Muskrat Jamboree King and Queen coordinator Wilma Hendrick, 2020 King and Queen Brian and Carmen Wade and Jamboree Vice Chairperson Justin Collison pose following the crowning ceremony. In a record breaking year $114,764.10 was raised by five couples.

2020 might be cancelled and the Inuvik Muskrat Jamboree along with it, but organizers didn’t let the COVID-19 crisis or a full-on blizzard stop them from crowning the King and Queen of the Jamboree March 20 at Duck Lake Park.

Brian and Carmen Wade were named the ceremonial monarchs of the 2020 Muskrat Jamboree after bringing in a record-breaking $70,130 in fundraising. In total, the five couples raised $114,764.10 for the festival.

Funds raised will be put towards the 2020 Kiddies Carnival and then will be carried forward towards the 2021 Muskrat Jamboree. Muskrat Jamboree secretary Eileen Allen added the jamboree also donates funds for bereavements and other things by request.

The draw for the raffle prizes will be March 30 at 7 p.m. The draw will be broadcast on Facebook live.

To be named King and Queen was actually pretty cool. It was rewarding knowing it was all for such a great event that brings the communities together. We did work really hard daily with the help of many supporters. It was a huge relief to not be wondering if we were doing enough to be crowned,” said Brian Wade. “We made our everyday about fundraising. We tried to have a set goal that we needed to hit daily. We had people from all over the Inuvialuit Settlement Region who supported us by either buying squares, tickets, even driving over for our merchandise bingos. We also created a Facebook page which had over 400 followers. Utilizing all the tools we had, and having prizes people wanted, worked to our advantage.”

Also fundraising were Ashlyn Hendrick and Jeffrey Blake, who raised $23,608.05, Jayda and Edward Kogiak who gathered $16,815.10 ,Trista Ipana and Edward Cardinal who collected $3,120.90 and Donovan Arey and Leah Ipana who raised $1,090.

The 2020 Inuvik Muskrat Jamboree contestants. Back Row, L-R: Edward Kogiak, Ashlyn Hendrick, Jeffrey Blake, Brian Wade and Edward Cardinal. Front Row, L-R: Jayda Kogiak, Leah Ipana, Carmen Wade and Trista Ipana. Missing: Donovan Arey.

Inuvik’s 63rd annual Muskrat Jamboree was set to begin March 27, but successive recommendations on limiting groups, the town closing the Midnight Sun Complex and continued shocks from the COVID-19 crisis lead the organizers to announce the festival was cancelled on March 17.

Having the Jamboree cancelled was a bit sad at first, but for our safety and the safety of our community sometimes it’s for the best,” said Wade. “There is always the kiddies carnival to look forward to, or next spring. We would like to thank our families, our friends and everyone who supported us in one way or another and all the local companies who donated, or discounted merchandise for us.”

Eric Bowling

Your source for all things happening in the Beaufort Delta. Eric jumped at the chance to write for the Inuvik Drum after cutting his teeth in Alberta. He enjoys long walks, loud music and strong coffee....

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