First Air has cancelled its annual Christmas ball in Iqaluit for this year.

The ball is an anticipated social event for many people in Iqaluit every year, with dinner, dancing and live music.

Interim president Chris Ferris said he recognizes this event is a highlight for many people.

"Our resources are stretched a little thin this year as far as people available and with all the other activities going on, it's a very busy time of year both for the business moving freight and people around the Arctic leading up to Christmas time and then also supporting a lot of other events that go on throughout the North," said Ferris.

Last week, CBC reported that First Air will lay off 15 people.

First Air said that while the ball is cancelled this year, it is not gone for good. Organizers said the party is on a one-year hiatus.

Charities rely on ball for donations

The ball also raises thousands of dollars for charities like the Kamatsiaqtuq Helpline and the women's shelter.

"So it's sad for us that First Air is not able to able to do this ball this year because it certainly impacts upon our financial position. We'll find a way to get that money, but it certainly makes an impact on us," said Sheila Levy, who volunteers with both groups.

In the past 12 years, the event has raised more than $700,000 for charity.

Levy said she is grateful to First Air for all the support the airline has provided in the past.