Caribou Carnival wanted
Students pass around petition, offer to raise money

by Ian Elliot
Northern News Services

NNSL (Nov 05/97) - They can't vote, but a group of Yellowknife youngsters has a message for the new city council: bring back the Caribou Carnival.

A petition signed by 14 elementary school students will be one of the first matters to come before the newly-inaugurated city council. The youngsters want the city to find a way to make the Caribou Carnival happen.

"Please don't cancel the carnival," reads the petition, drafted by Belladonna Payne, a Grade 7 student at Weledeh school.

"Every year my family and friends look forward to the Carnival ... at Carnival we always have lots of out-of-town visitors and we meet and make new friends. We try to participate in everything we can. We are even trying to learn to jig."

The carnival, which is traditionally held in mid-March, was scrapped in June this year due to a lack of volunteers willing to sit on the board which organizes it, and due to the fact that the Arctic Winter Games will be held in Yellowknife for two weeks, beginning March 15.

Belladonna said she was disappointed when she heard the carnival would not go ahead, and came up with the petition idea after talking it over with her family.

"I started getting mad," she said.

She took the petition to school and found students from grades 4 to 7 more than willing to lend their support.

Belladonna and two other students, Vicki Vogel and Frances Jacobson, said they save up their money for the carnival every year, even doing more chores around the house so they will have money to spend. They were very disappointed that there will not be a Carnival to go to this spring.

Belladonna said she hopes the students' efforts are enough to sway city council into getting the carnival re-started and she will be checking up on what they say about her petition.

"I'm going to watch the meeting on TV," she said.