Aaron Tambour is the chair of the organizing committee for the 2020 K’amba Carnival.

However, it is not like he is new to the role.

Last year, Tambour was vice-chair, and by the end of the carnival he was pretty much overseeing the event, explaining he “defaulted” into the role.

“I think the experience is still pretty much the same,” he said. “This year, I think we know a lot more than what we did last year.”

The K’amba Carnival Committee includes, left to right, Sharon Pekok, the recreation director with K’atlodeeche First Nation and its liaison with the committee; Treena Corrigal, the committee’s vice-chair; and chairperson Aaron Tambour.
Paul Bickford/NNSL photo

Tambour explained that being chair includes making sure everything is done by assigning roles and tasks.

“For me, I would just make sure that all the events are lined up,” he said. “They have an event leader, and then we check in with the event leaders to see how the events are going.”

There are about 10 people on the organizing committee, and they are supported by other volunteers.

The new vice-chair is Treena Corrigal, who was a volunteer last year.

“Last year was my first time. I kind of came in last minute,” she said. “Aaron is my cousin, so I was sort of helping him at the end just before the carnival. And it was kind of fun. I enjoyed it and had a good time. It was fun working with Aaron.”

Tambour talked to her early in the summertime and said that he wanted to continue to work with her, Corrigal noted. “And I said, ‘Well, I’m in.'”

She said she is sharing some of the responsibilities.

“I think that my job is to have Aaron’s back and, when the carnival starts, we’ll be working together,” she said.

Tambour agreed that Corrigal will help with decisions.

“So if we ever came up into a conflict or anything like that, we’d bounce ideas off each other and have each other’s back on it, and make sure the committee knows where we’re at,” he said. “It’s a committee decision for things like that, too.”

Organization and promotion for K’amba Carnival 2020 began earlier than usual.

“We started having our meetings in November. That is early,” said Tambour. “Normally, we would start late January, maybe early February. But the people that did the carnival before, they just knew everything about it. It was just easier for them. Whereas last year when we tried to do it like that, it was just too much on us. I figured that, if we started a bit earlier and we created hype a bit earlier, things would just come around really well.”

That earlier promotion included an early-bird draw for three prizes of $500 each. Plus, the tickets sold for the early-bird draw will be put back into the main draw for the raffle, which has prizes of $5,000, $3,000 and $2,000.

For the first time, K’amba Carnival also entered a float in the Santa Clause Parade, held in Hay River on Nov. 29.

K’amba Carnival also held a winter market.

Plus, it has updated its line of hoodies with some new colourful versions.

When asked why he is so deeply involved in K’amba Carnival, Tambour noted the festival has existed for 38 years.

“I just don’t want to see it fade away, because it’s tradition,” he said. “We’ve been going to carnival ever since we were kids. I’d hate to see it just fade away because nobody is stepping up to help out with it.”

The K’amba Carnival Committee also includes Jamie Heron as secretary, Alexa Martel as treasurer and Sharon Pekok as the liaison with K’atlodeeche First Nation, where she is the director of recreation.

“It is important,” Pekok said of K’amba Carnival. “It’s part of our culture, as well, because in the springtime it’s a gathering of the communities, and that’s part of the different carnivals that happen throughout.”

Paul Bickford

Paul Bickford is the reporter for Hay River Hub.

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