Spring highlight mixes 'traditional; and modern events to involve all ages

Toonik Tyme offers something for everyone


Inuk accordion ace Simeonie Keenainak from Pangnirtung and a group of hip-hop dancers from Clyde River will kick off a week of jam-packed Toonik Tyme activities this year.

They are the featured performers at Toonik Tyme's opening ceremonies at the Arctic Winter Games Arena next Wednesday at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6.

Toonik Tyme is an event like no other that mixes traditional and non-traditional events, and involves all ages from toddlers to elders and everyone in between, coordinator Crystal Jones said in an interview.

Toddlers can join their parents for a pool party, a puppet show or a colouring contest.

Elders can take part in their own bingo game or outdoor games, enjoy a hot stew and bannock dinner, or exhibit their wares in an elders craft show.

They can even go wild and join their children and grandchildren in a "Guitar Hero" contest, featuring the popular video game.

Kids have their own pool party, outdoor skating, sliding party, scavenger hunt and variety show.

Popular events for all ages – participants or observers – include the fishing derby, giant bingo with a grand prize of $10,000, ice golf, igloo building, dog sled races, skijoring (skiers pulled by dogs), uphill skidoo climb, ice sculpture, hockey tournaments in the arena and on the pond, and the tea and bannock contest.

In other words, there's something for everyone, including an adults-only Northern Band Night, featuring East Coast Music Awards nominee Aaron MacDonald and his cousin Mitch MacDonald, runner up in the 2008 Canadian Idol show.

Toonik Tyme has brightened springtime in Iqaluit since 1965, and this year depends for its success on hundreds of volunteers and 56 corporate and government sponsors, most particularly Canadian North, the City of Iqaluit and Indian and Northern Affairs Canada.

Look for TT headquarters from April 15 to 20 – and many of the featured events – right downtown, in front of Nakasuk School.

Other events are scattered around the city, including the ice on the bay, the AWG arena, the Cadet Hall, lookout hill, and the lake out by the Road to Nowhere.

Most events are free, especially for children and elders.

You can get a complete schedule from www.tooniktyme.com, at city hall, or at TT headquarters.

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