Wiikwemkoong Winter Fun Days draws out the crowds

This penguin ice fishing derby creation was the brainchild of 10-year-old Justice Manitowabi-Trudeau (Lil’ Dolf), who constructed this captivating delight with the assistance of his father Adolphus Trudeau (Big Dolf) in a day of outdoor family bonding during the Wiikwemkoong Winter Fun Days. photo by Adolphus Trudeau

WIIKWEMKOONG—Things were bustling in Wiikwemkoong recently as Wiikwemkoong Fun Days were unhampered by a weekend blessed with unseasonably warm temperatures.

The weekend got underway in fine community style with a parade of lights down Wikwemikong Way on Friday evening followed by a movie night, events hosted by Ralph Gonawabi and Rental Property Management.

Saturday was an action-packed day, replete with fun-filled events and fantastic food. Gee-Dah’s Inspirations kept the corn soup, blanket dogs, scone and burgers, shortcake and flakie flowing along with plenty of coffee, tea, pop and water to wash it down. Kay Mart Variety had nachos, popcorn and taco-in-a-bag for those wanting a lighter snack, while outside the arena the Wikwemikong Health Centre’s Primary Care folks were serving up that storied delicacy stone soup.

Inside at the arena on the ice pad there was a hockey skills workshop also hosted by Ralph Gonawabi, while upstairs there was Anishinaabemowin storytelling with Velma Assinewai hosted by the Wikwemikong Heritage Organization; a book exchange and kids’ corner complete with party music and crafts hosted by Naaddwe Miikan; a host of games, book displays and a short story contest hosted by the library.

The winner of the Wiikwemkoong library’s short story contest, held in honour of Family Literacy Week, was Charlize Recollet. Charlize wrote her winning entry as a fictionalized account of the founding of the local business Andy’s. Ms. Recollet is also starting an online youth talk show and one of her first interviewees was Shane Cooper, the winner of the library’s poetry contest. Both winning entries took home a $100 prize and a $50 Chapters gift certificate.

Inside and outside the high school there were plenty of events underway as well. Inside, a bouncy castle extravaganza elicited howls of laughter from children, Science North was on hand with a plethora of educational games and opportunities. Down the hall families could have their portraits taken courtesy of Ontario Works.

Winter Olympics were the all the rage outside thanks to the finance unit and Your Dollar Store with More put on plank races and tug of war.

Travelling around the community there were lots of ice sculptures to be seen, although heading up to the 4 pm judging a lot of families could be seen frantically rebuilding their creations in the plus-five degree sunshine, the results in the end were pretty impressive.

First place in the ice sculpture contest went to Kenny Southwind and family, second place winners were Justice Manitowabi, Trudeau and Dolf, while third place was won by Kirby, Sheila and family.

The Penguins in an ice fishing derby sculpture tickled the fancy of The Expositor and became a front page photo in the January 31 edition of the paper. The sculpture was the brainchild of 10-year-old Justice Manitowabi-Trudeau (aka Lil’ Dolf) and his father Adolphus Trudeau (aka big Dolf) who had a great family time moment building the award winning creation. “It is a highlight for me to see that I’m having a very positive impact with my son by getting involved, also doing activities such as the penguins on ice sculpture and having his work recognized,” said Mr. Trudeau, a single father. “This sculpture was initiated by my son and was a special father and son moment for us who have a passion for the outdoors.”

Saturday evening was topped off with a family dance held in the arena hall, hosted by the Wikwemikong Hawks.

On Sunday it was out onto the ice for a day of fishing in South Bay as the Ice Fishing Derby capped the weekend.

It was a social media weekend, and a hashtag contest invited people use the #WUTFunDay hashtag for post on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to be entered for great prizes.