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As construction of the new Chief Jim Koe Park begins, the town of Inuvik is inviting people to spend their summers under the its new big tent.

A May 25 public service announcement detailed how the park will be used over the summer as several major projects get underway. Both the construction of a new Visitor Centre, upgraded baseball diamonds and a soccer field are expected to be complete by the end of the year.

Because construction of several amenities are slated to begin this summer, residents won’t be able to use the park as a walkway to the Midnight Sun Complex, but the new Performance Pavilion will be opened up as a public space for up to 50 people at a time and will be the only publicly accessible space in 2021. The pavilion is set to open June 18.

Removable walls will be taken down, allowing free movement of people and air through the pavilion and allowing it to have outdoor venue status. The town says the walls will stay down until mid-September, at which point the walls will be placed back up but the pavilion will still be accessible to the public as an indoor venue.

Anyone planning an event under the new pavilion will need to get approval of the Office of the Chief Public Health Officer and put forward a Risk Exposure Plan prior to the event. All iquiries are asked to be directed to the MSC at 777-8640.

Other changes detailed in the release include a note that the service road in the park will no longer be accesible, as the road will ultimatley be removed for the new park layout. Access to the grass around the park will similarly be limited as construction of the new Visitor’s Centre and further work by the GNWT on the baseball diamonds and the addition of two soccer fields between the MSC and the pavilion.

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Further developments in planning include new parking lots to accomodate the new venues, but those are not expected to begin until at least 2022. When the pandemic is no longer a concern and normal capacity allowances resume, the pavilion is capable of seating up to 270 people and has two stages for performances.

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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