Can you believe it?! August 29, 2015 marked the two year blog anniversary of Finding True North. We need to start off with a big thank you to our readers and cyber friends – we've loved connecting with you via the blog, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook over the last 365 days.
Our second year of blogging was also full of a new opportunities, partnerships, and other milestones. To celebrate our second anniversary, we've compiled some of our highlights and top memories from the last year.
Our First Press Trip
In March, we partnered with The Great Canadian Travel Company for our very first press trip, flying to Yellowknife to take part in one of their Arctic Canada tours called the Yellowknife Stopover. To see what we got up to in The Knife check out these blog posts: Yellowknife Stopover: 3 Nights in the Aurora Capital of the World and Yellowknife City Guide: Our Top Travel Picks.
Our First Promotional Partnerships
Toonik Tyme Instagram Contest
We worked with Toonik Tyme to make the 50th anniversary of Nunavut's largest festival extra special with the #TT50 hashtag. Toonik Tymers tagged their best photos with the hashtag, and we featured our favourite photos on our Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook accounts, plus, we worked with Asukuluk to share tagged photos on the Asukuluk TV screens across town. In the end, we compiled your favourites in one of our most popular blog posts of the year, Top 10 Toonik Tyme Photos from #TT50.
Alianait Instagram Contest
When you see the circus for the first time. Adorable capture by @qulaut. Thanks for tagging your photos with #alianait2015! Looking forward to seeing more photos. Don't forget to like your favourite #alianait2015finalist! Click the hashtag and LIKE away! The top two most-liked photos by midnight tomorrow will win one of two amazing prize packs.
We also partnered with the Alianait Arts Festival to run their very first Instagram contest, ever! Festival-goers were tagging and sharing their photos to #Alianait2015, and we regrammed our favourites throughout the event. At the end of the concert series, we published Your Top Photos from Alianait 2015 PLUS Contest Winners to highlight the top photos and the winners of some fantastic Alianait prize packs – all based on your votes!
Inuksuk High School
This past year has also involved a lot of community outreach. After publishing Composting in Iqaluit: Our Firsthand Account of a Dirty Job, we were invited visit a class at Inuksuk High School to discuss the importance of environmental stewardship. We also gave the students an overview of how they can use digital media to spread a message of sustainability.
Nunavut Press Club
In November, we gave a presentation at Nunavut Press Club on “usurping some of the powers of the journalist and becoming the news bearer” (not sure that's what we actually do, but we were flattered nonetheless). We promoted the event with a blog post, Finding True North does Nunavut Press Club: Friday, November 21, which also gave some insight into some of our lesser-known media accomplishments.
2015 Tourism in Nunavut Conference
Thanks to Nunavut Tourism, we were able to participate in the 2015 Tourism in Nunavut Conference, held in Iqaluit this past March. We were on a panel with Katherine Johnson from The Great Canadian Travel Company to discuss social media and how it can be of value to the tourism industry. Specifically, we talked about how we have successfully engaged readers, brands, and media with smart social media tactics and promotions.
2015 Women in Travel Summit
Later in March, Anubha represented Finding True North (for the second time!) at the second annual Women in Travel Summit hosted by Wanderful. Anubha's presentation, Decolonizing the Blogosphere: How to Check your Privilege in Cyberspace, used examples from her own experience as a Southern blogger/writer living in Nunavut to highlight the importance of knowing your place, your limits, and your privilege, when writing as an outsider.
Playing to Strength Youth Camp 2015
Recently, we partnered with the Arctic Children and Youth Foundation to help with their week-long Playing to Strength Youth Camp about blogging and vlogging. Throughout the week, Anubha mentored an enthusiastic bunch of 12- to 17-year-olds on blogging, social media, internet safety, and much more. You can check out their final products on YouTube and on the ACYF site!
"Eat, Sleep, Do" Community Guides
Last year we started a series of community guides that kicked off with Rankin Inlet. Since then, we’ve added Cambridge Bay, Arviat, Igloolik, Arctic Bay, Iqaluit, Kugluktuk, and Cape Dorset to the Eat, Sleep, Do roster - and over half of them were were written by community members. We now have guides for 1/3 of the communities in Nunavut, and are looking for more, so please get in touch if you’re interested in writing about your community!
"Best of Iqaluit" Poll
At the end of 2014, we asked our readers to weigh in on their food and entertainment favourites in the first ever Best of Iqaluit poll. You, the readers, weighed in with hundreds and hundreds of votes for the best in food and services, including Best Upscale Dinner, Best Food Truck, and more. Check out the winners in the results blog post and stay tuned for this year's Best of Iqaluit poll.
Suffice it to say that our interview with Polarman broke the Finding True North internet, bringing with it a slew of new readers, followers, and fans, as well as the aforementioned invitation to speak at Press Club. Breaking the story of Polarman's departure was definitely a defining moment for us as bloggers – we even joked that we should retire after the post went up!
We kind of got the exclusive on this one, too, as we published the only one-on-one (err, two) interview during Justin Trudeau's visit to Iqaluit.
A Tribe Called Red
A Tribe Called Red came to Iqaluit, and between playing two sold-out shows, the band sat down with Anubha for a really open and honest conversation. Another popular post from this year – read it and you'll see why.
Anubha was nominated as an Everyday Political Citizen and came in as runner-up in Samara Canada's national competition. She was recognized for her effort to engage others in community building and awareness, not only via the blog but through social media and in person as well. Check out the video below to see Rick Mercer announcing the EP Citizen winner and runner-ups.
Our second year as bloggers has definitely been one to remember! Thank you again to all those who read, share, tweet, like, tag, and comment. We appreciate all your support, and we look forward to seeing what the next two years will bring.