CamBay’s Omingmak Frolics festival gets underway
Festival includes "Women in action" celebration, traditional foods, games and fun
While people in Cambridge Bay get ready to enjoy the Omingmak Frolics spring festival, which starts May 14, many in this western Nunavut community are thinking about the “Women in action — Steps of hope” walkers, who were stopped in their tracks this past weekend out on the frozen Coronation Gulf.
Walkers Janet Brewster, Elisabeth Hadlari, Jamie McInnis, Donna Olsen-Hakongak, Cambridge Bay mayor Jeannie Ehaloak and Nunavut Commissioner Edna Elias left Bay Chimo May 7 to walk 220 kilometres to Cambridge Bay, to raise money for cancer research and promote healthy living.
According to people who spoke to the women May 13, the walkers were waiting out a storm, about 130 km. away from Cambridge and 24 km. away from a halfway cabin between Bay Chimo and Cambridge Bay.
Everyone is “doing good,” said Nuka Olsen-Hakongak, whose parents are on the walk — Donna as a walker and Naikak as a member of the support team on snowmobiles.
The “Women in Action,” due to arrive back in Cambridge Bay by May 18, are also part of the Frolics, with a celebration of the walk planned for May 19.
The Frolics kicked off on May 11, with a giant bingo whose proceeds will help pay from the festival, which this year is around the theme of “Embracing our roots“ or “Illitkuhivut Hakugihivaalirahuluhu.”
From now until the Frolics wrap up May 21, people in Cambridge Bay will be able to sample traditional foods, drum dance, hear local fiddlers, jig for fish, learn Innuinaqtun or skin a muskox.
An Innuinaqtun and Inuktitut scavenger hunt around the community will test participants’ language skills, while elders at the elders cabin will be on hand during the the afternoons to chat and share a cup of tea.
The Frolics are also about community activities, such as games, a fashion show and snowmobile races.
For youth, there are games, a hip hop workshop and music video recording sessions.
And there are various contests — for a Frolics theme song (which must contain at least one traditional component, such as an Inuinnaqtun word, drum dancing beat or throat singing) and for photos of Cambridge Bay.
And, of course, the Frolics will see some attention given to the muskox — the omingmak behind the Frolics.
During the May 18 parade the “most like an omingmak” float will receive a special award, and, during the Frolics, Ollie, who makes regular appearance during the Frolic, will pose for photos.
May 14 will see people working for Cambridge Bay’s organizations and businesses start their noon-hour “corporate challenges.” On Monday, this will involve teams racing piggyback backwards.
For more information on the Frolics and the complete schedule, go here.