Canku Ota

(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


april 7, 2001 - Issue 33



Iqaluit Gets Crazy About Kites


by Jane George Nunatsiaq News


Iqaluitís Toonik Tyme will feature a kite festival next month.

IQALUIT ó René Lavallée wants you to go fly a kite.

For the past two years, Lavallée has been sharing his passion for kites with his fellow Iqaluit residents, by giving his time and energy during Toonik Tyme to introduce the basics of kite-flying.

Lavallée, who works for Nav Canada, has spent all but one of the past 12 years in Iqaluit.

"And I donít miss trees at all," Lavallée said.

In fact, what he particularly likes about Iqaluit are its open spaces and wind conditions, which are perfect for kite flying.

"It doesnít make any difference who you are, where youíre from or what language you speak, you can enjoy kites."

As an active member of Iqaluitís francophone population, Lavallée thinks itís particularly important to be visibly involved in community life.

This year around Toonik Tyme, Lavallée is taking time off work to offer workshops in kite-making to kids and teenagers. Sponsored by the Nunavut Francophone Association and Canadian North, heís also bringing a kite festival to the general public.

Lavallée wants to recruit new fans for kite flying, an activity that is part sport and part spectacle.

For some, kite flying is just for kids, but for an increasing number of kite flyers itís an extreme sport. These sport-kiters attach kites to skis and surfboards. They race on kites and even hold kite fights in the air.

The dynamics of kite flying are fairly simple, however. Kites rise by deflecting air downward ó the pressure created under the kite is what lifts them up.

As kite flyers have become more sophisticated, though, the size, design, and price of kites have grown. Some of the kites to be flown at Toonik Tyme will cost thousands of dollars, be three stories high and take several people to operate them.

Next week, Lavallée will also be going into the schools to work on kite-making projects with students. On April 5-7 there will be kite-festival activities on the ice for the general public.

Make Your Own Kite

Go Fly A Kite


Kites for Kids


Kite Safety




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