K’amba approaches

Henry Beaulieu Jr. from Fort Resolution participates in the axe throwing contest at K'amba Carnival Mar. 1. Photo by Sarah Ladik NNSL

Henry Beaulieu Jr. from Fort Resolution participates in the axe throwing contest at K’amba Carnival Mar. 1.
Photo by Sarah Ladik

This year’s K’amba Carnival is set to get under way this Thursday and, at a time when organizers are usually scrambling to make sure everything gets done, this committee is cool as a cucumber.

“It’s incredible to have everyone pulling together right now,” said this year’s K’amba chair Doug Lamalice. “I’m not stressed. Everything is good.”

Lamalice credits the committee and the experience of Diane Tourangeau who ran the carnival for decades for this year’s stress-free lead-up.

This year’s events will run from Thursday through Sunday this week and feature both a children’s and adult’s talent show along with crowd-pleasers like dogsledding races and handgames.

Lamalice said delegation was the key and that each person has a set department that he doesn’t have to oversee.

“The people who are in charge of the kids’ stuff do that, talent shows, everything, it’s all worked out and I don’t bug them about it,” he said. “It’s been a breath of fresh air. People’s attitudes have been just beautiful.”

New this year is a traditional garments fashion show, something Lamalice said he looked forward to seeing.

“This is really about showcasing our culture,” he said “Even the talent show — it’s a bit different — but times are changing and it gives the people in a small town a chance to be proud and get noticed but above all, it brings people together.”

Tourangeau, who said she had been organizing the yearly event “forever,” added it was nice to be able to step back. She has been in charge of the popular K’amba Queen race, in which six young women will compete to sell tickets and be crowned royalty for a few days.

“It’s all coming together,” she said. “It’s good to step away but still be involved.”

Tourangeau is also organizing the children’s talent show which she said was also almost ready to hit the stage. She was still looking for judges from other communities last week.

As well, she said singers would make use of live band Northcountry Rock instead of recorded songs this year.

“This is really about being welcoming to everyone and sharing our culture,” said Lamalice. “It’s a time of strengths, a time to lift spirits, but also a time to reflect on where we came from as Dene people and look forward to where we’re going.”

–Sarah Ladik