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Hockey underway in some Nunavut communities, others still waiting

Various communities across Nunavut have faced delays with the most recent lockdown caused by Covid-19 in November, however with restrictions having lifted in most communities, sporting events are slowly but surely back underway in the territory – particularly in its hockey arenas.

As of last week the flooding and painting of Arctic Bay's Tununirusiq Arena were well underway, delayed only slightly as community staff were busy delivering and organizing Christmas hampers donated by Baffinland and Arctic Fresh to community members.

Thomas Levi, Arctic Bay’s recreation coordinator, plays around with the water hose as he floods the Tununirusiq Arena in Arctic Bay.
photo courtesy of Arctic Bay Recreation Department

In Taloyoak the hockey season has already started, while there were delays in relation to the Covid-19 lockdown from November they managed to get the season started by Dec. 14.

"For minor hockey the insurance fee is $40, for the adults the insurance fee is $24," announced Nathan Mannilaq of Taloyoak Recreation on social media.

"Our goal was to have this done before the ice is finished but due to the recent lockdown we have been delayed."

He also added they will be taking late payments to register even after the deadline, which was on Dec. 11. The season started on Dec. 14.

Baker Lake has a number of hockey events on their schedule as well according to local organizers.

"We have the schedule on for hockey, with the pandemic we are allowing only 50 skaters at a time (for a) public skate," said Jimmy Misheralak, recreation co-ordinator for the Municipality of Baker Lake.

"We have minor hockey, senior mens and gentlemens in our schedule. We are hoping to have women start up this year."

Another community still working to put the ice in their arena is Pangnirtung.

Peter Ebbik, recreation co-ordinator for Pangnirtung noted "we don't have a climate control system, we have to depend on the outside weather.

"We need -10 C and above of cold weather outside."

The weather around Pangnirtung has been too mild as of late to start putting

in the ice in the local arena, however the weather may soon be on their side.

"We're finally getting cold air and the maintainers have turned on the cold weather fan, we maybe start flooding with a fine mist (soon)."

This is nothing new for the arena said Ebbik, adding that the weather hasn't been quite so steady lately.

"We've all been very anxious to start putting on the ice," said Ebbik.