While Nunavut's Inuit traditions provide a unique cultural backdrop for life here, visible minorities and ethnic experiences are not as abundant as they were in Toronto. According to the 2006 Census, there are 420 persons of visible minority living in Nunavut, almost half of which are in Iqaluit. Contrast that with the 1,162,630 individuals in Toronto, and you can understand how it's a bit of an adjustment. At the same time, the Arctic is a place for "missionaries, mercenaries, and misfits"; I guess opportunity does not discriminate amongst those who chose to take it.
There are ethnic experiences I would not have had unless I lived here. It can also be very personal. I doubt I would have attended a passover seder in Toronto, or a traditional Hindu dance performance, or muddled through the traditional lahmacun recipe I have so I could share it with my friends at Easter (see below). People take the time to explain why a tradition exists and how it's developed, whereas at home it might be taken for granted. We also look forward to "theme" dinners and lunches at the Francophone Centre in a way that we never would in Toronto.
I return to Yellowknife next month and plan to give my new Armenian friends a call. I wonder if we'll spend time talking about the differences between Eastern and Western Armenia, Nunavut and NWT or if we'll just be amazed to speak Armenian in a place so far from anywhere any of us expected to hear it.