They might not be able to clothesline each other for now, but the squad at Totally Arctic Wrestling are hoping to take out the trash in Inuvik’s streets.

Dez Loreen throws an empty bottle at Wade Blu Gruben as part of Totally Arctic Wrestling’s efforts to clean up their designated zone near Tumma St and Gwich’in Road. Non-profits were each assigned ‘zone’ and offered a prize to clean it up as part of the Inuvik Zone Cleanup which ran alongside Inuvik Beautification Week June 1-15.

TAW founder Dez Loreen said his non-profit wrestling stable jumped at the opportunity to join in the town’s Community Zone Clean Up, which allows non-profits to pick up “zones” and clean them up for a modest cash reward.

“It took us an afternoon of Wade Blu Gruben and myself walking through and picking up a small amount of litter, I’d say four-to-five bags of trash,” said Loreen. “It wasn’t a lot of effort but we knew we were picking the easiest zone.”

Normally over capacity, this year due to public concerns about Covid-19 the community activity only had five out of 13 applicants. According to the town’s July 13 Recreation Report, only Team Wainman Curling, Arctic Youth Development, Totally Arctic Wrestling and two anonymous community groups participated in the once-a-year town beautification effort to remove empty bottles, garbage and other undesirable debris from the town’s streets.

A cash reward of $300 to $500, depending on the size of the zone, is awarded to each team. The two anonymous groups donated their payments to the Inuvik Food Bank and the John Wayne Kiktorak Centre. The other three teams were fundraising.

Coun. Dez Loreen inquired during council’s July 13 Committee of the Whole meeting what happened with the zones that weren’t taken.

“Right now they are left, we don’t have the manpower to go through,” said senior administrative officer Grant Hood. “That’s why we do the beautification process in the first place. If the zones that haven’t been done are available, people are welcome to apply any time and we’re happy to provide them with the necessary resources so they can clean it up and we’ll send them a cheque.”

A map of the different zones around town that non-profits can apply to clean up by June 15. Applications are taken on a first-come, first-serve basis. Photo courtesy Town of Inuvik


Loreen said his crew were more than up to cleaning another zone, or many more if that’s what it took.

“Another two for sure if it’s not a lot of work,” he said. “Even if we chip away at it its still gonna be better than what it is now.

“I have no patience for people who litter.”

Helping the town also helps TAW. Loreen noted the organization was still recovering from having to cancel its planned shows in April because of Covid-19. That involved cancelled flights, merchandise and other re-booking fees.

Loreen added he still had plenty of T-shirts he needed to sell to help recover his costs so TAW could hopefully rise again as soon as the GNWT gives him their blessings.

“We owe another $1,000 to the merchandise debt so it could cut it in half by the time were all done with the clean ups,” he said. “I think the clean up makes the town look much better. Just sucks that we aren’t seeing all the zones being taken in the first go around.

“It’s important that we teach our young ones that we shouldn’t toss our trash on the street.”

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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