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Hamlet celebrates 30 years

MuchMusic, Nunavut performers headline bash

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services

Coral Harbour (Aug 21/02) - It's been 30 years since Mike Panika was elected Coral Harbour's first mayor.

The hamlet hosted a huge music festival from Aug. 7 to 10 to mark the anniversary, and brought in a solid lineup of well-known entertainers.

NNSL Photo

Charlie Panigoniak of Rankin Inlet was one of the many well-known entertainers from across Nunavut who took part in the Coral Harbour music festival earlier this month. - Darrell Greer/NNSL photo

In addition to two dances hosted by the MuchMusic dance troupe, the Panniqtuuq Youth Choir and Rhoda Kakkee, Iqaluit's Jaygoposie, Gamailee and Meleah Nookiguak of Qikiqtarjuaq, Arviat's Jo-Ellen and the Band, Andy Aliyak and Charlie Panigoniak of Rankin Inlet and the Cape Dorset (Kinngait) Throat Singers (Mary and Josie Taukie) all took part in the festivities.

Hamlet recreation co-ordinator Heather Kolit says this was the first time the hamlet took on such a project.

"While all of this was planned to go along with our 30th anniversary as a hamlet, a good deal of it was also aimed at the local kids," says Kolit.

"The MuchMusic dances were held on Aug. 5 and 6, just after the Suicide Prevention Hike. We lost three kids to suicide this past year and we don't want to see that happen again."

The hamlet also hosted a number of outdoor games with cash prizes during the festivities, as well as a giant community feast on Aug. 10.

Kolit says the event went well, with both the performers and the participants having a great time.

"The kids really enjoyed the MuchMusic dances. There were so many of them there," she says. "There were also some gifts given out in honour of the first council to be elected in Coral. A little girl, named after Father Kayuapik who was on the first council, accepted the gift on the council's behalf."

Kolit says although the festival was a huge success, it was quite expensive to organize.

She says any similar events in the future will have to be looked at on a year-to-year basis.

"The lack of funding these days makes putting on these events difficult. But we might look at it again, depending on the finances we have available."