In Paulatuk, police hold a radio bingo for local Elders

You’ll be waiting a long time for regular bingo nights to resume in the NWT. Police in Paulatuk are passing time in the pandemic with radio bingo instead.

RCMP say their “boost your spirits” radio bingo night was designed to bring joy to seniors in the Arctic coastal community of around 270 people.

Lucky winners could pick up one of five themed packs of items related to baking, fishing, toiletries, sewing, and on-the-land products.


The grand prize winner received a $200 gift card to the community’s Northern store.

Meanwhile, police say they delivered 60 healthy food packs containing items like bread, coffee, eggs, fruit, soup, and snacks.

Cpl Cara Streeter, Paulatuk’s RCMP detachment commander, hoped providing radio bingo at a time when many people remain isolated would “boost mental health” in the community.

Money for the initiative came from United Way NWT, who provided $5,000 from a fund designed to help vulnerable people get through the Covid-19 pandemic.


Indoor bingo nights will be one of the last activities to resume under the NWT’s current pandemic restrictions.

The territory’s chief public health officer says indoor bingo can’t take place until all restrictions are lifted, which is expected to be in 2021.

Outdoor bingo with up to 50 participants will be allowed in phase two, anticipated later this month.