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Snowbirds’ Operation Inspiration won’t make it to NWT

The Snowbirds fly over Łutselk’e in July 2016
The Snowbirds fly over Łutselk’e in July 2016. Photo: Canadian Forces Snowbirds

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds started a cross-country tour this past weekend – but before you get your hopes up, this tour does not include the Northwest Territories.

Yellowknife’s International Air Show, at which the Snowbirds were scheduled to perform, has also been cancelled this summer. The earliest the aerobatic group is now likely to appear is 2021.

“During Operation Inspiration our mission is to visit as many Canadians as possible,” wrote Captain Jenn Casey to Cabin Radio, before breaking the bad news: the jets won’t make it to the NWT.

“We love visiting Canada’s north and are hoping to see you in the future,” she wrote.



Operation Inspiration kicked off in Nova Scotia last weekend “to salute Canadians doing their part to fight the spread of Covid-19,” explained a news release.

The Snowbirds will work their way west across Canada this week. They have asked people to watch flyovers from home and not travel to see them.

Locations, routes, and times for the tour are being shared daily on the team’s social media pages. The Snowbirds’ schedule is dependent on weather and their ability to get fuel, food, and housing, so they are only able to share their plan one day in advance.

Yellowknife International Airshow cancelled

In November, Yellowknife International Airshow organizers had announced plans for the Snowbirds to be at the two-day July 2020 show, along with the SkyHawks parachute demonstration team and a CF-188 Hornet fighter aircraft.



Last week, organizers cancelled the event due to Covid-19. It will return in 2021.

“Challenges include social distancing; inter-provincial travel of performers, and economic challenges being experienced by our sponsors and guests. As such we are acknowledging the need to defer until next year,” said event chair Gord Van Tighem in a news release.

“It is disappointing after all the prep work that has been invested over the past year,” he added.

Yellowknife’s airshow is held every two years but skipped 2018 because it couldn’t schedule the Snowbirds or the CF-188.

The last time the Snowbirds were in the NWT was in July 2016, when they flew over Yellowknife and Łutselk’e.

The CBC published stunning footage of the Snowbirds over Yellowknife in 2016.