It’s springtime in Iqaluit! You might not know it with how cold the wind chill has been for the past week, but the biggest sign of its arrival is the annual week-long spring festival known as Toonik Tyme. The festival has been happening in Iqaluit since 1965. It is meant to welcome to coming of longer days and to usher out the bitter cold winter. Perhaps it will herald a return to a more regular blogging schedule for me us as well.
Today is the first official day of the Toonik Tyme, marked by the opening ceremonies being held at the curling rink tonight. The next seven days will be full of traditional and not-so traditional activities, including igloo building, and tea and bannock making contests, snowmobile races, dogsled races, craft shows, a country foods fair, hockey and basketball tournaments, and concerts. There will be so many things to do and see, especially for noobs like Ian and I.
We’ll also find out who the Honorary Toonik is this year. Every year, an individual is selected to preside over the event. Past Tooniks have included former Prime Minister John Diefenbaker, Prince Charles, and various Greenlandic officials. More recently however, local individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the community have received the honour.
We’re hoping to get out to a lot of events, and will be volunteering at one or two as well. Hope to have lots of pictures for you all to see in the coming days!