De Beers INSPIRED ICE Announces Biggest Competition Ever


Announces Biggest Competition Ever

February 19, 2015 (Yellowknife, NT): Thirteen carving teams from the Northwest Territories, southern Canada, the USA – and for the first time, overseas – will participate in De Beers Inspired Ice March 26 – 29, 2015. Inspired Ice is presented as part of Yellowknife’s Long John Jamboree winter festival.

“We’re thrilled to have such a strong international field of ice carvers,” said Janet Pacey, the President of the Long John Jamboree. “The fact that we’re attracting Olympic and World champion ice carvers shows that Inspired Ice is developing its reputation as one of the top ice carving festivals in the world.”

“De Beers is pleased to welcome this remarkable international field of carvers to the Northwest Territories, which is important to the De Beers Group of Companies,” said Glen Koropchuk, Chief Operating Officer for De Beers in Canada. “The Long John Jamboree is very popular with our De Beers employees and we are pleased that our investments have contributed to the sustainability of this major cultural and tourism attraction.”

The field features new teams of experienced, world-ranked ice carvers from Japan, Mongolia and Malaysia. Among them is World champion and Olympic Gold medalist Junichi Nakamura of Japan.

Five teams from the USA include Victor Dagatan, who represented the USA at the Sochi Olympics, and last year’s Inspired Ice winners Dean Murray and Chris Foltz.

Among the Canadian teams, Ottawa’s Mowafak Nema returns with a new partner and Edmonton’s Stephen Chung will return to Yellowknife for the second time.

Originally from Tuktoyaktuk, Eli Nasogaluak and Derrald Taylor will join forces in 2015 to represent the NWT. Both have competed in every year of Inspired Ice, although they’ve never carved together before.

The complete list of participating carvers is below. Bio information on the carvers will be available on the Long John Jamboree website.

De Beers Inspired Ice is one of the few ice carving competitions in the world to use big blocks of naturally harvested ice. The blocks of natural Crystal Blue Aurora ice will be hand cut and harvested from Yellowknife Bay in early March.

The public is invited to come down to watch the carvings take shape during the Long John Jamboree. Admission to the Jamboree is free of charge.

Carving Teams

1.    Team Captain: Stephen Chung, Edmonton, Alberta

Team Member: Ka Wai Wong, Ottawa, Ontario


2.    Team Captain: Chad Hartson,  Napoleon, Ohio

Team Member: Victor Dagatan, Marietta, Georgia


3.    Team Captain: Kia Kitburi, Oxon Hill, Maryland

Team Member: Chan Kitburi, Marysville, Washington


4.    Team Captain: Stan Kolonko, Auburn, NY

Team Member: Brittany Cunningham, Auburn, NY


5.    Team Captain: Dorjsuren Lkhagvadorj, Khan-uul, Mongolia

Team Member: Tsagaan Munkherdene, Khan-uul, Mongolia


6.    Team Captain: Don Lowing, Havertown, Pennsylvania

Team Member: Peter Slavin, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


7.    Team Captain: Joel Maillet, Yellowknife, NWT

Team Member: J D Hollingshead, Yellowknife, NWT


8.    Team Captain: Dean Murray, Kiel, Wisconsin

Team Member: Chris Foltz, Oregon


9.    Team Captain: Junichi Nakamura, Obihiro, Japan

Team Member: Shinichi Sawamura, San Jose, California


10. Team Captain: Eli Nasogaluak, Yellowknife, NWT

Team Member: Derrald Taylor, Yellowknife, NWT


11. Team Captain: Mowafak Nema, Ottawa, Ontario

Team Member: tba


12. Team Captain: Thomas Pitt, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Team Member: Peter Fogarty, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan


13. Team Captain: Yong Chong Ming, Selangor, Malaysia

Team Member: Harun Bin Jalil, Selangor, Malaysia 


Download Media Release here.

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