In the February/March issue of Animal Wellness Magazine (AW), First Air, Frobisher Inn, Arctic Adventures and Redstone Media Group joined together to offer an incredible opportunity to our readers – a chance to win a trip for four to visit the dogs of Iqaluit and the beautiful Canadian Arctic. Contest participants received one entry for every $25 donation to the Iqaluit Humane Society (IHS) and, finally, the results are in! AW talks to the winner, Christine Hoyt from New Brunswick, Canada.

AW: Tell us a bit about yourself!

C: We are a family of four. Kevin and Christine Hoyt and my grown children, Mike and Mark Simpson. Mike and Mark were both born in Iqaluit in 1990 and 1991. They have not been back since they were 13-14 years old – they have an older sister and niece who live in Iqaluit. I was last there in 2001. We adopted a dog from Nunavut in late 1995. He was the best man at our wedding – even wearing a tux and top hat!

Mike has been living in Scotland and returned just for this school year to finish credits up at University of New Brunswick – he is headed back to England in early September. Winning this trip in the window while he is home is wonderful! It may be our last chance to travel together as a family and I am grateful for the opportunity.

Christine and Kevin with their two dogs, Tanner and Bailey.
Christine and Kevin with their two dogs, Tanner and Bailey.

AW: How did you hear about the contest?

C: When I lived in Igloolik and then Iqaluit (1986-1994) I always had cats and dogs. I remember clearly when they were sick how stressed I would be – back then there was no vet; no animal shelter and no organized method to send animals south for care.

When I saw the IHS pop up on my Facebook feed I clicked on the link and followed up. I wanted to support such a wonderful development. They are saving lives and it was very much needed!!

AW: How did you feel when they announced you as the winner?

C: I was so excited. I had been telling my family that it was the dream trip for me – to go back to where I loved living; to travel again as a family; to see where the kids had been born again; to see people I have not seen in years; to visit with my sons’ sister, Jean, and her daughter Rayelle. When it happened I was hugging everyone!

Christine and Kevin with their best man, Monty. The happy couple rescued Monty (now deceased) from Nunavut in 1995.
Christine and Kevin with their best man, Monty. The happy couple rescued Monty (now deceased) from Nunavut in 1995.

AW: What are you and your family most looking forward to?

C: Going out on the land (after seeing Jean)! It has been a long time since we travelled on the land and it may be our last opportunity to do so in Nunavut.

I am curious about warming temperatures in Iqaluit too – I hear summers are much warmer now than when we lived there. Seeing the changes in climate and seeing how Iqaluit itself has grown will be interesting.

And of course, seeing the animals at the IHS. I am worried though as we currently have two older dogs and a cat, and it will hard not to want to bring another dog home!

Thank you very much for this trip!

Saving Iqaluit Humane Society

Boss, one of the stray dogs at IHS.
Boss, one of the stray dogs at IHS.

Nunavut’s first and only animal shelter, IHS is dedicated to enriching the lives of domestic animals and people through re-homing services, medical care, education, and advocacy for the prevention of cruelty to animals in the Territory of Nunavut. But with no government funding, IHS relies entirely on donations and volunteers. Thanks to caring partners like First Air and sponsors like Arctic Kingdom and the Frobisher Inn, they’re able to save more animals in need. Over $14,000 was raised through this contest, which will go toward paying IHS staff and keeping their doors open.

AW was proud to be involved in the initiative. “In Iqaluit, everyone in the community pulls together to help one another,” writes Tim Hockley, Founder and CEO of Redstone Media Group, publisher of AW. “Rescue work ‘takes a village’ and is even more challenging in remote locations with few resources.” Along with his wife and AW Editor-in-Chief, Dana Cox, and their 11-year-old son, Tristan, Tim traveled to Iqaluit last summer when IHS contacted him for help. You can read more about their adventure and the ongoing efforts of IHS at

A big thanks to Christine and everyone else who contributed to this amazing cause. Visit to find out more about how you can help.