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Inuvik

Prepare yourself for something entirely new! The community of Inuvik, just two degrees above the Arctic Circle, is the perfect place for exploration and adventure. This far north, the temperature can range from -57 degrees to +32 degrees Celsius. Not to worry - dozens of events and cozy company are sure to warm the chill of frosty winters. The Muskrat Jamboree is a weekend festival that attracts northerners from all around the Beaufort Delta. The holiday is jam-packed with traditional games, drum dancing, jigging, singing, community feasts, skidoo races, dog sledding, and competitions for log sawing, muskrat skinning and tea boiling. Treat your taste buds to local foods like caribou burgers, moose soup, bannock and tea that are served fresh at most festivals.

Inky darkness grips Inuvik in the winter months and for nearly 30 days the community is blanketed in constant night. Locals rejoice in the first sun rise of the year with a bon fire, fireworks and (if weather permits) a barbeque at the Sunrise Festival. The festival is usually held in early January and the sunlight increases until summer (June through August).

In summer, Inuvik is transformed into the land of the midnight sun with 56 days of 24-hour sunlight. With such an abundance of space available, locals spend the sun-kissed summers playing in sports tournaments, hiking, camping, hunting and fishing. National Aboriginal Day is always a summer favourite. The celebration includes a pancake breakfast, barbeque lunch, traditional games, dancing and singing.

The Great Northern Art Festival attracts international attention – artists and travellers from Japan, New York, and Germany are drawn to the tiny community. The festival lasts for 10 days every July and typically features up to 80 visual artists and 40 performers.

With a population of 3,500, Inuvik is a close-knit community that balances tradition and modern living. Hunting, handmade crafts, and drum dancing are a part of life in Inuvik, yet watching a hockey game on satellite TV, updating your Facebook account with wifi, or strolling by the Mad Trapper Pub for a pint and jig is popular too. In a community where tradition is still very much alive, Inuvik manages to maintain plenty of city life amenities. You can take yoga classes, rent movies, relax in a steam room, garden at the community greenhouse, or visit the skateboard park. The community is decorated with landmarks like the charming “Igloo Church,” the rainbow coloured rows of houses, and the inviting visitors center.

The solitude of the north can come with a hefty price tag – don’t expect to pay less than $1,000/month rent for a one bedroom apartment. Because groceries must be shipped so far, the cost of heavy items can be bewildering. A one litre carton of milk is $3.35 and a two litre jug of juice can be as much as $9.45. On the plus side, high wages balance the costs of living.

Inuvik rests atop a ruggedly beautiful landscape; pine trees like chopsticks prick the sky and lakes braid their way across the land. Come to Inuvik and replace the lights of big cities with the blush of the Aurora Borealis. Swap a lengthy commute for an expedition on the Dempster Highway or a ride on the ice road to Tuktoyaktuk.

Worried about settling down somewhere new? Bring a box of Timbits when you fly in – the nearest Tim Horton’s is a plane ride away so this special gesture is sure to get you off on the right foot! Welcome to Inuvik.