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There are a few ways to predict the weather here before I open my eyes. The radio alarm clock of CBC North reading the temperatures from around the territory (which makes Iqaluit weather balmy compared to many communities), the amount the house shakes from the wind (no basements: houses here are on stilts) and the temperature of the dog as he runs in from outside and pushes his nose against mine to tell me it’s time to start the day.

In these ways I knew it was minus 35, even before I left the fleece confines of bed.

Today we were shooting a time lapse of the sun setting. Which meant we would be in position at 2 p.m. to capture the sunset at 2:22 p.m. We drove into Sylvia Grinnell Park, left the warm car and walked through a crusty snow that supported my weight most of the time until it would suddenly give way and leave me thigh deep in snow, holding a camera and struggling to get free.

To add to this: the large parka I brought up with me won’t close.

I thought I could zipper it from the bottom and do the snaps up on top, perhaps letting the belly breathe a little. This plan worked when I rehearsed it in the morning. But I’ve expanded as the day progressed and by the afternoon my plan is foiled.

Just as a watched pot never boils, a time lapsed sun never sets. As we watched, one of the crew said, I swear it’s getting brighter. As we watched the city grow dark behind us, another asked if perhaps it only gets dark in Iqaluit, not out here.

The park is only five minutes from downtown, but as we pulled back onto the road, we all sighed relief and thanked each other for surviving our hour-long adventure. We headed for Tim Horton’s, taking our place in line with about 20 construction workers.


Angie Pajek is a freelance producer based in Toronto, currently working for the Inuit Broadcasting Corporation on the Inuit Youth comedy show, “Qanurli?”

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