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NNSL Photo/graphic

Yvette Pilakapsi and Nathaniel Fredlund lead their Grade 2 class at Leo Ussak elementary school in Rankin Inlet in a jigging demonstration to highlight Christmas in Nunavut as part of the school's 2005 Christmas play. - photo courtesy of Mary Beth Nickerson

Bringing the world to Rankin

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services

Rankin Inlet (Dec 21/05) - The students of Leo Ussak elementary school in Rankin Inlet presented their annual Christmas concert in front of an enthusiastic gathering of friends and family members this past week.

The students brought holiday celebrations from numerous locations around the globe to life on the stage, as they performed a number of songs and skits highlighting the theme to this year's concert, Christmas all over the World.

Vice-principal Sarah Ayaruak said the school has a Christmas concert committee that selects the annual theme.

She said committee members kept hearing the teachers wanted to do something special with just their home-room class this year.

"The committee members decided Christmas all over the World was the type of concert that allowed each of the classes to come up with their own production that fit within the overall theme," said Ayaruak.

"It worked out very well and the students really enjoyed being part of the play, as they do every year."

Almost 300 students from kindergarten to Grade 4 took part in the concert.

Most of the classes paired up to produce eight separate mini-productions during the concert. The demonstrations ranged from Christmas in the Kivalliq to how the holidays are celebrated in such places as Germany, Mexico, Greenland and Hawaii.

Ayaruak said she can't remember a time when the students worked as hard during rehearsals as they did this year.

She said it was easy to tell they were eagerly anticipating their big night on stage.

"We didn't have any cases of stage fright that I noticed this year.

"The community always supports our Christmas concert and this year was no exception.

"It's great to see so many parents come out to watch their kids perform.

"I don't think we ever really expect the gym to be so full, but it's nice for the kids when the big crowds show up and there's cameras and camcorders going everywhere you look."