Cultural life in the Western Arctic revolves around festivals, sporting events and community celebrations. Visitors are always welcome. From springtime jamborees featuring snowmobile races and ancient games of skill, to the 10-day-long Great Northern Arts Festival, to music festivals held year round, the Western Arctic is the place to connect with our Inuvialuit and Gwich'in cultures.
The annual Muskrat Jamboree is a time to push winter to the background and get outside to play. The annual Reindeer Crossing, when a massive herd of some 3000 domesticated reindeer cross the frozen Mackenzie River each spring is one of the world's great wildlife spectacles.
The Great Northern Arts Festival in July is an extravaganza of displays, demonstrations, hands-on workshops, performances and inventive fun. There are doll makers, jewellers, soapstone carvers, fashion designers and glassblowers. You can roll up your sleeves and try your hand at making sealskin bracelets or writing a folksong. Dance, theatre and musical shows fill the endless evening hours.
Music, from traditional fiddlers to modern bands, is popular Western Arctic festival fare. The Midway Lake Music festival near Fort McPherson is an annual get together where old time fiddling and jigging shares the stage with modern bands. Each Western Arctic community also has its own festival, ranging from a fishing derby to spring events on the ice. Check the events listings for details.