigenous people in Canada. The organization works to incorporate play and gaming into various applications and endeavors that benefit education, economic development, and cultural expression. Pinnguaq has grown to act as the major provider of technological education and digital exposure to the territory of Nunavut. Our mandate is to foster the development of interactive experiences that push the limits of technology and cultural expression to strengthen capacity and build projects across the territory.
In February of 2018, the Nunavut Association of Municipalities (NAM) approached Pinnguaq, the Embrace Life Council and Qaujigiartiit Health Research Centre (QHRC) to submit a proposal for the Smart Cities Challenge that focused on leveraging data and connectivity to support health and wellness through digital empowerment.
The proposal for the Smart Cities Challenge was submitted by the Nunavut Association of Municipalities as the lead applicant on behalf of the 25 municipalities of Nunavut. The proposal was written collaboratively by Pinnguaq, Embrace Life and QHRC to support health and wellness in each and all communities in Nunavut through a focus on data and connected technology.
Our goal is to create spaces in each community that offer opportunities for youth to learn skills, be creative, and express themselves in a safe environment, as well as provide the resources and the training to support a culture of innovation firmly rooted in Inuit values, and to enable youth to engage with digital technologies as pathways to health and wellness.