Big Canada Day celebrations set for Nunavut’s three regional centres

A full day of festivities in Iqaluit, Rankin Inlet and Cambridge Bay


Kids in Iqaluit enjoy a tug-of-war contest on July 1, 2011. Organizers in Nunavut's three regional centres plan big celebrations for Canada Day this year, which kicks off tomorrow. (FILE PHOTO)

Kids in Iqaluit enjoy a tug-of-war contest on July 1, 2011. Organizers in Nunavut’s three regional centres plan big celebrations for Canada Day this year, which kicks off tomorrow. (FILE PHOTO)

Nunavut’s biggest communities have marked their Canada Day calendars this July 1 with a full schedule of parades, concerts, sports, food and fun.

Iqaluit sets a high standard for the day’s festivities, thanks to overlap with the Alianait Arts Festival.

The territorial capital starts the day with a pancake breakfast at the Arctic Winter Games complex at 9:00 a.m., where the city will also host family activities and indoor sports.

The breakfast will help raise funds for the city’s new aquatic centre.

Iqaluit’s Canada Day parade departs from the AWG complex at noon, winding its way around the city to the site of the Alianait festival in front of Nakasuk School by 1:00 p.m., which is to be the centre for celebration for the rest of the day.

Afternoon celebrations in the city centre begin with a civic ceremony at Nakasuk field, and the Royal Canadian Legion will fire up the grill for hungry crowds with a barbecue at 2:00 p.m.

Iqaluit firefighters will be on hand to bring their chilli to the menu. Weather permitting, air bouncers, face-painting and outdoor games will abound at the field.

The Alianait festival hosts the Canada Day concert next to the field at 2:00 p.m., in the Canadian North Big Top Tent. The afternoon concert features all-Arctic performers, starting with the Gjoa Band from Gjoa Haven, who will have audiences up and dancing with fiddles, accordions, guitars and drums.

David Hart, an emerging musician from Labrador, will perform in his native Innu language, and promises to throw in a few John Fogerty covers. Iqaluit singer-songwriter Errol Fletcher will add humour to the set, and Terrie Kusugak promises to bring both Baffin and Kivalliq-inspired tunes to the stage.

In the Kivalliq region, Rankin Inlet promises an array of contests, sports and other outdoor events. It all starts with a kids’ carnival at the community hall at 10:00 a.m., which runs into the afternoon.

Rankin’s Canada Day parade starts at noon, in front of the hamlet office. Almost every hour of the afternoon will mark the start of different contests and races, with cash prizes offered to the top three winners.
It all starts at 1:00 p.m. in front of the hamlet office with a best-decorated vehicles contest, as well as a kid’s bike race in pre-teen and teen categories. A soccer tournament and cardboard boat races begin at 2:00 p.m., and a snowmobile water-cross event at 3:00.

A styrofoam boat race will test competitors in boats no longer than three feet on Williamson Lake, starting at 5:00, and sharpshooters will get to test their skills at the shooting range at 6:00 p.m.

The day will finish with music and dancing at the Community Hall, starting with a performance by the Roughcuts at 7:00 p.m., and a square dance at 9:00 p.m.

Cambridge Bay will celebrate with a full slate of outdoor sports throughout the day, which get underway after a 10:00 a.m. flag-raising ceremony at the hamlet office.

A fun run from the wellness centre takes place throughout the morning, followed by a choice of golf, softball, or basketball tournaments in the afternoon.

The swimming pool will be open for free swim at specific hours, starting from noon.

After the tournaments, the baseball diamond will host a free community barbecue starting at 4:00 p.m., where there will be activities for kids too.

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