Photos and stories from Alex Flaherty.
Early in March 2021, Qaggiavuut had an idea: to build a massive qaggiq for a spring festival. No small feat, to create a structure out of snow that can hold dozens or hundreds of people. Thankfully, we were able to turn to some local Iqaluit experts for the job.
Within days, a team was put together, led by master iglu builders Solomon Awa and Jacoposee Tiglik, and Alex Flaherty and staff at Polar Outfitting. Within less than a week, they were able to design, cut, and build all the components needed for a magnificent qaggiq.
Here is how they did it, from Alex’s own perspective.
March 14th, 2021
Our team at Polar Outfitting, community members, and elders are getting ready to build a Qaggiq. None of us have built one before. We are going by pictures and stories. But I am confident and beyond joyful to be a part of a tremendous masterpiece. Thank you Qaggiavuut for the wonderful opportunity.
March 15th, 2021
Started a lifetime opportunity with my great friends: we just started a qaggiq. I can't wait to see all the happy faces once it's completed. Our friendship bond will be much stronger as a team.
March 16th, 2021
As we are cutting, sweating and laughing, there were always moments where I said in my head; “Our ancestors, grandparents, parents were natural engineers and architects and talented to build something like this.”
Our teachers are just wonderful to work with: Solomon Qajaaq Awa and Jacoposee Tiglik. We are all happy to be a part of this special moment in our lives.
March 17th, 2021
Construction underway for the 2021 Qaggiq festival. It's going to be a big one. The team worked hard and smiles of joy on them all day!
March 18th, 2021
Oh boy -- look at that!
March 19th, 2021
-45 and still going. Our guys are working in extreme cold weather and all of them have smiles on them.
March 20th, 2021
My cousin Kenny took this picture. I can smell victory soon!
March 21st, 2021
Tears of joy we are done!!!! The qaggiq is up and ready for people to enjoy. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to my crew that worked extremely hard.
We had the most amazing instructors, Solomon Awa and Jacoposee Tiglik.
We also say thank you to everyone that has watched us and followed us from around the world.
Thank you, from the Build Crew of the Qaggik builders.