Cold won't stop New Year's fireworks in northern capitals

Yellowknife's annual fireworks display will go on despite extreme cold, while RCMP remind Iqaluit residents to take safety precautions when setting off their own displays.
Yellowknife's annual New Year's Eve fireworks display will go on tonight despite extreme cold. The City of Whitehorse will also have a display, while Iqaluit holds a midnight snowmobile parade on Frobisher Bay. (CBC)

Organizers of Yellowknife's fireworks display are hoping the cold weather won't freeze peoples' spirits this New Year's Eve.

Minus-40 temperatures have many people keeping to indoor activities but one pyrotechnician believes Yellowknifers will make an exception tonight.

Kate Dooley has been a part of the fireworks displays in the city for the past 20 years. 

"It's going to be really cold, but people still turn out," she said. "It's the North, and everybody shows and it's amazing how many people brave the cold to come out there. And that's wonderful, that makes it worth it for us."

Dooley said cold temperatures mean her team of fireworks experts will make sure their jobs are done as quickly as possible tonight without affecting the show. It starts at 9:30 p.m.on Frame Lake near City Hall. 

Iqaluit celebrations

Iqaluit's Road to Nowhere Amateur Pyrotechnics Society will not be putting on a fireworks display tonight.

In recent years, the group, headed by Wes Smith, has managed an impressive display. Smith says he's taking a break from the expensive and time-consuming project. 

However, RCMP are expecting other Iqaluit residents to put on their own displays, and are reminding all amateur pyrotechnicians to be safe. 

"There are safety precautions to take of course: make sure that you're well spaced from the fireworks, have someone experienced to operate the fireworks and step back and enjoy the show," says Sergeant Yvonne Niego. 

Niego said unlike other nights of the year police typically don't receive noise complaints on New Year's Eve. 

Iqaluit residents are treated to a second light show after the fireworks — the annual midnight snowmobile parade on Frobisher Bay.

In Whitehorse, as part of the city's Family First Night celebrations there is a fireworks display scheduled for 9 p.m. at the Canada Games Centre.


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