Anyone in Yellowknife who wants to learn igloo building skills will get the chance this weekend.
For the first time, an igloo building contest will form part of the Long John Jamboree.
There will be a demonstration of techniques you can use on Friday afternoon at the Jamboree site, then the contest runs from 10am till 3pm on Saturday.
Teams of up to three can enter, at a cost of $50 per team.
Cathy Allooloo, from NARWAL, is organizing the contest.
She has 15 years of igloo building experience in the North – and still remembers her first attempt.
“I cut hundreds of snow blocks and watched my husband build for the first couple of years,” Allooloo told Moose FM.
“I waited till my husband was out of town and I built my own, so I was sure there wasn’t going to be a ‘hostile takeover’ halfway through my first project.”
More information: Long John Jamboree full schedule
Allooloo has spent time teaching igloo building to Yellowknife students in recent months.
She says many aspects of constructing an igloo are a dying art.
“My children being of Inuit ancestry, I’m always looking for things to help them explore, embrace, and learn about their culture. I have a particular personal interest in this,” she said.
“In the Eastern Arctic, the skill of igloo building is still fairly alive. Central and Western Arctic, not so much. Certainly the finer points.
“There’s so much involved, so much tradition, even to the point of how to make the tools, lay out the inside of the igloo. All the finer points are starting to be lost.”
Your team’s igloo this weekend is not necessarily expected to major on the finer points – but prizes are on offer for the top three.
“We’ll be judging them on structural soundness, comfort, and one point for artistic merit/judge’s bribe,” said Allooloo.
Your team should be registered by Friday evening – call NARWAL on 873-6443 to get involved.