top of page

History of AWG

The first Arctic Winter Games took place for a week in 1970 in Yellowknife, the capital of the Northwest Territories. They were a great success with about 500 athletes, coaches and officials participating from the Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Alaska. Since then, the Games have taken place every two years, alternating among participant jurisdictions. 

The first Games were held in Yellowknife, NWT in 1970 with the three contingents coming from Yukon, Northwest Territories and Alaska.  In the next sixteen years there were some “observer” teams from Greenland and northern Quebec.  Northern Quebec first participated in 1972 and actually hosted the Games in Schefferville in 1976.  In 1980, 1982, and 1984, however, the Games were back to the three original contingents.

For more information on AWG, please visit

Arctic Winter Games Results

2020 - Whitehorse, Yukon: (Cancelled) 50th anniversary of the Arctic Winter Games.

2018 - South Slave Region, NWT Canada:  11 sports were hosted in Hay River and 10 sports in Fort Smith.  Participants travelled to both Opening and Closing Ceremonies held in the new arena in Hay River.  The Cultural Gala was hosted in the Fort Smith Cathedral. 

2016 - Nuuk, Greenland: hosted 14 sports in Nuuk as well as Ice Hockey with the help of hosting partner, Iqaluit, Nunavut Canada. Live streaming of sports and cultural events, including Opening and Closing Ceremonies was made available by the Host Community.

2014 - Fairbanks, Alaska: The last time the Games were held in Fairbanks was in 1988. The citizens of Fairbanks Alaska, after 26 years went all out to host the 2014 Games. it was memorable Games for the Host Community and all our athletes.

2012 - Whitehorse, Yukon: hosted the 22nd Arctic Winter Games in it's multi[plex that hosted quite a few sports and was the centre of the Games

2010 - Grande Prairie Alberta Canada: welcomed 2000 athletes to the 21st Games. The community provided a very memorable Games for both the athletes and the community.

2008 - Yellownife, Northwest Territories Canada: hosted the 20th Arctic Winter Games

2006 - The 19th Arctic Winter Games is at the Kenai Peninsula Borough, Alaska which takes in Kenai/Soldatna/Homer Alaska.

2004 - The games move to Northern Alberta: to the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo which incldes Fort McMurray and region.

2002 - The first games held outside North America. The XVIIth Games was  jointly hosted in Nuuk, Greenland and Iqaluit, Nunavut Canada

2000 – Whitehorse, Yukon: The XVI Arctic Winter Games begins the new millennium in Whitehorse, Yukon    


1998 - Yellowknife, NWT: The last Games in the NWT before division creates two new territories.

1996 - Chugiak/Eagle River, Alaska: The first Games at the scenic base of the Chugach mountains in south-central Alaska. A total of 19 sports and 1600 participants took part in these memorable Games.

1994 - Slave Lake, Alberta: With the addition of alpine skiing, short track speed skating and table tennis, there were more sports than ever in the Games. Greenland, as a permanent member of the International Committee, sent its largest contingent of 70 participants. Two Russian Provinces attended with delegations of 35 each.

1992 - Whitehorse, Yukon: Greenland sent a contingent of 50 athletes, coaches and mission staff and 10 cultural performers, and Russia sent a small group of athletes and cultural performers, marking the first ever athletic participation from this country. Northern Alberta increased its team size to 200. For the second time the Games enjoyed national television coverage in Canada.

1990 - Yellowknife, NWT: Greenland sent a contingent of 50, and Russia sent a cultural delegation from Magadan Province in northeastern Siberia. Northern Alberta increased its team size, and the Games budget grew to some $1.2 million. Following the lead of Calgary in the 1988 Olympics, medals were presented to athletes at "Knifey" Square.

1988 - Fairbanks, Alaska: Northern Alberta joined the Arctic Winter Games International Committee and increased its team size. A laser show and a display of Chinese ice sculpting were highlights.

1986 - Whitehorse, Yukon: A small contingent from Northern Alberta made an appearance, together with a contingent from Northern Quebec. Silhouette shooting and the Triathlon were added to the Games roster.

1984 - Yellowknife, NWT: Opening and closing ceremonies were held indoors for the first time in a new arena. The Alaskan contingent arrived by 747 aircraft, the first ever to land at Yellowknife.

1982 - Fairbanks, Alaska: Participants in these Games had a taste of army life, when they were accommodated at the military base. Again the Games were extremely well organized, and local enthusiasm and support was high.

1980 - Whitehorse, Yukon: The Games have matured. Organization for these Games set the standard for future events and the cultural activities reached a new high, featuring representatives of all International Committee partners.

1978 - Hay River/Pine Point NWT: The only Games to be held in two locations, this was also the occasion of the first and only rail passenger service in the NWT, used to enable competitors to travel between the two communities.

1976 - Shefferville, Quebec: The host was tiny Shefferville, a French-speaking mining community. The size of all contingents was reduced to suit the facilities available.

1974 - Anchorage, Alaska: The Games were held in the largest city north of 60 on the North American continent. A small contingent from Northern Quebec made the long trip west. Greenland did not attend these Games.

1972 - Whitehorse, Yukon: Starting a trend of rotating the Games between the International Committee partners, the Games moved to the Yukon. Northern Quebec and Greenland sent contingents of athletes while the Soviet Union and Labrador sent observers.

bottom of page