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South Slave Region

All seven communities in this southern region are accessible by road, making them the easiest places to visit in the territory. Picturesque beauty can be found along side the highway – whether it is the waterfalls of Twin Falls Territorial Park, watching bison graze alongside the road, or a stop at the northern store for local arts and fine crafts.

Tradition reigns strong with the Akaitcho First Nations in the friendly community of Fort Resolution. There is also a strong presence of Métis peoples in this region, whose ancestors came north most likely as fur traders in the 1800s. They brought with them their own traditions and styles of weaving, sewing and beading. Arts and fine crafts made by Dene artists typically include intricate beadwork and tufting on tanned hide footwear, gloves and bags. There are well known storytellers who give cultural tours around the Twin Falls sacred area and share legends of the land and its cultural history.

The larger communities of Fort Smith and Hay River have a vibrant arts scene. Multicultural and eclectic, artists are encouraged to explore and express themselves through photography, film, music and performance arts. Contemporary artists make stain glass, jewelry and paint to capture the beautiful landscape of this region.

Fort Providence artists sew unique and practical fashion accessories under the label Dene Fur Clouds. Traditionally produced by finger knitting, the fabric is created from the inter-looping of strands of beaver or rabbit fur. Designs include hats, scarves, mittens, blankets and jackets and are amazingly warm and soft. 

 


Current Regional Updates 

Through the Support for Entrepreneur and Economic Development (SEED) Policy, Industry, Tourism, and ITI has been able to fund emerging and established Artists and Organizations. With the launch of the new NWT Arts Program South Slave ITI staff has invested time and effort into collecting the stories and images of those Artists who wish to be involved in the Content Collection Project. They deliver workshops, encourage Artist participation in trade shows, and fund festivals and events in the region.  

On May 7th, 2014 ITI staff held a one day workshop on the Hay River Reserve for 10 local Artisans. The topics presented at the workshop included: How to price your artwork, support for Entrepreneur and Economic Development (SEED), and Improving your Customer Service Skills. 

Current Regional News 

National Aboriginal Day - June 21st - Territorial Holiday with events in all communities. Please contact town offices for more details. 

Fort Smith

Boreal Piecemakers Quilt Exhibit - All Year - Traditional and contemporary Arts and Fine Crafts workshops are offered through the year at Northern Life Musueum and Cultural Centre. 

Storytelling Road Festival (Northern Art and Cultural Centre) - Mid May - Mid June - A traveling storytelling festival will be bringing events to Fort Simpson, Behchoko, Fort Liard, Kakisa, Enterprise, Hay River, Fort Smith, and Fort Resolution. 

Northwords Writer's Festival - June 5th- 7th Annual writers festival featuring local and invited authors, events, and workshops.

Community Arts and Crafts Exhibit - All Summer - A summer long exhibition of arts and crafts by local artists at the Northern Life Museum and Cultural Centre. 

Hay River

Storytelling Road Festival (Northern Art and Cultural Centre) - Mid May - Mid June - A traveling storytelling festival will be bringing events to Fort Simpson, Behchoko, Fort Liard, Kakisa, Enterprise, Hay River, Fort Smith, and Fort Resolution. 

Hay Days Festival - July 4th - 6th - Hay Days Music, Arts and Cultural Festival! 

Kole Crook Fiddling Camp - First full week of July - Evening Performances Wednesday to Friday. Admission by donation. 

Fort Providence 

Mackenzie Daze Celebration - August long week-end - Mid-summer celebration on the upper Mackenzie River with cultural events, races, talent shows and more!

Check out our News and Events pages for more information about what is going on in the Arts in your Northwest Territories!