Toonik Tyme Tips: How to Get the Most Out of Iqaluit's Spring Festival


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2015 marks the 50th year of the Toonik Tyme Festival – Iqaluit's annual celebration of Inuit traditions and return to spring. This year's events will run from April 2 to 10, with some pre- and post-Toonik Tyme activities included as well. The schedule is jam-packed, from the imagiNATIVE Film Screening to Giant Bingo to snowmobile races to craft sales. Check out the video for a preview!

We know many Iqalummiut are seasoned veterans when it comes to navigating these Toonik Tyme celebrations, but the 50th anniversary is likely to attract a number of new Toonik Tymers. Not only that, but this year's festivities promise to be bigger and better than ever, with events for all ages, various locations, new activities, and lots of prizes. Scroll down for our Toonik Tyme tips for getting the most out of the festival.

Make Your Own Toonik Tyme Schedule

Travis Cooper, President of the Toonik Tyme Society, said that, “There’s so much going on, that we were having difficulties creating the schedule in the first place.” With this much to see and do, prioritizing events is key. So how can you ensure you don't miss something you really want to see? Make your own schedule ahead of time, much like we selected our event picks for Toonik Tyme last year. Download a PDF and or spreadsheet of events to create your own schedule.

Be Flexible

The Toonik Tyme organizers do a fantastic job setting the festival up for success, but not everything is so easy to control. For example, in 2013 there was no Seal Skinning Competition because no seals were harvested during the Seal Hunting Contest that morning. Also note that some events, such as the Uphill Skidoo Race, are "conditions permitting." To account for the unpredictable, we suggest choosing alternate activities for some of your choices, especially those that take place outside.

Bundle Up

While temperatures of -20 degrees Celsius seem tropical compared to the extreme cold warnings that have contributed to our coldest winter in 22 years, we're still in Nunavut. Some activities, such as Igloo Building and Ice Sculpting, will take hours to complete, so be sure to dress appropriately so that you can enjoy your day.

Be Adventurous

Don't sing? Consider Iqaluit Idol. Don't dance? Join Zumba on Ice. Hemophobic? Become a contestant on Fear Factor. Toonik Tyme provides you with ample opportunities to reach beyond your comfort zone.

Connect with Other Toonik Tymers

Check out and use #TT50 on Twitter to connect with organizers, exhibitors, and other attendees in real-time and start a conversation.

If you're on Instagram, make sure you follow us and use #nunagram for all your Toonik Tyme uploads! We'll be featuring our favourite Toonik Tyme shots all week on our account. All you have to do is post your photos, use the hashtag, and watch our Instagram page to see if we shared your picture!

Stay Informed

Things can – and likely will – change. For up-to-date information, check out the brand new Toonik Tyme website (developed by the talented Travis Daley of Asukuluk), follow @ToonikTyme on Twitter, and like the Toonik Tyme Facebook page.

Get Involved

No doubt, our most productive Toonik Tyme tip is to encourage locals to get involved with the society. Toonik Tyme is still looking for volunteers for a few events this year, so if you have time between April 2nd and 10th, and an interest in being a part of the community's largest event, contact toonikvolunteer@gmail.com.

Do you have any Toonik Tyme tips? If so, let us know on Twitter, Facebook, or in the comment section below!