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Northern runners travel to British Virgin Islands as part of the Healthy Horizons Marathon Team

Press Release

Winnipeg, MB, December 2, 2019 – This past Saturday, November 30th, 53 runners from communities such as Salluit, QC; Kuujjuaq, QC; Sandy Lake, ON; Pikangikum, ON; and Inuvik, NT challenged themselves with the British Virgin Islands Sunrise Half Marathon in support of the Healthy Horizons Foundation.

The destination marathon event is a fundraising initiative and active living event for The North West Company’s Healthy Horizons Foundation.

“We are delighted to recognize and thank our employees and community members that participated in the 2019 Healthy Horizons Team Run in the British Virgin Islands,” stated Gary Merasty, Executive Vice-President & Chief Development Officer, The North West Company.

“Healthy Horizons strives to support the well-being of the youth within the communities served by our North West stores, including Northern, NorthMart and Giant Tiger locations,” stated Merasty. “We’re proud to have a positive impact on healthy living in the north. With a focus on youth, we are aiming to provide a positive long term impact on these communities. The Foundation directly supports programs and initiatives in the communities we serve.”

Participants included 32 members from the Nunavik, Paqtnkek and Pictou Landing Run Clubs as well as Pikangikum and Sandy Lake Run Clubs.

“Through this half-marathon project, Healthy Horizons annually brings together Canadian Indigenous youth and adults from many different communities while cultivating philanthropy, health, resiliency and connection.” stated Maggie MacDonnell, Director, Nunavik Run Club. “The students didn’t just run a 22 kilometer race in the hot BVI sun – they ran a five month marathon of fundraising, training, self-development, personal learning and perseverance. Healthy Horizons represents a perfect donor partner as they so well understand the daily realities of Northern, remote and Indigenous communities.”

Examples of the types of initiatives supported by the Foundation include: community and family resource centres, exercise facilities and programs, sports activities, school meals, nutritional literacy and disease prevention education.

Each student group had a chance to meet other participants from all around the world, cultivate new friendships and challenge themselves. “This has been a great experience for our students. We are very appreciative of The North West Company for supporting our community and our youth.” says Dean Peters, Pikangikum First Nation Educational Authority Finance Manager, who served as a chaperone during the trip.

Healthy Horizons would like to acknowledge the generous support of all the event sponsors, including Air Inuit, and New Paths for Education. Healthy Horizons would also like to thank Maggie MacDonnell as well as all the coaches and chaperones of the run clubs for their support of this initiative.

About Healthy Horizons Foundation

Founded by The North West Company, Healthy Horizons Foundation’s mission is to provide youth with the knowledge and tools to foster lifelong connections to physical activity and healthy living.

About The North West Company

North West is a retailer serving rural communities and urban neighbourhoods in Canada, Alaska, the South Pacific and Caribbean. We are committed to helping our customers live better by bringing them the best products and services together with a tradition of community support. North West’s Northern and NorthMart stores are the largest local private employer of Indigenous people in Canada, with over 3,000 employees and an annual payroll exceeding $65 million.

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For more information contact:

Derek Reimer

Director, Business Development

P: 204-934-1469

[email protected]


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