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Street Circus inspires children
Second annual Festival by the Lake a success in Baker

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services
Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Folks in Baker Lake were left with smiles upon their faces at the conclusion of the second annual Festival by the Lake this past month.

NNSL photo/graphic

Elder Elizabeth Quinangnaq lights the qulliq to officially begin the second annual Festival by the Lake in Baker Lake this past month. - photo courtesy of Karen Yip

The lineup of entertainers was a stellar one again this year, featuring Street Circus, children's entertainer Mr. Mark, Yellowknife recording artist Godson, classic rockers the Midnight News and the Baker Band.

The hot air balloon made its return this year, with the weather co-operating all day on Aug. 27 and part of the day on Aug. 28.

The festival also featured bike races, a parade, Dragon Castle and slide, fashion show, pie-eating competition, face painting and tattoos, community showcase, softball showdown, community feast, barbecue, fireworks, square dance, an historic look at Baker Lake via a slide show, Baker's own Markie Mark F. and Grandmaster J, and a screening of the movie, Jurassic World.

The festival began on Aug. 24 and ran until Aug. 28.

Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM) community liaison co-ordinator and hamlet Coun. Karen Yip helped organize the festival.

Yip said the festival had great weather, lots of people attending the events and great community involvement.

She said the event was highly anticipated by the community and it didn't fail to deliver.

"The Street Circus performance was really good, and it showed the kids other possibilities while stretching their imaginations," said Yip.

"They gave the kids other things to think about, and it was inspiring for some kids to realize there's other things out there besides working at the hamlet or Northern store.

"You can pursue other avenues of interest, and achieve things other than hanging out and walking around."

Mr. Mark was making his second festival appearance, and Yip said many in the audience remembered him, and he remembered many people in the audience.

She said it was pretty cool to watch the entertainer call people in the audience by name and get them up to participate again.

"Mark has a relationship with the community now.

"He built up a kind of rapport with Baker Lake this past year, and he really wanted to attend again this year, and we were happy to have him.

"We saw our MLA compete in a pie-eating contest this year, and we saw our local newspaper editor performing and entertaining people, which was quite something to see.

"It was just a great five days, counting the preview performance of Godson the first night, and everyone seemed to have a really, really good time."

Yip had an assistant for the first time this year, which made life easier for her during the festival and kept her from being overwhelmed by the workload.

She said for the 2017 festival, she'd like to help other people take over the event.

"The planning will start earlier in the coming year to avoid the intensity of trying to get everything done in just a couple of months.

"I'd like to pass my knowledge on and have other people organize the next one.

"My involvement with the festival is mainly through being on the hamlet's working committee, because it is a hamlet event with sponsorship from AEM and other businesses."

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