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Arts
Yellowknife

‘More than just a nice picture.’ Far North Photo Festival returns


A festival celebrating northern photographers and stories will take place in Yellowknife over nine days next month. 

Launched in 2019, the Far North Photo Festival brings together photographers and visual storytellers from across the North. 

“When you live in the photo world, like I do and many on the board do, we see the day-to-day of photography is much more than just taking a nice picture,” said festival co-founder Pat Kane.  

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“We’re very invested in how photography can be an agent of change and how it can change people’s perspective on life, especially here in the North. It can give people a sense of what other people are going through. 

“To really have that – and engage people with questions about representation, and storytelling, and having the agency to tell your own stories in your own communities – is super important to us.” 

This will be the first time the festival has been staged since September 2020

The 2022 festival is set to run from March 11-20 with an outdoor exhibit, live-streamed webinars, and “in the field” tutorials, according to the festival’s website

The exhibit will feature a display that spans the global Arctic and one focused on Canada’s North. 

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The circumpolar display will feature curated photo essays from established photographers in each of the Arctic regions. 

“We want to have one person representing each of the regions across the circumpolar North, and change it up every year so that it’s a new person per region,” said Kane. 

The northern Canada display will feature photography from people living in the NWT, Nunavut, and the Yukon. 

The Far North Photo Festival’s exhibit on display in 2020. Photos: Submitted

“You’ll have amateur photographers and their work printed alongside some really well-known big names in the industry,” said Kane. 

NWT, Nunavut, and Yukon residents are eligible to submit up to two photos for the northern Canada display. “Northern students or residents who are away but consider northern Canada home” are also invited to enter, according to the festival’s submission page

Entrants are asked to submit photos “that go beyond the usual travel images, landscapes, aurora photos and wildlife portraits.”

Instead, the festival’s submission guidelines ask photographers to “tell a story about what life in northern Canada means to you.”

Kane said the exhibit is his favourite part of the festival. 

“I love seeing the stories that come from northern places that are different than the Northwest Territories, but there’s always this really cool connection between everything,” he said.  

“So if you’re from the Northwest Territories, and you look at a photo essay from Russia or Finland, you can see that, ‘Oh, wow, people are doing the same kind of things.’ Or like, ‘Oh, we have that ritual here, but it’s called this.’ It’s really nice to see those connections made between the circumpolar regions.”

Photos must be submitted before the end of Friday, February 18.

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