Monthly Archives: November 2006

Tim Hortons in the north

Here’s something to put things in perspective: I am an airplane ride away from the nearest Tim Hortons.

This doesn’t bother me, personally, but it’s interesting to see how other people are affected. In fact, one of the nicest things people do here is bring back a 40-pack of Timbits whenever they go to Yellowknife. It’s kind of like a tradition.

Here’s my million-dollar idea for a commercial:

Title reads: Tuktoyaktuk, NWT.
A small plane is landing. Blowing wind, howling. It’s the arctic, in the darkness.
A man wearing a fur-trimmed parka exits the plane, it’s cold.
He comes into the airport, meets his wife and kids.
“Back from Yellowknife?” asks the wife.
And the man hands the kids a 40 pack of Timbits, and gives his wife a (somehow still hot) coffee.
“Yeah.” he says. “Good to be back.”



The Friendship centre

One interesting building in Inuvik is Ingamo Hall, aka “The Friendship Centre.”

It’s a community centre made of logs which hosts dinners, dances and talks.

Last week was National Addictions Awareness Week, (Nov.19 to 25) and I played drums and bass for the country band there.

This one is wolf fur.

From Wikipedia:
“An Ookpik (sometimes spelled Ukpik) is the Inuktitut word for Snowy Owl. Also, an Ookpik was a popular toy (a small, round ball of fluff with two eyes and a beak, and small black talons). They are often made from wolf fur and other traditional materials.

Many middle-aged Canadians and Americans remember owning an Ookpik, and remember the Ookpik as a popular symbol of Canada. The figures are still available in several forms at a cost of about $30. Several children’s books have been written about this popular owl, including Ookpik Visits the USA which, when available, is valued at more than $1,500.

The Ookpik was famously featured in Douglas Coupland’s book and film about Canadian culture, Souvenir of Canada.”

Muskrat mitts

There was a traditional craft fair on November 18 at the high school, where artisans from Aklavik, Tuktoyaktuk, Fort McPherson, Paulatuk, Ulukhaktok/Holman, Tsiigehtchic and Inuvik gathered to sell their wares.

I got these handmade Muskrat fut mittens from a woman in Aklavik. They are very warm!

The best part about fur, by the way, is that you can rub your nose or ears if you get cold.

North Mart and the availability of food

Inuvik has been landlocked recently due to the closure of the ferry. Until the ice roads freeze up, it’s accessible only by plane because of the Mackenzie River has no bridge. (This is actually about 40 minutes out of town, but there’s only one road so it applies.)

Anyhow: I have been telling people about food shortages recently, but it’s actually not that bad.

Sure North Mart is almost out of milk…but as you can see, it has plenty of other stuff including powdered milk.

Sunset at 4pm

This photo was taken just before 4pm today! The sun continues its retreat…

The new Mackenzie

This is the new Mackenzie hotel. It has a bar and restaurant which is quite nice….I sometimes stop there for lunch.

(But I realize I should add some colour to this blog!)