Translation Services in Iqaluit – Economic Profile
The city of Iqaluit is the capital of Canada’s youngest territory, Nunavut. It is located in the Everett Mountains on the southeast part of Baffin Island to the east of Nunavut’s mainland and northeast of Hudson Bay. Its population has been rapidly growing and is now about 7,000 people.
In 1942 the American Army chose the place as a site for a major air base. In 1949 the Hudson Bay Company moved here to take advantage of the airfield. The construction of the Distant Early Warning Line, a system of radar stations, drew hundreds of construction workers, military personnel, and administrative staff into the community. Several hundred Inuit followed to take advantage of the access to medical care and jobs the base provided.
In 1987 its name was changed from Frobisher Bay to Iqaluit, the name the aboriginal population had always used; in 1999 it was selected to be the capital of Nunavut and in 2001 Iqaluit was officially recognized as a city.
Today, Iqaluit’s economy -based mainly on a government that has expanded rapidly since the city became the capital of Nunavut in 1999- is growing by leaps and bounds. The city’s infrastructure is developing at a steady clip, trying to catch up with population growth.
During the summer months the city plays host to several events and festivals. Toonik Tyme is Iqaluit’s annual spring festival which has been a community tradition since 1965. It is a way for local residents to celebrate the return of spring as a community and is also an opportunity for visitors to experience the unique culture of the Canadian Arctic. Alianait is a newly formed multicultural arts festival which incorporates Aboriginal Day, Multicultural Day, St. Jean Baptiste Day and Canada Day in addition to a variety of film events, art displays, theater productions, and concerts.
The city of Iqaluit has a diverse ethnic makeup. The most prevalent aboriginal communities are Inuit (60%), First Nations (0.7%) and Métis (0.4%), while 41% of the population is non aboriginal. Official languages spoken in Iqaluit are English (41%), French (5.4%) as well as different aboriginal languages including Inuktitut and Inuinnnaqtun.
In addition to being Canada’s newest and most northerly capital, Iqaluit is also Canada’s fastest growing community. As the city’s economy is steadily growing, there will be an increasing demand for translation services in this ethnically diverse community in the future.