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Long John Jamboree to host seal prep showcase, Snowking acts

Attendees at a seal garment sewing workshop in Yellowknife on March 27, 2019
Attendees at a seal garment sewing workshop in Yellowknife on March 27, 2019. Johanna Tiemessen/GNWT

The relocated Long John Jamboree will stage a showcase of seal fashion and cuisine this weekend, while playing host to acts originally destined for Snowking’s Winter Festival.

The Snowcastle closed a week early following a March heatwave, causing a number of events to be cancelled.

“The bands originally scheduled to play the unfortunately-named Great Meltdown show
at the Snowcastle are now on tap to play in the Long John Jamboree ‘Brrr’ Gardens,” said Snowking’s Winter Festival organizers in a news release, referring to the Jamboree’s beer garden at its hastily rearranged venue in the fieldhouse parking lot.

The transposed show, which begins at 8:30pm on Saturday night, features blues musician Ray Lamelin alongside Yellowknife’s Andrea Bettger and band. Tickets are $25, or $20 for those with Jamboree buttons.



Snowking Anthony Foliot meanwhile reassured residents his festival will return next year, despite an anticipated financial setback from this year’s early closure.

“Don’t worry about us, we’re already planning for XXV [2020’s 25th edition of the event],” said Foliot in a statement.

“I can tell you the theme is not going to be Under the Sea again next year. Maybe we’ll go with dinosaurs or a space theme.”

Alongside Saturday’s rearranged show, the Jamboree will also feature a Friday afternoon showcase of seal-based clothing and food.



The territorial government and Yellowknife Inuit Society are holding two workshops this week: an introduction to seal design and production, which refines sewing skills, and an introduction to seal preparation for local restaurant owners and chefs.

Indigenous fashion designer D’Arcy Moses is leading the sewing session, while Indigenous chef Joseph Shawana – owner and operator of Ku-kum Kitchen in Toronto – leads the food prep course.

Artisans taking part include Julia Pokiak-Trennert, Pauline Gordon, Gerri Sharpe, Susie Nakashuk-Zettler. Cheryl Fennel, Hovak Johnson, and Epikghout Ekpakohak, according to a territorial government document.

Restaurateurs involved in the workshops include Robin Wasicuna, Jeff Stewart, Calvin Rossouw, Kim Burke, Kavin Paradis, Mike Doyle, Ethan Mackenzie, and James Burnet.

Friday’s event will allow those involved in both workshops to display what they have produced. The menu includes seared seal loin, seal paté, and seal flipper pie.

The territorial government said seal meat was supplied by SeaDNA, “a Canadian meat supplier that sources and supplies sustainably harvested meat under strict federal regulations set by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.”

The showcase runs at the Jamboree from 1-5pm on the day.