Jodi Day-MacLeod and Jackie Challis. Both are volunteers in the newly formed Inuvik Community Events Society. (Mackenzie Scott/CBC) A lack of family events in Inuvik has led to the formation of a new society aiming to bring back traditional gatherings.
The Inuvik Community Events Society was formed after Jodi Day-McLeod reached out on Facebook, gauging interest in resurrecting Inuvik’s popular old-time dances.
Day-McLeod received enough interest to form the society, which held its first meeting in June. So far, she says eight to 10 people are involved, a number she expects to grow "once things get going."
The group is first looking towards New Years Eve, where they plan to have a dry community dance and feast.
It’s something that Jackie Challis, who is volunteering with the organization, thinks will draw people from neighbouring communities.
"It’s such a great time to come together and celebrate. Aklavik always has a lot going on, Tuk, all the other communities have lots going on," she said.
"Now, you actually see people go to the other communities because there is nothing here, but as long as we say ‘we are going to do this,’ we could see people coming in." Bringing back Delta Daze
The society will seek community support by holding fundraisers during the year, with their first one aimed for late September. They’ve already received a donation from Inuvik’s town council: free use of the main hall at the Midnight Sun Recreation Complex on New Year’s Eve.
If their first event is a success, the group has bolder plans, including resurrecting Delta Daze, a four-day event traditionally held in the fall by the town’s Lions Club. Delta Daze hasn’t happened for a decade due to a lack of volunteers.
Delta Daze included activities like a casino, honey bucket races, and an old-time dance. Bringing it back will be a major undertaking, said Day-MacLeod.
"There’s going to be a lot of people that we are going to go to for resources because there were a lot people out there who were very dedicated," she said. "It would take a large committee. It’s not just something that we can just pull off, so we might start slow."
For now, the society will stay focused on New Years Eve, working to revive traditions that have been left by the wayside.
"Instead of sitting at home and saying ‘remember in the olden days of 10 years ago, they used to have this yearly,’ it’s just a sense that we’ve brought this back," said Day-MacLeod.
"And if it fails, at least we can say we tried."
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