Inuvik Sunrise Festival scales back in response to Omicron wave

The Inuvik Sunrise Festival will go ahead this week but with a reduced schedule of events as the number of active Covid-19 cases in the region rises.

Jackie Challis, the town’s director of economic development and tourism, said on Wednesday some festival events will be cancelled and others altered to ensure they comply with public health orders. 

The festival, held to celebrate the return of the sun after its annual month-long absence, had already been delayed by two weeks.


Among festivities Inuvik residents will still be able to enjoy are fireworks, an at-home snow sculpture contest, and the lighting of lanterns.

Events that have been cancelled include the parade, Arctic market, public ice skates, and food trucks. 

Event details and updates will be posted to the festival’s Facebook page

“Stay safe, keep well, may you and your family enjoy fresh air and sunlight when possible and safe to do so,” Challis stated in an email. 

As of Wednesday evening, there were 1,252 active Covid-19 cases across the NWT including 116 in the Beaufort Delta region. 


Chief Public Health Officer Dr Kami Kandola on Wednesday said Inuvik and Fort Smith in particular were experiencing a “significant increase” in cases and community transmission. Residents in both communities are advised to avoid non-essential travel and work or study from home if possible. 

Kandola has extended territory-wide gathering restrictions until at least January 30, suspending high-risk indoor activities and limiting household gatherings to five guests with a cap of 10 people in the home at a time.