Carnival cash crisis
City alderman Vi Beck leads the charge for toonies

by Janet Smellie
Northern News Services

NNSL (Mar 21/97) - Organizers of the city's 44th annual Caribou Carnival are offering a big thanks to those who've come through at the last minute to save the carnival.

Volunteers spent Wednesday scrambling after realizing they were about $25,000 short in their fundraising.

As of Tuesday, organizers were considering cancelling some of the events, including the Canadian Championship Dog Derby.

Carnival Association President Mike Kalnay says the main shortage came when the Quest for the Crown contest, which normally brings in about $40,000, raised less than $20,000.

But after volunteers, including city Alderman Vi Beck, worked around the clock, several thousand more tickets were sold and all the events were rescued.

"The folks in town are coming through. The service clubs are helping. Vi Beck has been out beating the bushes, it looks like we'll make it after all," Kalnay said late Wednesday afternoon.

But even though, as of Wednesday night, Beck alone had raised $12,000 for the event, there's still the threat of the association facing a deficit.

Kalnay's now asking everyone who visits the carnival site to "cough up" just one more toonie in order to keep the carnival alive for next year.

"If everyone in Yellowknife dropped a toonie into the jar at the carnival, that's all it's going to take. We don't charge admission to the carnival, so we're hoping Yellowknife will come through."

Considered a world-class carnival, in the past up to 10,000 people have attended to catch events ranging from a championship dog derby, corporate challenges, fireworks and lots more.

Pick up your carnival guide at the XXXYellowknifer and see you on the ice!