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Iqaluit's New Year's Eve fireworks will honour John Manning

Iqaluit has rung in the New Year with a family fireworks show since 2006, but this year the celebration will also take the time to look back.

John Manning was an ardent supporter of the Iqaluit New Year's Eve fireworks celebrations

The fireworks show was moved from Michael Salomonie's backyard to near the Road to Nowhere to accommodate the viewership in 2009. (Submitted by Laisa Kilabuk)

Iqaluit has rung in the new year with a family fireworks show since 2006, but this year the celebration will also take the time to look back.

This year's show is in memory of a prominent Iqaluit resident and ardent fireworks supporter, who died in a boat explosion in July.

John Manning helped purchase and support the fireworks every year since 2009, when it outgrew its original venue in Iqaluit resident Michael Salomonie's backyard and moved to a location near the Road to Nowhere. He always made sure the show would go on, even to the point of hauling wood for a bonfire to keep spectators warm.

John Manning was a strong supporter of the fireworks show. (Submitted by Alicia Manning)

"That speaks to the kind of person John was. That's what makes Iqaluit so great is you have people like John who contribute to this community in so many ways and he didn't seek recognition for it," Salomonie said.

The Iqaluit Gas Bar has set up an account and is accepting donations for the fireworks. In honour of Manning, they will match half of whatever is raised.

So far $5,700 has been raised, which is enough to run two half-hour shows — one at 6 p.m. and one at midnight.

In the future, Salomonie says he would like the city's recreation department to recognize the firework show's value to the community and help with the costs.