Iqaluit Initiation Camp 2007

A new logistical challenge
 
Discovering a new destination is always exciting. Landing in Iqaluit, we discovered the incredible snow and ice park in front of the village, I mean.. town! I quickly realized that Iqaluit is much more spread out than any of the other northern communities we have visited to date. Paraski instructors, Yves Thauvette and Alain Bernier, identified the area in front of the breakwater as an excellent location for the initiation clinics. Given the distance to our clinic location, we changed our plan. Rather than setting up the traditional base-camp tent, we rented a 24-foot cube truck thanks to Rick Gauthier, manager at the Driving Force Car & Truck Rental. 
Having the truck enabled us to set up a nice area for registration and equipment fitting, and provided a secure location for our equipment at night. We also very much appreciated having a set of wheels to better discover Iqaluit. more pictures... 
50 Kilometer per hour winds provide inspiration and local support
 
Thanks to 50-kilometre per hour winds, we enjoyed excellent Paraski conditions on the first day in this new territory. Inspired by the conditions, Glen, of Raven Rock FM, gave us the opportunity to talk about Paraski on the radio and to invite people over for a "test drive". Qikiqtaaluk Information Technology Corporation (formerly QINIQ), Iqaluit wireless Internet provider, gave us a connection in order to respond to email inquiries. Thanks to the organizers of Toonik Tyme, the Paraski activity was also publicized on the calendar of activities, and advertising flyers were distributed at the Capital Suites and Frobisher Inn with Martin's assistance. more pictures... 
Lack of wind is good for other Toonik Tyme activities!
 
Despite a windy start to the week which prompted our efforts to invite people down to the bay, Mother Nature refused to cooperate. The wind diminished and remained calm for three consecutive days. Unable to Paraski, we took advantage of the situation and enjoyed some of the activities that had been planned for Toonik Tyme including friendly hockey games, harpoon throwing, Skidoo drag trials and seal skinning contests. As it happened, I met George Pilurttut, one of my best friends above the 60th parallel who was in town to coach the Kangiqsujuaq hockey team for the Toonik Tyme tournament - a wonderful surprise and a great reunion. more pictures... 
CBC Radio North gets in the driver seat!
 
On Sunday morning, the wind picked up and was strong and steady again, enabling us to run initiation classes. Meagan, a reporter from CBC North, came down to interview George and me. George Pilurtuut is the recreation coordinator in Kangiqsujuaq and the person who introduced Paraski to his community. After the interview, Meagan decided to give Paraski a try. Like the others, she quickly mastered sail handling and enjoyed a two hour run across the bay. This was our first and last chance to enjoy watching the colorful Paraski sails against the backdrop of the Iqualuit sky. We hope to be back next year to give more of Iqualuit's youth the opportunity to try this exciting and rejuvenating activity. Nakurmiik!. more pictures... 
 

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Special thanks to:
The community of Iqaluit and Nunavut Active Living program
First Air for their support and collaboration.
Rick Gauthier at the Driving Force 
Kriss, Ailsa, Victoria of the Toonik Tyme Organization
Capt. Randy Slawson, RCMP for providing us a place to stay
David Fulgham at QITC for the Internet access 
Glen at Raven Rock ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) for your enthusiasm and great reception 
Sanjay, Capital Suite manager and staff for your assistance in promoting our activities
and Martin, Frobisher Inn, for his assistance all along the week
 
by Guy Laflamme
 
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