Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Jan. 24, 2017


Snowboarding movie, wireless mikes get big boosts in Korkpenger funds
A group hoping to make “the ultimate snowmobile film from Svalbard” got a show of support from city cultural officials after a request for a Korkpenger grant was initially rejected. Sons of Svalbard requested 310,595 kroner for the film, but the city manager’s office stated “the financing of such a project falls somewhat outside Korkpenger purposes.” But there was considerable debate when the city’s Youth and Cultural Committee discussed the recommendation last week. Elise Strømseng of the Labor Party stated the application lacked sufficient detail, but Espen Klungseth Rotevatn of the Green Party argued the group is comprised of young people who don’t have expert help in submitting grant applications. The committee ultimately approved 40,000 kroner for the film. The committee also significantly boosted funding for wireless microphones available from the city’s cultural department for various events, providing 291,000 kroner instead of the 120,000 recommended. Other notable adjustments by the committee included 40,000 kroner instead of 30,000 kroner for maintenance at Bruktikken, 15,000 kroner instead of 30,000 kroner for a humanistic Confirmation program, 50,000 kroner instead of 70,000 kroner for last year’s Kunstpause Svalbaard, 10,000 kroner instead of 25,000 kroner for an overnight trip for 10th graders to Barentsburg.

Spisbergen Travel renames itself Hurtigruten Svalbard
Svalbard’s oldest tourism company now has roots going back considerably further as Spitsbergen Travel has renamed itself Hurtigruten Svalbard as of Jan. 1. Spitsbergen Travel was founded in 1988 as a subsidiary of Store Norske and now operates several major hotels and other guest accommodations, as well as a wide variety of tour activities. Hurtigruten made its first tourism voyage to Svalbard in 1896 and in recent years has partnered with Spitsbergen Travel on tourism development projects. Hurtigruten Svalbard officials said the rebranding won’t affect local operations, but will allow those activities to be more widely promoted through Hurtigruten’s larger distribution channel.