Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Stars in town

One of the weird little things about Iqaluit is the number of celebrities that pass through here.

No really.

Here's the thing Iqaluit's airport has a runway massively disproportionate to what is needed. It's a U.S. airforce length runway since there used to be a base here a few decades back. There's a story about Iqaluit being an alternate landing site for the space shuttle, but apparently it's bogus. That is really too bad because I always liked believing that.

Anyway, lots of planes fly over Iqaluit. If you're flying to Europe and using a circumpolar route, well, depending on what part of North America you're leaving, odds are you're going to fly over us. And if you're in a private jet, you might just need to pop down to Iqaluit and top up on fuel before heading on your merry way.

Many just stay on their plane, especially in the temperatures are in the -40 range. Some will get out and stretch their legs for a bit and you'll even get the odd one who'll pop into town briefly just to see what the place is like. The rumour goes around town pretty quick, but you normally find out after the event. Some of the ground crews at the airport will say "Hey, guess whose plane I refueled today?" at which point it's too late.

Now, I'm not really a celebrity stalker. I'm not sure if I've ever asked for an autograph as I'm not completely sure what I would do with it. And that Madonna apparently made a stop in Iqaluit does not overwhelm me with regret that I missed her. Although it would have been nice to have seen Robin Williams and Bruce Springsteen, who have also been rumoured to have made quick stops in town.

But I did enjoy this story about Sammy Hagar hitting town. I'm not the biggest Hagar fan in the world, but the confluence of events here is really amusing. I didn't hear him on the air. I sometimes have the radio on, but I normally just have my iPod at work. Still, this would have been funny. I wonder how I would have reacted if I'd been on the air and someone called me up to say they were at the airport and Sammy Hagar would like to talk to me?


J Consortium said...

Very interesting. I myself would have been interested in seeing Madonna!

I have a question about the Iqaluit airport...is there a Tim Hortons in it? I ask this only because if there isn't a Timmy Hos there then there definitely aren't any in the entire territory which I can start telling friends/family who actually, for whatever reason, think there are Tim Hortons here.


towniebastard said...

There is no Tim Hortons in Nunavut. There are several coffee shops in town, but no Tim's. Lord knows enough people have tried to bring a franchise to town, but for business reasons the company has always declined.

I'm not sure if it's the same in the Winnipeg airport as it is in Ottawa, but you can always spot the people heading north in Ottawa by the fact that they're drinking the largest Tim's coffee available and normally carrying a huge box filled with donuts, Timbits or muffins to take to friends and family craving a Tim's fix.

J Consortium said...

Ah ha, good to know.

On our flight there was someone with a collection of Tim Hortons stuff but all in separate baggies.

I'm glad there are no Tim Hortons, honestly!

jennifer said...

A couple of weeks ago a ground handler we know in Iqaluit had to bring a case of Evian to a plane carrying Jamie Foxx. More recently he met Salma Hayek's plane when it was diverted to Iqaluit. It was her first visit since she did that big climate change awareness thing a year or two ago.

jennifer said...

p.s. There appears to be something wrong with the Sammy Hagar link - photos of bloody, injured, homeless victims of the war in Lebanon?

towniebastard said...

It seems to be working fine now, so I'm not sure what was up with that. Might have been a hack of the site or something...

jennifer said...

It works for me now (that is such a cool story!)- thanks! I think I rememer the page title changing to Hacked by KaOs.