Wednesday, May 25, 2011

2011 Omingmak Frolics

Every spring the people of Cambridge Bay have a celebration called Omingmak Frolics.  There are a variety of festivities including traditional games, talent show (yes Craig played), tea with the Elders, fashion show etc etc.  This year it started off on May 13 with a $10,000.00 jackpot bingo and it ended in the evening of May 23 with the closing ceremonies and awards presentation.  The week leading up to Victoria Day Long Weekend was filled with Corporate Challenges during the lunch hour, fashion show, casino week, crowning of the king & queen and snowmobile races in the evening.

This was my first Frolics and I wanted to take in as much as possible so I started by attending the Fashion Show on the 18th.  All of the clothing that the models wore were traditional clothing and were all hand made.  The models ranged in age from very young to Elders showing off their craft.

Friday the town closed it's doors at noon and the annual parade began at 2pm with the local Cadets leading the way.  The floats were far different from the floats down south and of course we can not forget Ollie the muskox mascot for the frolics, who sat high on a fire truck.

The Last Ikaluktutiakmiut Standing contestants were chosen that same afternoon after the parade and one of our friends Karen was in it.  The game is like the fear factor game with an Inuit twist.  It lasted all weekend long and Karen came up on top on Monday evening. Congrats Karen you are far braver than I!

We headed on the ice many times during the Frolics to watch the snowmobile races and to buy hamburgers from some of the local fundraisers of the community.  The best snowmobile race by far was the kid's race...most of us could walk faster than their machines.  Unfortunately the only girl, who by the way was only 4 years old and the one we were rooting for, did not win the race.  She even had a pep talk from her mom.  There was one accident during the weekend and thank goodness the driver ended up with just minor injuries.

The sun is now up for 24 hours as of Saturday May 21/11.  At midnight we took Molly for a ride and then a run on Water Lake Road.  This 24 hour sun thing is a really weird feeling - you get up for a pee in the middle of the night and you think that you slept in as the sun is shining brightly in the sky.  The sun just goes around the horizon, never setting until late July. 

There are many pictures for this entry starting off with the fashion show and ending with our 'midnight sun' ride the evening of the 21st.

This years Frolics will be one that I will remember not only as it was my first but more importantly we lost our friend Monique of cancer on Saturday, May 21.  I became close to Monique in the short time I knew her and I will miss our conversations about the muskox and char harvests, her laughter, her generosity to the community and her outspoken personality.  My heart goes out to Doris her life partner, her mom & dad, her sisters & family, and her  friends & relatives.  

I dedicate this blog entry to my dear friend Monique Giroux 
whom I miss terribly.

Talk soon.
An Elder modeling a Sun Burst coat that she made - amazing work!
This picture is for my friend Petra - which pair of Kamiks do you choose?
Our friend Karen modeling a 'Sun Burst' coat
Traditional seal hunter & little friend - check out the cool shades (made of bone)
Traditional clothing
The local Cadets led the way
Weird and Wacky
This ride is called an Argo - cool!
Very cool!
Ollie the Omingmak Mascot
Can you feel the need for speed?
Gerry can races - that's right they sit on a gerry can and away they go
Getting a pep-talk from mom before the big race
The kid's snowmachine races
The Frolics Queen taking in some of the festivities on the ice.
Our friend Angela & gang selling hamburgers on the ice to raise funds for the Cancer Society
Tie breaker game for 'Last Ikalukutiakmiut Standing'.
Karen crumbling Arctic hare poo on her cream pie
Young throat singers at the talent show.
There were even Polynesian Dancers
Kim, Greg, Danny and Craig playing at "Cambridge Bay's Got Talent"
Sand Cranes are back!  105 species of birds come to Nunavut to breed and 48 of them are in Cambridge Bay.
Not a great pic but proof that the Gyrfalcon is back.  It is the world's largest falcon which preys mostly on large birds & rodents.
Molly enjoying a midnight run.  Photo taken at midnight May 21/11
Taking Molly for a walk in the Midnight Sun.

Monday, May 16, 2011


Both Craig and I had some special visitors this weekend.  Craig had Flat Stanley as a visitor who came from his nephew Reece from Winnipeg.  Reece's class read a book about Flat Stanley, it's about a young boy who is accidentally flattened when a bulletin board falls on him.  He is very flat but he is perfectly normal otherwise.  He came up here as he wants to see the world and I guess we were picked as the world up here is very different. 

My visitor was a surprise, a special friend that I used to work with, M & M, Birchwood Animal Hospital's famous feline.  It was a bit hectic here at times over the weekend as we needed to show them the sites of Cambridge Bay.  All M & M wanted to do was visit the Northern Store for bacon.  We did convince him to go for a ride onto the ice road today.  Mocha our cat was a bit smitten with him, he is a handsome boy mind you.  M & M and Stanley both return back to Winnipeg tomorrow, check out the pictures of the fun we had with them this weekend.

Another visitor to CamBay yesterday was Buffalo Airlines, you know the TV show Ice Pilots.  We even got to talk to one of the pilots, Craig's dad should of been here...very cool!  They were bringing up cargo from Yellowknife and dropping it off here, switching airlines to head to Hope Bay.  I guess the air strip in Hope Bay is too small for Buffalo planes. 

I had yet another check up for my wrist on Wednesday and yes the doctor injected some cortisone into it...OUCH!  I didn't work for the rest of the day and wore my brace after that as I was not allowed to lift up anything for about 3 days after.  I return in 2 weeks for a recheck. 

We decided to head out onto the ice road today to see if we could see some caribou coming from the mainland to the island, they come across this time of year to calf and spend the summer months here and then return again to the mainland once the waters turn to ice.  We didn't see any but what we did see were alot of geese, gulls, a hawk and alot of people snowmobiling, sledding, kiting and just having fun.  In our travels today we also came across a chunk of ice along the shoreline.  It was my first close up view of the ice and it is so blue and crystal is hard to describe, just simply amazing and beautiful.

I may be a permanent fixture at Kitikmeot Foods Ltd.  To tell you the truth I was a little overwhelmed as I seen just a glimpse of what Monique did for the company plus I had no idea what was involved with harvesting muskox and Arctic char.  NDC (Nunavut Development Corporation) is the major shareholder of the meat plant and I had a talk with Brian from Rankin Inlet on Friday and hopefully this week we will come to an agreement.

The 2011 Omingmak Frolics began here on Friday with a $10,000.00 Bingo and will end on Monday May 23rd with closing ceremonies.  All week there will be corporate challenges, snowmobile races, traditional games, craft shows,  fashion shows, community feast, and as they say the list goes on and on.  It will be my first Frolics and I am sure I will have loads of stories and pictures to share with you but for now....

Just to let you know it is now 12:26am and the sun just went down half an hour ago..FREAKY!

Talk soon!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Check out the blue colour of this ice - it really does look like this - amazing.
Craig laying on top of the mini iceberg
Meeting our guest, Flat Stanley, at the airport. 
Craig and Flat Stanley standing beside an inukshuk
Standing on the side of the ice road with CamBay in the background
 Flat Stanley out on the tundra
Craig & Flat Stanley sitting on the side of the ice road
Flat Stanley making new friends at the Northern Store
M & M heading back home from a great ride in the truck on the ice road. (can you see him in the bottom right corner?)
Mocha was loving M & M
Riding the muskox at the airport
I can't believe they found me.
I'm in HEAVEN!
This one is for Craig's dad - very cool!
 I know it's not a great picture but I just wanted to show you that the geese are here.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Roller Coaster Ride

Yep, that about sums it up for this past weekend.  There are very few things in this world that I hate, one being worms and the other is cancer.  It took my Dad in the year 2000 and ever since then it has showed it's ugly face with my mom and many of our friends and relatives. 

This weekend Latitude 69, the band that Craig plays in was asked to perform at a fundraising event to raise money for the cancer society.  It was also a celebration of life and wellness.  In the mist of setting up in the afternoon we received a call stating that our friend Monique was being Medivac out.  We dropped everything and headed over to her & Doris' place to be by their side along with other close friends of theirs.  She is now in Yellowknife spending time with her family, we miss our visits with her and Doris as they are part of our Northern Family.

We headed back to the Luke Novoligak Community Centre to finish with sound checks and helping Angela set up for the evening.  Angela is an amazing woman, she fundraises throughout the year and raises alot of money for the cancer society.  The evening was a success as this small community raised over $4000.00.  Latitude 69 was not the only performers of the evening, special quests Muskox Rodeo, Joe & his son Ashlee Otokiak and the Cambridge Bay Square Dancers shared the stage.  At one point Latitude 69 and Muskox Rodeo played a couple of songs together.  Everyone that attended said they had a fantastic time and enjoyed all of the performers.  Check out all of the pictures from the event.

I was one of the many photographers that evening and was pleased when asked if I would be interested in getting one or two of my photos published in Nunatsiaq Online.  It is the paper of the North, serving all of Nunavut, kinda like the Globe & Mail down south.  That was kinda cool as it was my first published picture.

Then the roller coaster headed straight down again as I received news yesterday stating that a friend and ex-coworker from Birchwood Animal Hospital passed away from...yes you guessed it cancer.  In honour of Heather I would like to dedicate this blog entry to her.  She was much too young and my heart goes out to her husband David and their son Connor.

Talk soon!

Darryl posing with Angela, the fundraiser extraordinaire that made it all happen
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Vicki, the best MC north of the 60th parallel
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"Latitude 69" the headliner band for the evening.
From left to right: Craig, Ryan, Gary, Kim and Terry
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Special guests "Muskox Rodeo"
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Joe & Ashlee Otokiak did an amazing performance
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