After the rather rough patch of news involving bingo hall blowouts, things around town seem to have rebounded back to our usual supportive selves.

As mentioned in last week’s edition, local celebrity Dez Loreen is organizing a comedy night to help Arctic Paws keep in operation, but that was just the start of the community coming together this week.

Several of the ‘good news’ items in this week’s edition were months in the making. The seeds of Western Arctic Youth Collective’s bid for an Arctic Inspiration prize — which netted them a $97,000 cheque to keep their programming going well into the future — were laid last October, by Mayor Natasha Kulikowski.

Kulikowski has been busy getting local non-profits extra cash lately — on top of her helping WAYC out, she also nominated the Inuvik Food Bank for a prize through the NWT Association of Communities. They announced this last weekend the Food Bank would receive a $5,000 prize to put towards whatever it needs.

Meanwhile, Arctic Petroleum Ltd. gave everyone in town a nice surprise this last week with a care package distribution of small creature comforts — a few snacks, including the Canadian staple macaroni and cheese dish. In total, 1,700 packages were distributed through both Inuvik and Aklavik at the company’s expense, just to put a smile on everyone’s faces.

I think its safe to safe this is the Inuvik we’ve all come to know and love. This is the community that helps itself out that I first encountered a year and change ago.

As has been repeated by people across the NWT and Canada throughout the pandemic, we’re all in this together. Particularly in these times, supporting one another is even more important since many of our supports are out of commission right now.

If last week’s shenanigans showed how the stark difficulties and frustrations endured throughout the pandemic could boil over into public outrage, this week’s awards and celebrations showed how we overcome those difficulties and frustrations.

Far too often modern society is characterized and practiced as a dog-eat-dog competition. But at the end of the day, it’s the people who take the time out of their day to go the extra mile for someone else keep our communities together. When our Food Bank and our Animal shelters do well, we all do well by extension.

As we slowly navigate our way through the pandemic this year, we need to keep this in mind. In our neighbourly briefs this week, you will see the awesome news that the Beluga Jamboree in Tuktoyaktuk is expected to go ahead, with some modifications to keep safe.

Similarly, in town this weekend Inuvik’s Special Events Pavilion — which has been sitting in the middle of Chief Jim Koe Park without any major events so far — will be in the eyes of the public this Saturday for a ‘Mapping Art in the NWT’ showcase, with three showings held throughout the evening.

Both of these events deserve our attendance and our support to keep our community together during the pandemic. But some of the needed modifications may lead to headaches for patrons, so as we gather to support our community initiatives, let’s be sure to be patient with those who are putting themselves out for our benefit.

Eric Bowling

Covering all things related to the Beaufort Delta, Eric Bowling is your editor for the Inuvik Drum. He came north after cutting his teeth in Alberta. Eric enjoys long walks, loud music and strong coffee.

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