How to Do Halloween at the Iqaluit Legion


Halloween at the Iqaluit Legion is quite possibly the party of the year. Even before moving to Iqaluit, I had heard tales of epic costumes, eternal line ups, and big, big prizes. Like most things in Nunavut, the Iqaluit Legion's Halloween party is best appreciated through experience rather than text. Alas, for those of you who aren't planning a trip up here, I have the next best thing: time lapse footage set to dub step and a breakdown of our days leading up to Halloween at the Iqaluit Legion.

Video: Halloween at the Iqaluit Legion

Remember #sealfie, the hashtag-cum-movement Northerners started to protest Ellen Degeneres' support of anti-sealing organizations? It was one of the major headlines coming out of Nunavut this year - and the inspiration behind my boyfriend Justin's costume. Yes, that's right: Justin went dressed up as a sealfie, a seal taking a selfie (how meta).

The costume consisted of a sealskin hat, homemade flippers, and a whole bunch of actual selfies/sealfies, courtesy of the GoPro Justin rigged onto his back. The result is, I believe, the first ever video evidence of a night at the Legion. Without further ado, this is what Halloween at the Iqaluit Legion looks like.

How to Do Halloween at the Iqaluit Legion

Get dressed and go party - sounds simple enough, right? Wrong. This isn't Halloween in your hometown; this is Halloween at the Iqaluit Legion, and that means everything is just a little more complicated. Here's how we made it happen:

Step One: Plan Your Costume

Iqalummiut are known for elaborate, often Northern-inspired costumes that require months of planning, online ordering, and set up. Or, you could plan to go as Nunavut's biggest headlines of the year less than two weeks before Halloween and whip together your costumes with finds from the thrift store, literal garbage, and DIY craftiness. Behold: Finding True North as a zombie First Air-Canadian North merger (because the deal is dead) and the infamous dumpcano (complete with toxic plume of smoke).

FTN #Halloween 2014: Zombie First Air-Canadian North merger and dumpcano.

A photo posted by Finding True North (@findtruen) on

Step Two: Save Your Costume

If your Legion Halloween costume is a doozy, then you'll want to debut it at the bar and no earlier. This year, the Halloween party at the Legion was scheduled for November 1st (why? I don't know), which meant I went out on October 31st in the outfit below, which is not much of a getup, unless "me in grade 5 after watching The Craft" counts as a costume.

Step Three: Arrive Early

And I don't mean relatively early; I mean early-early, like in-time-for-dinner early. Why? Because the Iqaluit Legion is notorious for reaching capacity on big event nights well before the DJ starts spinning. This fact caused a fellow Halloweener to exclaim, "Holy sh--, we're late" when the clock struck quarter to seven. Upon arriving at the Legion less than ten minutes later, we joined an already large-ish crowd, many of whom were having dinner and checking their watches.

Step Four: Be Patient

When you arrive, the lights will be on, the music non-existent. You will wonder why, exactly, you came to a club (a "club") two hours before the DJ is set to begin and a whopping seven hours before the bar is going to close. Do not allow yourself to be deflated by this temporal realization. Instead, distract yourself with the variety of clever, crappy, and crafty costumes on display. Maybe you'll even make a new friend - or two!

Step Five: Gear Up for the Big Contest!

The Legion annually awards $1000 to the best costume as voted by a jury of randoms. In years past, the jury has gently tapped costumed contestants, nudging them off the dance floor if their gear wasn't good enough, until only the top contenders were left standing. This year, however, the jury went to a secret room to tally their votes, and the winners were announced around midnight. I didn't get a decent picture of the first place costume, a lady giving birth to a baby (played by a man) on a table (perhaps best left imagined), but here is a shot of the second runner-ups, Daft Pumpkin.

Step 6: Take Your Costumes on the Road

Halloween at the Iqaluit Legion may be the biggest party in town, but it's not the only haunted jam. With the costume competition over, you are now free to float around town to mingle with the boys and ghouls who couldn't (or didn't want to) get into the Legion. There are those who choose to remain at the Legion until close, but after five hours and several pieces of trash lost from my costume, my commitment to Halloween at the Iqaluit Legion had transpired.

Have you been to Halloween at the Iqaluit Legion? Join the discussion on Facebook!