Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Great Northern Arts Festival

We are finally home from our three weeks of chaotic travel! I will resume the blog posting with a post about the Great Northern Arts Festival. It was definitely a highlight of my summer!

I spent a week in Inuvik as an artist at the festival. The entire trip was paid for thanks to the Touring Arts Fund through the Yukon Government. What a treat! Each day meals were made for me, I spent the nights in the college dorm, and I got to spend my time doing what I love- sewing and visiting with people.

There were a number of other ladies from across the north that I got to learn new sewing tricks from. I spent a lot of time with the elders and they all seemed to get a real kick out of the fact that I sew with leather and fur yet I am as white as can be! It was good to sit around laughing and sewing with them.

Plus I had a lovely couple from Inuvik who read this blog stop in to say hi!

I sold a number of items and hosted two workshops. I am really happy with how much money I was able to make in just one week. Too bad all weeks aren't like that! I was impressed with the organization of the festival, the army of volunteers there were always there to help when needed, and the coordinator, artist liaison, and curator of the festival. All wonderful people that made the festival a huge success in my eyes!

Now I love my husband and children, but I sure did need that week away for myself. I didn't really even miss them! I did call the boys each day, but all I got over the phone was "Hi Mom. I miss you. Here's Grandma." So I think the feeling was mutual!

I will definitely consider applying for the festival again next year.

A cute little tyke wearing one of my headbands:

My little sewing station! It was right in the middle of the gallery where all of the work was for sale. I had a blast talking to all of the visitors to the gallery. People could pull up and chair and chat with me while I was sewing.

Part of the gallery (normally a curling rink). My stuff was spread out all throughout the gallery.

This display had some of my mittens, hats and handbags on it:

I completed this hat while I was up there and it sold the same day! Here is the happy owner wearing it:

The three participants in one of my workshops. I taught them how to make a pair of leather and fur baby booties:

The carvers in attendance were pretty darn amazing! Here are two mini mukluks that had been carved and were to be turned into earrings. I was impressed with the bigger of the two and then he brought out the wee one and I was blown away!

Here I am with two ladies from Canadian North Airline- one of the big corporate sponsors of the festival. They signed up to take my bootie making class!
My fur headband display:

The hat on the left sold!

Here I am with my finished parka cover! I was lucky enough to be able to take a workshop with an elder to make it. Nothing like sewing with an elder who speaks very little English! My stomach was sore from laughing so much that afternoon!
There were definitely parts that I did not enjoy from the week. The flights! Wow, those were the bumpiest flights I have ever been on. I went from Whitehorse to Dawson City to Old Crow to Inuvik. One the way back we only stopped in Dawson City before getting to Whitehorse. In Dawson City on the way up we had to turn around just before we took off on the runway since there were some bells and lights going off in the cockpit. I really did not want to get back on the plane later even when they said everything was fine! ahahha I nearly yakked on each flight.

I felt quite out of place up there too. I wasn't an artsy person (I just have no clue how to relate to that crowd), and I wasn't a partier (everyone kept asking me to come to the bar with them at night). I did not know a single person up there. But I am friendly and chatty and made some great connections with people. It also gave me time to reflect on where I want my hobby to go and life in general!

I was also a bit disappointed that I didn't get to see more of Inuvik. It was hot most of the days (+25) and I really don't do well walking around in the heat. But I did have a lot of time to sew!

Of course the positive experience far outweighs the negative. I am just kicking myself for not taking more photos!


Erica said...

Not taking a lot of photos means you were too busy doing stuff ^_^ At least, that's what I tell myself.

I'm glad you had a good time - I missed you back here!

Morena said...

I was going to say the same thing Erica... too busy to bother with picures= good times!!

Kristi-Bisti said...

What a great description of the festival! I am jealous! And I also totally get the mutual feelings of being away from the family! (My husband took the 2 oldest away for a week and when they came back, I was wishing they were still gone.) I hope you get to go again next year. (maybe you'll drive.)

Megan said...

Glad you had such a great time! I'm glad there weren't too many negatives! It's a bit hard because a lot of people DO go up there to party so you don't really get to hang out after the gallery closes (I was really lucky since I lived in Inuvik so I could go home to my own house and it wasn't like I was being left out!).

Anonymous said...

When would one use a Parka cover?

Matt, Kara, Hunter and Cavan said...

Ones like I made out of lightweight cotton are worn in the spring/summer/fall for outdoors. Keeps the bugs off!

Then in the winter, it is common to have a few different covers for your parka. That way you can take it off and wash it without having to wash the entire parka and you can style a new cover each year with little cost!