K’amba Carnival is getting something completely new this year – a mascot.
The winter festival on the Hay River Reserve has apparently never had one in its 37-year history.
“I don’t really recall any mascots for the K’amba Carnival,” said Aaron Tambour, vice-chairperson of the organizing committee.
The suggestion to create a mascot came from the committee during one of its meetings, with the idea being that it would be in the image of a ptarmigan.
K’amba in K’amba Carnival is the Slavey word for ptarmigan
“Right away the whole committee was up for the idea,” said Tambour. “So everyone went onto their phones and were looking up mascots that looked like a ptarmigan.
“We couldn’t find any that looked like a ptarmigan. We’d seen other birds on there, but there were just no ptarmigan.”
Two craftspeople in Hay River – Kim Lea and Trisha Laye – have taken on the project to create the mascot based on a ptarmigan, and have been working on it since about Feb. 12.
“So we’ve been busy at it,” said Laye.
It’s the first time they have made a mascot.
“But Kim and I were recently involved in a project making puppets,” Laye noted. “So I think one thing kind of leads to another.”
Lea said the project is a good challenge.
“We’re both very creative and able to visualize things, and have a good understanding of sewing and things like that,” she said.
Tambour believes a mascot will be a good addition to the carnival.
“We kind of wanted to try to open up more things for the youth to be involved in and to make it geared more towards the youth,” he said.
“It’s a fun event; it’s a carnival. So we want the youth to really enjoy themselves during the carnival. And the committee just feels like this would be a great addition to it.”
This will be the second mascot based on a bird in recent years in the South Slave.
The very popular mascot Kechi for the 2018 South Slave Arctic Winter Games was created in the image of a snowy owl.
The new mascot for K’amba Carnival had not been named as of late last week.