Skip to main content

INUVIK, NWT. – Canada's notoriously reserved Prime Minister found himself at a community centre in Inuvik, Canada's northernmost incorporated town, Wednesday evening, witnessing a celebration of songs, drums and dance during a stopover on his northern tour.

Inuvialuit performers ranging in age from under ten to over 80 performed traditional songs and dances before a crowd of two hundred or so. At the end, the host invited everyone to join them in a final celebratory dance.

The journalists accompanying Mr. Harper watched intently. Last November, on the set of a popular dance show in Mumbai, India, he had stood uncomfortably as performers swirled around him.

Story continues below advertisement

But this time Mr. Harper got out of his chair, donned calfskin and beaver-fur mittens and stomped his feet and waved his arms with the best of them--at least, the best of those who hadn't a clue what they were doing.

The organizer of the evening "said: 'come on out and we'll have some entertainment for you," the Prime Minister joked afterward. "She didn't say I would be the entertainment."

Next time, maybe they should provide a piano.

Report an error Licensing Options
About the Author
Writer-at-large

John Ibbitson started at The Globe in 1999 and has been Queen's Park columnist and Ottawa political affairs correspondent.Most recently, he was a correspondent and columnist in Washington, where he wrote Open and Shut: Why America has Barack Obama and Canada has Stephen Harper. He returned to Ottawa as bureau chief in 2009. More

Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.