This year’s Arctic Inspiration Prize is to be split between all three finalists after organizers announced a surprise jump in funding.

Billed as a million-dollar prize, organizers at Wednesday’s ceremony in Ottawa said increased support from partners had pushed that figure to $1.5 million.

As a result, two of the three finalists each received $600,000 while a third was awarded $300,000.

The Tri-Territorial Recreation Training project, based in Whitehorse, was one of the night’s two big winners – earning $600,000 for plans to help recreation leaders in northern communities with “sustainable, relevant training”.

The project will benefit NWT communities alongside those in Nunavut and Yukon.

Qaggiq, which offers performing arts opportunities and mentorship in the Arctic, also picked up $600,000.

Better Hearing in Education for Northern Youth, or BHENY, took home $300,000 to help youth with hearing loss living in the Qikiqtani (Baffin) region of Nunavut.

Read: Find out more about the finalists

Wednesday’s awards mark a return to the prize’s tradition of dividing its funding between deserving groups.

Last year’s Arctic Inspiration Prize was presented to FOXY, a Yellowknife-based group working to improve sexual health and sexual education among northern youth.

FOXY’s success marked the first time the annual million-dollar prize had been awarded to a sole winner.