Reaching out

by Jeff Dineley

Friday afternoon at the YZF. I have a thousand things I should be doing for work this weekend, but a late-night decision a week before sealed my fate. Well, actually, the Air North ticket price to Whitehorse really was too good to pass up. Besides, how could I not tag along with royalty such as Joe Snow, Mr. Freeze and Snowking himself on a diplomatic excursion.

We’d set up a royal summit with our new friends from the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous Festival, Whitehorse’s winter festival. On the tarmac, I try to focus: Leave your day job at home, this is serious stuff.

We toast our journey on the plane, a round of scotch courtesy of the King, and over the mountains we go.

Whitehorse. It’s sleek, modern, and completely fixated on its history. The Starbucks is as representative of the town as the notorious downtown drinking hole, the rough-and-tumble 98.

Little time is wasted upon arrival as we’re due to meet our distant Sourdough cousins over dinner. Joe Snow and I set up camp at his brother’s place while our two companions have arranged to stay with a former Yellowknifer – a colourful character who may be remembered by longtime Snowking fans as Dr. Distortion.

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We arrive at the Yukon Inn for what both parties hope will be an historic meeting. Hands are shaken, pictures taken, and a new alliance forged. The folks at Rendezvous are excited, we’re excited, there’s an undeniable buzz. With a half-century history, our new friends are a Yukon institution, the kind of organization we’re happy to have in our corner.

The fruits of this partnership? World-class snow carvers coming to Yellowknife for our first-annual snow carving competition and a huge door opening for us, hopefully for years to come. We look forward both to a Sourdough presence here in Yellowknife (watch for them at the Royal Ball on March 7) and to bringing some of our own local colour to their February 2016 event.

Meeting over, our trip becomes a celebration.

While the details of this phase are best left between those involved, I will say the occasion was marked appropriately and thoroughly.

So, free up your calendars for festival season, Snowking just went inter-territorial.

Jeff Dineley is a board member for the Snowking Winter Festival whose snow name is Ice Crackly.

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