Concerts, games and barbecues planned for Canada Day

Communities across Inuit Nunangat are marking the July 1 holiday in unique ways

Young cyclists in Kuujjuaq celebrate Canada Day 2022 with a bike-decorating contest. Once again, activities will take place on the village’s beach to celebrate the country’s birthday. Across Nunavik and Nunavut, many communities are holding a variety of holiday activities. See story for a list of events. Seen here, from left to right, are Marissa Sequaluk, Kyle Lingard, Anthony Saunders, and Aiva Lingard showing off their holiday-themed bike decorations. (File photo by Isabelle Dubois)

By Meral Jamal

Most communities across Inuit Nunangat are marking Canada Day with concerts, games and barbecues.

Artists and musicians will be in the spotlight honouring Inuit culture and tradition as part of the country’s 156th anniversary.

Meanwhile at least one community — Puvirnituq in Nunavik — has cancelled its celebrations for a third time in response to the discoveries starting in 2021 of unmarked graves across the country’s former residential school sites.

For those looking to celebrate the occasion, here are some Canada Day events to participate in.


The City of Iqaluit is hosting multiple events to mark the day on July 1. They include:

  • A Canada Day parade beginning at noon at the Arctic Winter Games arena;
  • A concert and civic ceremony with performers including Silla, the Driveliners, and Crook the Kid as part of the Alianait Arts Festival at the Canadian North tent beginning at 12:30 p.m.;
  • A chili handout with the fire department starting at 1:15 p.m. at Iqaluit Square.

For more information and a complete list of events, visit the City of Iqaluit’s social media pages.

Baker Lake 

Baker Lake will commemorate Canada Day with games and a get-together at the community hall beginning at 1 p.m. on Saturday, according to recreation co-ordinator Nathan Annaut.

The hamlet will be giving out eight to 10 bicycles to kids in the community as well as two Calm Air tickets as a door prize.

Annaut said he is working to host a marathon and community barbecue as well, but those events are unconfirmed as of Wednesday afternoon. Baker Lake residents looking for more information can contact the hamlet office.

Rankin Inlet

People in Rankin Inlet can celebrate the day through multiple events hosted by the hamlet. This includes:

  • A Canada Day parade with the fire department beginning at noon;
  • A community barbecue at the recreation hall at 12:30 p.m.;
  • A styrofoam boat race and kids’ bike race at the Williamson Lake at 1 p.m.

Gjoa Haven

The hamlet will celebrate on July 1 with more than a half-dozen events including a barbecue, cake decorating contest, scavenger hunt and face painting beginning at 1 p.m.

All the events will take place outside the community hall, at the baseball diamond.


In Kuujjuaq, residents can participate in a number of events, including:

  • A vehicle parade beginning at the arena at 9 a.m.
  • Bingo at the beach at starting at 12 p.m. 
  • A cake decorating contest for kids at 1 p.m.


Canada Day celebrations are cancelled in the community for a third year in a row, according to Peter Novalinga, a co-ordinator with the hamlet.

This is in response to the unmarked graves found around several former residential school sites since 2021, he told Nunatsiaq News via email.


In Canada’s capital, Inuit Tapariit Kanatami is hosting a celebration of Inuit culture, language and music at  the Indigenous Peoples Space at 100 Wellington St. from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.


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(3) Comments:

  1. Posted by The graves of Canada on

    Puvirnituq not celebrating Canada Day because of unmarked graves. That appropriate. But it’s not really going far enough. If ever you get to see the phenomenon graveyard outside Puvirnituq, it’s an incredible statement and memorial to the loss of life from alcohol, drugs. The young people from suicide, shootings, abuse. It’s worth a documentary in itself. So , Puvirnituq needs to reflect on that devastating situation as well.

    • Posted by When healing can begin on

      It’s hard to imagine the wrongs done. Not celebrating Canada Day is a feeling for many people today. This influx on parliament hill, cheering on something that has become foreign even to many, not just indigenous people. And even local celebrations doesn’t have it anymore. Canada Day is no big deal for myself, I traditionally never celebrated it. But let’s keep reflecting on our local downfalls, not keeping in a state of victimization. Puvirnituq, kuujjuaq and many communities that are smaller, will have to address celebrating as a priority rather than taking responsibility, to live good quality life. The graveyard is getting fatter and fatter on young life. Too many people are not living very long . Dying young has become a new normal. Nunavik: fact , doesn’t handle alcohol well as a general rule , with evident by day to day , injuries, crime, drinking and driving, medical emergencies. Just reflect for a moment on people you Know with brain damage from accidents, you’ll see more and more as population grows. It’s only healing from within, no one will do it for you from outside. It’s internal problem. I don’t have an answer, but I want to point out, and make people wake up. There needs to be more awareness and emphasis, meetings , meetings and more meetings , just devoted to that. Be part of the solution, start now.

  2. Posted by Canada Day excitement on

    Our capital city, Nunavik ,has an eerie excitement seen only on the eves of accidents. Injuries, crime , and other issues related to party, party,. People become like zoomies, land of the living dead, becomes land of a funeral , or at least a serious accident with life treating injury. It’s adults that turn into little child’s reaction to getting some toy on Christmas. Police need to patrol, it’s called protective duty, but I’m afraid it’s becomes reactive duty, after the fact.

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