#WeTheNorth Comes North
Frustrating. Heartbreaking. Emotionally draining. All words to describe Toronto’s nail-biter of a loss Monday night in game five of the NBA finals.
The Raptors were only two points away from winning basketball’s biggest prize for the first time in franchise—and Canadian—history. Their loss to the Golden State Warriors forces a sixth game later this week in Oakland. Make no mistake, all of Canada will be watching—especially the team’s dedicated fanbase North of 60.
But “We The North” is more than just a clever slogan for those Raptors fans cheering on their team from the actual North. Just ask the kids at the Attagoyuk Ilisavik school in Pangnirtung, Nunavut. Teacher Stephen Parmiter shared the above photo of his students displaying their homemade banner yesterday on his Instagram.
“There's a solid crew who liked basketball this year," he tells Up Here. And some big fans of the Raptors. But they’re not the only Northerners rooting for Toronto. Jonathan Nuss captured some stoked Raptors fans way up in Taloyoak, Nunavut last week.
Iqaluit's Kent Driscoll and Irniq, meanwhile, were ready for the game on Monday night...
...as was Driscoll's pooch, Pearl.
Brandon Cox documented the packed house in Iqaluit watching game five at the Storehouse Bar & Grill's miniature Jurassic Park.
And there were lots of Raptors fans in Gjoa Haven, Nunavut last night as well, says Tamara Tarasoff.
As we’ve previously covered, the Raptors’ “We The North” slogan was created a few years ago by international marketing company Sid Lee for Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment to condense all Canadian identity into a singular basketball brand.
“The thing that I love about We The North is that it’s authentic,” Maple Leaf marketing director Shannon Hosford told Canadian Business magazine. “It’s about who we are as Canadians. We spun all the negative things about where we come from into a positive; it might be cold but we are the North and we’re proud of it.”
Certainly, Canadians have jumped on board.
Game six of the NBA finals takes place Thursday night in Oakland. You can bet the North will be watching.