Hundreds to gather for annual Ottawa Inuit Christmas event
Festive food, games, and Santa ready for Saturday gathering at Shaw Centre
Santa Claus is coming to town for Ottawa’s Inuit Christmas community gathering on Saturday.
Hundreds of people are expected to attend the annual holiday event, which will be held at the downtown Shaw Centre from 12 p.m. to 4pm.
The gathering is a collaboration between four Ottawa-based Inuit organizations: the Inuuqatigiit Centre for Inuit Children, Youth and Families; Tungasuvvingat Inuit; Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada and Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami.
“In previous years, the organizations would predominantly have their own Christmas event, so it was nice to be able to display our [Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit] principles and values and coming together to have one big huge community event for our community members here in Ottawa,” said Mikki Adams, executive director of Inuuqatigiit Centre and one of the organizers of the event.
Adams said last year around 800 people attended throughout the day and numbers this year are expected to reach around 900.
Attendees can expect to watch performers, have a chance to sing some Inuktitut carols, play games, and buy some Christmas presents at an arts and crafts sale.
There will also be a Christmas dinner with turkey and traditional fixings and desserts, as well as a side of Arctic char and some country food.
And of course, Santa Claus will be making an appearance.
Adams said the importance of having large holiday events like this for Ottawa’s Inuit community is to help people feel connected to home.
“When you live in a city which has a population of a million people, there are times where we can often feel isolated and alone,” she said.
Events like this “bring together a lot of joy, a lot of fulfillment and connection to our community and our home.”