Arts
Yellowknife

Naka aurora festival returns for second year this March


The Naka festival will return to Yellowknife and Dettah from March 2 to 7, adding new events to celebrate northern culture and the northern lights.

The festival, which is organized by the City of Yellowknife and Yellowknives Dene First Nation with NWT government support, ran for the first time last year.

The Wiliideh word for which the festival is named, pronounced na-ke according to organizers, means “northern lights.”

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Whereas last year’s festival focused heavily on the aurora, this year’s festival more prominently features other aspects of local culture.

New this March will be a three-day arts market hosted by NWT Arts on the upper level of Centre Square Mall. 

A Métis day is planned halfway through the week, which will explore sash-making and feature children jigging.

Later, the Aboriginal Sports Circle will host a two-hour session where participants will be invited to try activities like stick twist and arm pull.

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Ending the week is an Indigenous Cultural Gala in Dettah at the Chief Drygeese Centre.

All artists involved are given creative freedom to showcase their individual artwork throughout the night. The night is full of awe and magic with live entertainment and refreshments,” reads the event description on the City’s website.

The festival will screen the film Aurora Love at the Snowcastle, while an aurora photography workshop and northern culinary night are planned. Some details remain to be determined, organizers said.

Here is the confirmed schedule as of January 20:

Monday, March 2

2-3pm – Opening Ceremony
Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre, free

7pm – Love Film Screening
Snowcastle, free

Tuesday, March 3

3-5pm – Concepts of Aurora Photography
Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre, free

11:30am-5:30pm – NWT Arts Market
Centre Square Mall Upper Level, free

Wednesday, March 4

Time TBD – Métis Day
Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre, free

11:30am-5:30pm – NWT Arts Market
Centre Square Mall Upper Level, free

Thursday, March 5

1-3pm – Aboriginal Sports Demos
Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre, free

7-9pm – Taste the North
Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre, ticketed

11:30am-5:30pm – NWT Arts Market
Centre Square Mall Upper Level, free

Friday, March 6

Details to be announced

Saturday, March 7

7pm – Indigenous Cultural Gala
Chief Drygeese Centre, Dettah, ticketed

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