Churchill is buzzing these days with all kinds of excitement! Aurora trips are in full swing with this being one of the best years to view the “northern lights” due to incredible solar flaring. Also, Churchill’s annual Aurora festival begins in March and overlaps with the start of the Hudson Bay Quest which begins in Gillam, MB on March 15th and finishes in Churchill this year.  And..oh yeah..polar bears are always in the news with the ongoing debates on how they should be listed on the endangered species list. Lots to think about in the heart of winter up north.

A polar bear watches intently from the willows.

A polar bear keeps a watchful eye from the shelter of willows.

Polar bears were listed as endangered in 2008. in 2010 the United States petitioned the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES) to upgrade the listing from appendix II to appendix I..which would prevent any international trade in polar bear parts. That year the motion was declined and now this March 3-14th the USA is once again trying to push the change through. Of course there are many sides to the issue but passage of the motion would surely have ramifications all over the planet. This article goes more deeply into the reasons many different proponents and opponents have interest in the upcoming symposium.

Sled dogs in Churchill,MB

Avid sled dogs in Churchill,MB. Brad Josephs photo.

The Hudson Bay Quest is ramping up to full speed in preparation for the March 15th start date. An amazing field of mushers has already registered. Here’s the updated list below:

1. David Daley, from Churchill, Manitoba
2. Julie Robitaille, from Otter Lake, Quebec
3. Ryan Anderson, from Ray, Minnesota
4. Charlie Lundie, from Churchill, Manitoba
5. Stefan deMarie, from Christopher Lake, Saskatchewan
6. Alvin Hardman, from Ludington, Michigan
7. Dan DiMuzio, from Churchill, Manitoba
8. Jim Oehlschlaeger, from Newberry, Michigan
9. Ed the Sled Obrecht, from Otter Lake, Quebec
10. Blake Freking, from Finland, Minnesota
11. Troy Groeneveld, from Two Harbours, Minnesota
12. Jesse Terry, from Sioux Lookout, Ontario
13. Peter McClelland, Ely, Minnesota
14. Shawn McCarty, Ely, Minnesota
15. Matt Groth, from Two Harbours, Minnesota
16. Laura Daugereau, from Kingston, Washington
17. Hank DeBruin, from Haliburton, Ontario

This is shaping up as the most competitive field to date. Returning 2012 champion Shawn McCarty and 2011 hometown champion Charlie Lundie are both in the field with hopes to win again. Come on up to Churchill for St. Patty’s day and catch the racers as they mush into town on the16th and 17th.

Recently I posted some photo’s of one of Natural Habitat’s aurora groups building an igloo. Take a look at the finished was had by all. What an experience in cold temperatures!


The real thing in the Arctic. Photo Rhonda Reid.

Warm inside…frigid outside. Photo Rhonda Reid.

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