The spectacular Big Argish Festival in Norilsk closed after lasting from November 1 to November 19. The big festival included four smaller events that were the tourism, food, literature and photography festivals.
Organizers and partners of the Big Argish Festival were Nornickel and local Authorities of Taimyr, Norilsk and Dudinka with more than 70 companies, entities and associations taking part in the event. The festival offered captivating and memorable events with vibrant ambience that had been the most compelling proof of the region’s social welfare, cultural, touristic and business potential. Nornickel is opting for the comprehensive approach for the sustainable development. While pursuing efforts in the areas of social welfare and charity, the Company uses multiple tools to improve the economic, social and cultural wellbeing in the regions of its presence and is a reliable partner for local authorities and communities. In particular, Nornickel signed a memorandum with the Norilsk city administration and Vladimir Potanin Charity Fund in October for the establishment of the Norilsk Development Agency.
“The Big Argish Festival was the first event attempting to create an insightful attraction that would be of interest to tourists from all across Russia. Because Russian North is a unique area, where for many centuries people have proved that human beings are sometimes able to overcome the forces of nature,” commented Larisa Zelkova, Senior Vice-President — HR, Social Policy and Public Relations at Nornickel.
It is worth noting that the tourism festival in Norilsk was the first event of this kind held in the city. The event was called The Taimyr Holidays and offered a business networking program for entrepreneurs in the areas of tourism, hospitality and services, also hosting a trade fair displaying tourist products and local Taimyr and Norilsk brands. The Argish-Gourmet gastronomic festival that was also a part of the major event had inspired the top restaurants in Norilsk to revise their menus and add the Northern Menu part. In total, over 80 new dishes had been introduced for the festival. As part of the OBJECTIVE Argish photography event, exhibitions and master classes by the best Norilsk photographers had been held in various parts of the city. The Argish Literature Festival had gathered together secondary school students, who competed in reciting the works by the Far North writers and poets, and had attracted famous authors, who held the meet-the-author sessions and gave master classes. Overall, the literature festival had brought together 483 participants.
On the final day of the festival, November 19, shows, sports events and competitions, and food fairs were organized in Norilsk. Also, a fair of northern souvenirs and gourmet foods was held, folk music bands performed on an outdoor stage. The highlight of the festival was the ethnic camping ground installed in the center of Norilsk, with the Taimyr peoples’ traditional reindeer skin tents. Every visitor and guest of the festival was able to participate in the themed reenactments such as rites of the indigenous peoples of the North, reindeer-sleigh rides, listening to and learning the legends and folk tales, playing ethnic games, learning about daily life, culture and languages of ethnic groups, and to take indigenous dolls and accessories making master classes. The pinnacle event of the festival was the memorable show called The Legend of a Strong Man, a street performance based on the legends of the indigenous peoples living in Taimyr with the participation of the ethnic music and folklore bands.