Rankin Inlet’s old arena, also known as the community hall and rec complex, has long been outgrown by the community.
It simply can’t accommodate full community events, which are very well-attended and popular in town.
From Pakallak Tyme to the fishing derbies, hundreds of people are cramming into a room the size of a school gym. Everyone lines the sides of the gym, with rows of people sitting in front of one another, and there’s no room to move without invading the space of whatever’s going on in the middle. Being in there, as great as the events going on are, is suffocating.
The amount of flu and cold transmission at these events would provide some interesting statistics if they could ever be found out.
There’s an extra-bizarre aspect to it when one thinks about the sardine squish going on at the community hall while a far larger space, the Agnico Eagle Arena, sits nearly empty unless there’s a sports event taking place.
However, it’s not just an issue with the old arena. The Kissarvik Co-op held its annual general meeting at the Siniktarvik Complex on Wednesday, May 25.
That room was even worse: after 30 minutes in line, I found a room that was already at capacity, with the line I was in still longer than when I first entered it.
Rankin Inlet as a whole is in need of bigger and better community infrastructure.
Obviously, there are other priorities in town and money has to come from somewhere or be diverted from something just as if not more critical, but it will be a glorious day when we have the space to match the popularity of events we have.