The Northern Frontier Visitors Association should be the first stop for anyone spending time in this northern destination. The information provided here ensures hours of exploration. Interactive displays about the Aurora Borealis, a documentary about diamond mining and exquisite taxidermy specimens of local wild life. The information desk staff is knowledgeable and helpful. Looking for a Northern Lights or dogsled tour – a white board at the main entrance lists numbers and companies that can accommodate.
Within walking distance from the visitor center we find the Prince of Wales Heritage Museum. This impressive building presents displays with a focus on wildlife, Dene culture, archeological discoveries and art.
The original mace of the North West Territories made from wale bone, walrus tusks and copper, a true testament to the indigenous people of the north. The mace used today is on display at the legislature only a stone’s throw away from the museum.
Polar bears are not found this far south in the territory. However, the lifelike display was further enhanced by authentic growling noises activated by motion sensors.
For a more peaceful scene this caribou mother and calf provide a less confrontational and threatening stance.
I can’t resist to take full advantage of the scene – and I don’t even need to use my telephoto lens…
What is this dark silhouette in the background of the marshland display? A moose in all its glory and there is no need to seek cover and remove myself from the situation.
The bald eagle resting on the shore of of a water body appears so real that I would not be surprised he he spread his powerful wings any second.
There is always time to round off the Yellowknife cultural experience on a restricted schedule. A free legislature tour is a great opportunity to learn more about a Canadian region. The local guide is well informed and eager to answer any questions. The architecture of the building complements the wooded surroundings. The steel, wood and glass structure lets in as much natural light as possible and one never feels removed from nature.
The chamber of the legislative assembly is filled with symbolism and deeper meaning. There are no political parties in the North West Territory – the MLAs are elected by the people and stand as independent representatives.
The Speaker’s seat is representative of an Ulu, the all purpose traditional knife used by the indigenous people of the North. The back wall is made of hand-tooled zinc mimicking nearby rock formations.
Glass panels ring the chamber and provide daylight to enter the space freely. The panels are made from recycled glass and represent the seasons. According to our guide the glass panels change color with the season and in relation to where the sun enters the space. The panels themselves represent the topography of the Northwest Territory. The tour concludes with a walk along an impressive art collection adorning the walls.
Only a short walk from the Legislature Ti-Bo’s sculpture “United in Celebration” is situated on the shore of Frame Lake.
We spot the first skaters of the season.
The sculpture, created from metal, appears to capture the mood of the day, reflecting the cloudy, grey sky and frozen lake.
Movement and joy are conveyed from every angle I capture with my lens.
After a brisk walk we make one more stop at the Quilted Raven, Yellowknife’s downtown quilt shop. There, among the countless bolts of colorful fabrics I spot this eye-catching raven sculpture. How can I resist his mysterious smile?
This seems to be a good place to stop today’s Yellowknife report. An out of town excursion is on the agenda next. Check back soon for more imagery from the Canadian North.