A sea of spectators filled the Chief Lamalice Complex on the K’atlodeeche First Nation reserve for K’amba Carnival’s signature event, the adult talent show, March 5.
Assisted by the house band North Country Rock, spectators were treated to a lineup of talented singers, jiggers and fiddle playing well into Saturday night.
Diane Tourangeau, chair of the carnival said she was pleased with the turnout that brought people from different corners of the North to be present for the carnival’s signature attraction.
“I thought the weekend was good,” she said. “We had 260 at the talent show and our gathering limit was 300. It was actually pretty crazy. I didn’t think that many people would come. A lot of people came from Whitehorse and others from B.C.”
There were several audience members and performers during the evening that came from Fort Resolution and even a group travelled from Lutsel K’e.
All of it, Tourangeau said, was satisfying as organizers had had a short window to prepare leading into the weekend due to uncertainty of what Covid-19 restrictions would bring.
But she received positive feedback as food, recreational activities and entertainment all came together.
“I even had one family from Fort Resolution say to me ‘Oh my god, Diane, this is the best carnival ever. You guys should come and run our carnival,’” she said laughing.
Tourangeau said there were some obvious limitations to the carnival this year, notably handgames, however festival organizers will aim to return K’amba to its regular full slate next year.
“I think the big lesson from this year is that next year we will fundraise early,” she said. “Our bingos we will start holding every two weeks in September.”
The event served as a very welcome break from a very challenging year for many members of K’atlodeechee First Nation.
Elders who had passed within the last year were remembered fondly, including Richard Lafferty, Celine Buggins, Raymond Sonfrere, Sarah Martel and Phillip Fabian.
Chief April Martel, who has stressed the importance of having K’amba Carnival to provide a celebration and healing for residents, said she was pleased with the weekend overall.
She was out and about at several events.
“What stood out for me was just seeing everyone’s faces and new faces from out of Town,” she said. “What stood out the most was seeing elders I haven’t seen in such long time and families as well.”
Below are the results from Saturday evening’s adult talent show.
1- Olga Avigana