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Omingmak Frolics beefs up its roster
This year's festival in Cambridge Bay features some 15 new events

Jeanne Gagnon
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, May 9, 2012

IKALUKTUTIAK/CAMBRIDGE BAY
From acting silly at laughter yoga, to learning a few magic tricks and basic Innuinaqtun, not to mention seal hunting, those attending this year's Omingmak Frolics will have a chance to enjoy a host of new activities.

NNSL photo/graphic

Ollie, the Frolics mascot, entertains children and the young at heart during last year's Omingmak Frolics in Cambridge Bay. This year's festival runs from May 14 to 21. - NNSL file photo

Ollie the Omingmak mascot is back during Cambridge Bay's annual celebration of spring, this year from May 14 to 21, as is the fashion show, the snowmobile races, the parade and scavenger hunt, to name just a few. This year, about 15 new activities were added to the eight-day event, featuring a mix of traditional and modern activities, in line with this years' theme "Illitkuhivut Hakugihivaalirahuluhu" or "Embrace our Roots." The theme has a double meaning, explained Fred Muise, the hamlet's recreation co-ordinator.

"There's the obvious definition the traditional heritage, language," he said. "But roots is also an offspring of a seed. So you get the seed which produces roots which produces a plant, which is also looking towards the future."

Two certified laughter yoga instructors in the community offered to do an event, where people share a laugh while exercising playfully, according to the event's program.

"Let's give it a try. Let's see what happens," said Muise.

Guest magician Sheldon Casavant will teach a few magic tricks to those interested during a workshop, as well.

"I've always been fascinated personally by magic but that's more for my kids to go to," said Muise.

The Prince Victor and Princess Victoria competition for youth aged 14 to 17 is back this year following a few years' absence, according to the program. This will run alongside the Queen Victor and Queen Victoria competition.

Muise said he's looking forward to having lots of fun.

"Most of those, except for the magic, I've tried. Of course, I can't go in the prince and princess competition I'm too old."

Visitors will also have a chance to learn the Innuinaqtun alphabet and a few sentences during a basic Innuinaqtun workshop offered by Clara Wingnek of the Arctic Coast Visitor Centre. She said this is usually done on a request basis.

"A lot of our visitors, actually, want to take in that cultural experience," she said. "We thought we would make it an all-day event and try to capture the interest of those visiting and those wanting to learn. We just thought it might be a fun idea."

Cambridge Bay resident Patti Bligh said she, in previous years, has particularly enjoyed the talent show, and the muskox burgers available at the canteen during the snowmobile races.

"My favourite part is the talent show because you get to see people in the community doing things you would never ever imagine they had that talent for. It brings everyone together and I never have the courage to participate but I sure have to admire those people that do," she said. "I go to the snowmobile races but I really just go to eat the muskox burgers at the canteen because I can never tell who is racing."

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