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Christmastime in community
Community packs church for traditional evening sing-a-long

Stewart Burnett
Northern News Services
Thursday, December 15, 2016

Getting everybody together in the beautiful Our Lady of Victory Church and singing is what Christmas is all about for Miki O'Kane.

NNSL photo/graphic

Annie C. Gordon shows off some of her wares at a Christmas craft fair last weekend in Ingamo Hall. She made the trip from Aklavik for the event. - Stewart Burnett/NNSL photo

"There's a Christmas spirit," she said. "For me, it's what Christmas is supposed to be."

The church was packed Sunday, Dec. 11, for the annual community choir and singalong. Several groups and individuals took to the stage to present Christmas songs, and the audience led the way in a group singalong between sets. There was barely any standing room in the igloo church, whose curved ceiling makes for ideal sound quality.

"Christmas is supposed to be people getting along regardless of beliefs or concerns or dislikes they have going on, all of that just melting away while everyone sings together and is happy," said O'Kane, one of the organizers of the event.

She thanked the many volunteers who helped make it happen. The community singalong has been an annual event for 32 years.

Craft fair

Earlier that day, artist Annie C. Gordon was finishing up a busy weekend selling her sewing products and her husband, Daniel's, carvings at the Ingamo Hall weekend craft fair.

She had all sorts of products in front of her, from snow glasses to inukshuk carvings to knives, ulus, mittens, slippers and more.

"I travelled here just for the craft sale," said Gordon, 79, from Aklavik.

Her husband has been making carvings since he retired and she's been sewing her entire life.

Sales were pretty good on the weekend, she said.

Christmas parade

Also on Sunday were the annual Christmas parade and kids carnival at the Midnight Sun Complex (MSC).

Residents lined the street to catch the parade just after noon and followed it to the MSC, where more than 220 children came to see Santa.

They all had a chance to sit on his lap, have a photo taken and make some crafts or get a gift. The Children First Centre helped arrange some of the activities.

"It was for sure busy," said recreation programmer Steve Krug.

"It was really well-attended. Lots of happy faces running around and lots of happy parents I think too."

He thanked the community for supporting the events again.

"If no one came out, these events wouldn't happen," said Krug. "It's nice to see a lot of people come out to them. It feels good. It makes me happy that people are enjoying themselves."

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