The 2022 Long-John Jamboree has been called off.
In an informal press conference held on Monday, January 31st, Chris Coomber, the acting president of the Jamboree committee, announced that this year’s event is being cancelled. He explained that many of the Jamboree’s board members have resigned over the course of the last year, and that they decided it may be best to put the event in a sort of “corporate limbo” for the foreseeable future.
“Our hope is that, at some point within the next few years, we can get a group of people who are interested, and have the energy to build up the Jamboree again.”
Many of the board members who have resigned, Coomber explained, are simply trying to advance in their own lives, and feel that they don’t have the time or energy to put towards the Jamboree.
“Nobody really has the energy to put into it, because people are starting up their own businesses, they’re dealing with family issues, they’re dealing with building up their own families, and just don’t have the time and energy to put into a big festival like the Jamboree.”
Coomber added that the Jamboree committee is in possession of many items that are used almost exclusively for the Jamboree, such as signs, ice carving tools, and various games. He said that it wouldn’t make much sense to get rid of these items if they can’t be used elsewhere. It’s better to hold on to these items, and wait for a time when the Jamboree can return.
Surprisingly, Coomber explained that, while COVID has played a factor in the cancellation of the Jamboree, it wasn’t the primary reason. According to Coomber, there simply hasn’t been enough interest in the event
“It’s a bit of a widespread issue that there aren’t a lot of people that want to volunteer for these events, and really put in that time and effort.”
Coomber added that while it is easier to acquire volunteers when there are incentives and prizes involved, over the years, it has been difficult for the Jamboree to provide those incentives.
“It really takes a community to put on a festival for the community.”
So while the celebration on ice won’t be happening this year, it won’t be gone forever. Coomber explained that once COVID is under control, and they can bring in a larger number of people to help organize the event and spread out the workload, the Jamboree will absolutely be able to make a grand return to Yellowknife.