EDGE June July 2013 Final (PDF)

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June/july 2013 | FREE


















Even the cutlery gives
the Smokehouse
a sign of approval





Looking for great traditional food at a reasonable price?
Or just looking for great food, period? Check out the
Smokehouse Café in historic Ndilo. Everybody (and everything)
is raving about it!



to c








Latham Island



Smokehouse Café



902 Sikyea Tili, Ndilo • (867) 873-6439
twitter: @yksmokehouse





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Open Monday to Saturday from 11:30 am to 7:00 pm
Lunch: 11:30 am to 2:00 pm
Dinner: 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm (Friday open to 8:00 pm)
Sunday Brunch: 10:00 am to 2:00 pm






For lunch, brunch or dinner, the Smokehouse Café
offers up a variety of dishes, from comfort foods
to classic cuisine in a rustic setting that is complete
with a spectacular view of Back Bay.




Brent Reaney

Managing Editor

Laurie Sarkadi


Janet Pacey

Found Food. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Ad Design

Erin Mohr

How the Reindeer Got its Antler from the Sea. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

Advertising Manager

Jeremy Bird
Jack Danylchuk


Mike Auge
Jamie Bastedo
Miranda Booth
Aggie Brockman
Lynda Comerford
Jack Danylchuk
Mark Feldberg
Anthony Foliot
Richard Guy
Gawain Jones
Pat Kane
Rich Larson
Mel Leonard
James Mackenzie
Kellan Marshall
Pamela Murray
Pearl Rachinsky
Katie Weaver
Terry Woolf

Copyright 2013 by:

All rights reserved.
ISSN 1927-7016 (Print)
ISSN 1927-7024 (Online)

Contributors. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

Oh the shame of it all. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Sink or Swim. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
The how and where of casting a line . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
Still Soaring. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
Sun This Bright. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
On EDGE: Opinion. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
Centre EDGE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
Doing it all. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
Escaping the city . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
YK Slo-Pitch Pre-season Awards. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
Romancing the stones. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
Hanging up his whistle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
How to tell your spouse he’s dying. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68
Two Ships in the Night. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70

Edge YK is delivered, free of charge,
to every house in YK and is also available at:
Black Knight Pub

Overlander Sports

Coyote’s Steakhouse and Bar


Dancing Moose Cafe

Smokehouse Cafe

Down to Earth Gallery

Thornton’s Wine & Tapas

The Fieldhouse
Gallery of the Midnight Sun
Gourmet Cup

Cover photo by
Mel Leonard, originally
submitted to the SNAP
camera phone/tablet
photo contest at
Down to Earth Gallery.

The Multiplex

Weaver & Devore
Yellowknife Airport
Yellowknife Co-op
Northern Images

Originals by T-Bo

as well as many other businesses
And online at edgeyk.ca


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Sr. Contributing Editor

Front EDGE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

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Issue 8
june/july 2013

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front edge

Anthony Foliot’s return
and EDGE YK growth
After more than one letter asking for his return, Anthony Foliot is back. The best submission came from Mike
Mitchell, who wrote:
“It used to be that I’d flip straight to the back page of a new issue of EDGE YK. Now I’m just flippin’
mad. You think the world doesn’t notice a Snow-King-sized hole in the last two editions?!! While
the ain’t-this-place-grand-feel-goodery of EDGE YK makes it a fine read, Anthony Foliot’s verse made
it great.
And I’m not just talking about the charm of his home-spun themes and Robert Service-y metre.
What I miss is the predictability of a consistently good column. I’m sure you know what I’m talking
about ‘cuz all the big mags have it: the cartoon in The Walrus, The New Yorker caption contest,
Penthouse letters ... Oh, do the right thing already and restore the monarch.”
As I told Mike, Anthony’s absence was more a problem of many eager contributors and only so much available
space, rather than an indication of how we felt about his work. When we first started publishing, people often
asked whether YK had enough stories to sustain a local magazine.
It turns out there’s no shortage of material and characters in this town and every issue, more people come forward
with tales they’d like to tell. If you think you have something to contribute, put together a few paragraphs outlining
your idea and send it to editor@edgeyk.ca.
Along with the breadth and quality of stories, I’m still constantly amazed by the magazine’s growth. At 72 pages
this issue is, by far, our largest ever. And in it, a number of stories profile Yellowknifers, from Katie Weaver’s feature
on retiring Sir John teacher Bill Burlington to Pat Kane’s story on the late Buffalo Airways Captain Arnie Shreder.
Great people make great stories, and if you know a YKer you think is worth writing about, let us know.
Have a great summer,



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Brent Reaney
Publisher / Editor

2013 MAY_ Bella Dance_Edge QRT VERT.pdf



Register Today!
• Summer Classes & Camps
• Triple Threat Camps
• Move IT!

Movement Day Camps for Boys & Girls!

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Open Registration
for 2013/2014 Season
begins June 3rd

Register online

(867) 87-DANCE

10:27 AM


Jamie is a biologist turned storyteller who intimately connects readers of
all ages with the magic and mystery of nature. He has written 12 books
celebrating the North, including two climate change thrillers, On Thin
Ice, and its sequel, Sila’s Revenge. Latest non-fiction: Trans Canada
Trail Guide to the Northwest Territories. His latest fiction, NIGHTHAWK!,
gives a literal birds-eye view of migration from the Amazon to the
Arctic. To dig deeper into the wonders of snow see Falling for Snow,
hailed by Canadian Geographic as “an avalanche of information about
snow.” All Jamie’s books are available at the Yellowknife Book Cellar.


Miranda was born and raised in Yellowknife. She left briefly to study
Creative Writing at UBC (yes, they give out degrees for that), but
returned when she realized that YK will always be her happy place.
Armed with new material and the superficial validation that only a
university education can provide, she plans on sticking around for
as long as you'll have her. When she isn’t blogging, or freelancing,
Miranda is working on a novel/eventual-blockbusting-screenplay.
Check out her blog at fyeahmylife.com.



Katie Weaver

Rich was born in West Africa, has studied in Rhode Island, and at 20
now lives in Edmonton, Alta., where he was a recent semi-finalist for the
Norman Mailer Poetry Prize. In 2011 his novel Devolution was a finalist
for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. His self-published work
can be found at Amazon.com/author/richlarson. In this issue, his short
fiction, Sun This Bright, draws on the experiences of two good friends
(and former teammates).

Pamela has 10 years of rigorous technical writing experience in her
chosen profession of accounting, and has published an article in
CGA Magazine. She has lived in Yellowknife since 1985 with her late
husband, John, who passed away last November, and who she writes
about in this issue of EDGE YK. Her father was a magazine writer, and
she loves to write. “Whenever it was time to sit down and write a report
at the end of an assignment, it was like the icing on the cake.”

Katie, a born-and-raised Yellowknifer, is 17 and eager to make a wave
in the writing-sphere. She's heading to University of Victoria to study
creative non-fiction and journalism. Writing a feature on her retiring
gym teacher during her senior year at Sir John definitely proved to be a
big experience, as it came with the honour of exposing "Burly's" huge
impact on his community. This is her second story for EDGE YK, the first
of which was about growing up a member of one of YK’s first families in
the Dec/Jan 2012 issue.



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Call For Delivery
Mon-Sat: 10:30am-10:00pm
Sunday: 11:00pm-8:00pm

4919 48th St. | ph. 873-2777

photo Brent Reaney

found food

Great Slave Fish Tacos!

Shut Up Frank’s has been in Baja California
long enough to achieve landmark status.
Anyone who has spent time on the
Mexican peninsula has stopped in for
a beer and a bite of some the best bar
food anywhere. The bacon-avocadocheeseburgers are legendary, and the fish
tacos unrivalled.
Frank’s uses any white-fleshed fish, and
whitefish or cod from Great Slave Lake
are perfect. The tacos round up the usual
suspects for the party – fish, corn tortillas,
salsa, and fresh vegetables – with some
surprise guests for a spicy mouthful with
real CRUNCH.

Instead of the traditional beer or tempura
batter, fish (cut in 2-x-4 inch pieces) is
double-dipped; a roll in cornflake crumbs
follows a dredging in seasoned flour and
egg-milk bath. The fish is deep-fried at 375
degrees and drained.
Chopped spinach, and shredded purple

cabbage and a simple salsa cruda of roast
corn, poblano chile, minced onion and
cilantro make a crisp bed inside the taco.
A crema of mayo, cream, and enough
Sambal Oelek to bring a tingle to your
tongue, provides subtle heat at the base of
every bite.
A double wrap of corn tortillas is best, but
the flavour and texture of the filling will
stand up to any industrial wrap available in
YK supermarkets.
To assemble:
• Warm the tortillas slightly
• Drop a handful of spinach and cabbage
on each tortilla
• Squirt a line of crema and cover with a
generous portion of salsa.
• Lay on the fish
• Roll up and bite

Salsa tips: Poblanos can be hard to find, so
use jalapenos, but remove the seeds and
white veins. Substitute your favourite hot

sauce for Sambal Oelek (available at Kim's),
but only if you must.
Buen Provencho!
Deep frying note: for those uninitiated
in the hot, smoky art of deep frying, use
a vessel deep enough to hold four-to-six
inches of cooking oil – canola or sunflower
– and accommodate four pieces of
battered fish. Unless you have an industrial
kitchen, it’s best to do it outside, and a
side barbecue burner works well. Get the
oil hot: 375 degrees is recommended. If
you don't have a thermometre, that's just
below smoking, or hot enough to cook
rapidly without burning. Experiment with
a single battered piece, which should float
on a cushion of foaming bubbles when
the temperature is just right. When the fish
turns golden, remove and drain. Don't
crowd the pot as it’s important to keep the
oil hot.



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Have a recipe that includes at least one northern ingredient? Let us know at editor@edgeyk.ca.

Things you should not
leave unattended.

ve l o c i r a p t o r


r ave n a n d ga r b a ge b a g

b e a r s p r ay

c a mp f i r e

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1 877 NWT FIRE
128-267 Edge

How the
Got its Antler
from the Sea
Legendary Science
by Richard Guy

Millions of years ago, deep ocean covered the continents.
Yellowknife was perhaps five kilometres under the sea at that

As sea levels fell, bodies of water, large and small, remained
behind, captured in land depressions, box canyons and deadend valleys. Great Slave Lake is one such body.

Millions of years later, as sea levels began falling, more and
more land became exposed. Life as we know it originated on
these exposed lands.

In the Precambrian rocks found all over the North there is a
great concentration of mineral elements deposited there by the
long-departed seas.

As more and more land appeared, land bridges were formed
and civilizations spread outward from one land mass to another.

Lichens cling to the crevices of these rocks extracting a diet rich
in magnesium, calcium and phosphorous.

All the minerals that make Yellowknife the mining centre that
it is today were being formed under the ocean those millions
of years ago. The many minerals that make up seawater were
being deposited and absorbed into rocks on the ocean floor.

It so happens that lichens are the sole diet of the Reindeer. The
Reindeer absorbs this rich diet and the results are seen in his
large antlers.

As we look out across Great Slave Lake, with the black outcrops
of Precambrian rock, do we ever ponder how this large body of
water came into existence? Do we ever stop to think about the
timelessness of the scene we are observing?

As a wise person once said, “The seeds of nature wildly sown,
are the elements in bone.”



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Richard Guy is a Structural Engineer in Yellowknife with forty-plus years of engineering experience in England, the Middle East, United
States, Canada, Bahamas and Jamaica, the land of his birth. He has a 15-part video series called “The Mysterious Receding Seas”
on YouTube and has authored three books on the subject.

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City of Yellowknife
Planning and Lands
Accessory Deck
Development Check Division
Property Informati
Owner Name


Work or Cell:


the platform
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the ground?

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Civic Address
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Is the deck unencl
Please describ





Applicant Informati
on (if different from
Applicant Name
Applicant Email



Work or Cell:

Development Informati
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existing deck previously
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approved by Developme
not require this checklist.
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high do not require
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Accessory Decks
are not considered
wknife.ca for
part of the site coverage.
Accessory Decks
may comprise no
more than 25% of
the required landscape
on January 29, g an Accessory Deck requires
a Building Permit.
Last updated
Residents requiring
AM – 4:30 PM, OR assistance with this form may
call 920-5600 and
come to City Hall
from Monday to
.ca. Information ask to speak to a Planner/Development
Friday between 8:30
is also available
through the Planning Officer, OR e-mail
and Development
A deck may require
a Development Permit
at the discretion
of the Developme
nt Officer.
DOCS#337900 v.1
Last updated on
January 29, 2013


Oh the shame of it all
The story of a hometown boy who’d never caught a fish

“No. I've never caught a fish. Ever.”
“Oh, man. You gotta pop that cherry.”
This has pretty much been the conversation I've been having
for the past few months with people I hoped could help me.
I've lived in Yellowknife for almost 30 years, and haven't caught
a fish.
Like a toothache you hope will go away, this has been bugging
me more and more. Finally, I made it my personal mission to
catch a fish before May 23, my thirtieth birthday.

I'd go fishing with friends in their canoes, floating down rivers,
or passing time on a lake, and never catch a thing. I'd see the
fish swimming below me in the shallows and drop a line right
next to them…not a thing.
“That trout is eyeing my bait, what do I do?”
“Just wait and see what happens.”



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“What, you mean, like, ice fishing?”

My first fishing experience was with my dad at Tartan Rapids. I
was nine, and we only had two lures with us. I promptly tangled
both lines and got them caught on a rock so thoroughly, we
had to cut the lines. My dad wasn't impressed, and let me
know the whole rest of the day — as only a man whose day of
fishing was completely ruined could.

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“Steve, I’ve got a problem. I’ve never caught a fish.”

photo James Mackenzie

by James Mackenzie

“Do you know any fish calls?”
“What? No.”
I didn't just strike out in the NWT either. My dad took me fishing
for mackerel on the Bearing Strait; it’s supposed to have some
of the best fishing in the world. We trolled for two hours in our
12-foot, green, fibreglass boat with the Evinrude motor and
came up with nothing. I got hungry and asked to be brought
back to shore where my mom switched spots with me. Five
minutes later she came back with three fish.
I once watched a guy fly fish at the same rapids where I first
learned how not to fish. He had built a small pool in the
shallows of a back eddy with some loose rocks from the shore,
and he was keeping the whitefish he had already caught there.
Two fish splashed lazily in their ramshackle prison.
“Aren’t you afraid they’ll jump over the rocks and get away?”
“Not really. If they do, I’ll just catch them again,” he said with
He never caught anything the whole time I watched.
I gave up for a few years. After hearing how easy it was for
everyone else I figured I was cursed. I couldn’t figure out why
it hadn't happened for me. On camping trips, I'd listen to
everyone else's fishing stories with a bit of jealousy, mixed with
a lot of shame. I'd smile and nod along.
I hid my secret. No one knew, and no one bothered to ask. It
was easy at first. I'd be off taking photos while friends fished
the afternoon away, or I’d make up other excuses to hide my

He promised me he would help me catch a fish. Guaranteed it
would happen for me, even showed me how to tie the knots.
I felt a little empowered then, and I told a few more people,
and asked if they could help me too. It opened up a whole new
world for me. People were rooting for me, including me in their
grand plans to help me catch that first fish.
The shame changed to determination, but winter laughed in
my face.
Without fail, the weeks where it warmed up enough to make
plans to go ice fishing, the temperature would drop to minus
40 by Friday. Months flew by and I couldn’t get time enough to
head out even once. As my birthday drew nearer and nearer, I
began to panic.
Then, one magically warm day in late March, Charles and I
made it out to Hidden Lake. Hidden, the place where anyone
could catch a fish.
The ice auger broke, but we fixed it up with some duct tape
and got a few holes dug. The first bite came quick, about 15
minutes in.
Soon after, I caught a pike. A big, ugly bastard, about 15
pounds. Looking down the hole at his scaly mug, I was
shocked to see it wasn’t a boot or some aquatic plant I had
uprooted. He practically swam up the hole, and I realized how
lucky I was to have landed him. The barb of the hook wasn’t
even all the way in his lip. One good shake and he could have
gone free.
I got a few photos, then put him back down the hole. I struck
out the rest of the day, but I got one.
Now, I have to shoot a moose.
photo Charles Kalnay-Watson

The anxiety I felt about not knowing what lures to use, how to
tie a proper fishing knot, or even the names of the different
northern fish can be equated to a high school kid trying to build
up the courage to ask their crush on a date.

Admitting it was hard. I told a girl friend of mine first; she didn't
understand. My friend Charles was a lot more receptive.

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soft clothing and lovely things

50/50 Mini Mall | 5004 50th Avenue | 873-3033

4916 49TH ST | 766-2881 | TAIGAYOGA.COM

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gs -- SSam
en W
rs -- CChi
ch Frie
-- Fr

“Furniture… and so much more”


Sink or
What to do when a bear eats your canoe
It’s about an eight-hour canoe paddle to our cabin. There are
five portages, three of them approximately one-kilometre
long. Over the years we have accumulated enough old beater
canoes to have one stashed for each major portage. Now we
just carry our packs across, pick up the next canoe and paddle

by Terry Woolf

Photos courtesy Aggie Brockman

This time the damage was more serious. Multiple deep
punctures, full jaw bites at both ends. We needed a lot of gum
— more than I thought we could easily chew. We needed to
heat the gum over a fire.

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I once had the privilege of working with some Tlicho elders
as they built a birch bark canoe. I watched the ladies gather
spruce gum in birch bark baskets, carefully clean all the wood
and insects from it, heat it over the fire in a coffee can and
then use it to seal the seams of an entire canoe. If a fire wasn’t
possible, you could chew the gum to make it more malleable.
Joe Souzie Mackenzie told us that when he was 15, his father
was building a canoe and wanted him to chew lots of spruce
gum. His father said, “If you help me with this, I will give you
a whole caribou tongue for yourself.” This was a treat and a
delicacy usually reserved for guests and elders, so Joe Souzie
happily chewed the pungent gum and laughed about it more
than 70 years later.
The first time we had a bear-punctured canoe, my partner and I
gathered gum from nearby spruce trees and chewed it until we
could work it into the holes. Just after we launched the canoe,
we saw Mama Bear and two cubs heading back for another
round of canoe drumming. We quickly paddled away.
Heating up the spruce gum.


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On our last trip things were going well. The winds were in our
favour and using a tarp tied to a paddle we managed to sail
some of the largest lake. The day was clear and hot, the bugs
tolerable. We got to the last canoe and discovered that bears
had been using it as a plaything. It was an older canoe with five
layers of vinyl and foamed plastic; a tough, heavy old tripping
boat. The bears had left if full of punctures. Believe it or not,
this had happened to us before and our solution was the same.
Spruce gum. Nature’s own plastic. Warm it up, it becomes
pliable (and sticky). Heat it up a lot, it becomes runny (and
sticky). Pour or push it into a hole, let it set for a few minutes
then cure it in a cold northern lake; it becomes a plug.

Clockwise: once heated, the spruce gum is applied to the canoe.

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At this point you might be saying: doesn't this guy carry duct
tape or some kind of repair kit with him? On most trips I am
the tool-carrying, fix-it kind of guy, but the trip to the cabin is
a very familiar one. No rapids or tricky stuff. Just zone out lake
paddling broken by long buggy portages. We carry the basics;
tarp, matches, rain gear, food and a couple of beers. There
are tools in town and tools at the cabin — with eight hours
between them.

using a green willow branch I spread the sticky, messy stuff into
the damage. It sets solid and we paddle off happily — leak free
— into the sunset.

Now we need something to heat the spruce gum in. I could
pour out one of the beers (Yeah, right!) and use the can, but
I’m not that desperate yet. While this is a remote part of the
country, it’s not unused. As we tromp around looking for
wounded or bleeding spruce trees, I find a flattened, rusty
tin can. Using the pliers on my Swiss Army knife to hold the
flattened can over a small fire, I heat up the spruce gum. Then

Black bears are fascinating critters. They are big intelligent
omnivores. Dene elders say to talk softly to them and respect
them. They do have the habit of chewing on snow machine
seats, gas cans and plastic canoes. Why? I think that for bears,
it’s like popping bubble wrap.


I figure this incident falls into the ʻwhole knowledgeʼ category.
Take some gleaned traditional/local knowledge, mix it with a
high-tech plastic item and add the chance someone left the
one piece of litter that will help you. Stir it all up in a desperate
frame of mind and voila. Happy campers.

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314 Old Airport Road, Unit 108
Yellowknife, NT
• Periodic Cholesterol Screenings • FREE Medication Reviews • Process ALL Major Drug Plans

Is Your Health Care Card
Is Your
Care Card
NWT Health Care Plan
Assurance - maladie des TNO

NWT Health Care Plan
Assurance - maladie des TNO


EXP 03/31/2013

the bottom
right hand corner of your health care card
for expiry
EXP 03/31/2013

March 2013 | www.hss.gov.nt.ca

March 2013 | www.hss.gov.nt.ca19

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You can download the form from www.hss.gov.nt.ca or call
Health Services Administration at 1-800-661-0830. The form
can also be picked up at your nearest health center or hospital.

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You are responsible for renewing your health care card.
Check the bottom right hand corner of your health care card
be completed four months in advance of the
expiry date.
You are responsible for renewing your health care card.
You can download the form from www.hss.gov.nt.ca or call
can be Administration
completed fouratmonths
in advance The
of the
Health Services
can also
be picked up at your nearest health center or hospital.

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photo Carlos Gonzalez

After immigrating to Canada, I fished lakes and rivers west of
Edmonton with my father, grandfather and great uncle. With
their combined knowledge, experience and dedication to

I found myself fishing every opportunity I had. Fishing after work
and on weekends was just not enough, so I pursued a career
in fisheries and worked as a fisheries technician for the Alberta
Government. I was employed to catch fish and interview
anglers during the summers in lakes throughout Alberta. I had
to collect samples and record catch rates in an effort to help
manage a collapsing fishery. In between contracts, I travelled
and fished in Europe, Australia, Asia, Mexico and the U.S. Each
country offered a new species and a new technique. Life was
For the past 12 years, I have resided in Yellowknife continuing
my employment in fisheries within the private industry,



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I started fishing long before I remember. My father was an avid
angler and I spent much of my adolescence beside him fishing
fresh and salt waters in the U.K. I also had the pleasure of fishing
with my Uncle Terry, who was a competitive angler and one of
the best anglers I have known to this day.

the sport, I was able to catch many different species of fish in
various conditions with considerable success.

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For those anglers just arriving to Yellowknife, welcome! For
those of you residing here and itching to catch fish, I have
some tips, techniques and a few “go to” spots that are going to
increase your chance of angling success. Before we get into the
good stuff, I should include a little background of how I arrived
here, why I fish, and a few credentials.

So, for the novice angler, near-novice, or those who have never
had the pleasure, learning to fish is the easy part. Catching fish
is when the challenge begins. Most people think that fishing
requires luck, and yes luck can never hurt. However, you can
improve upon that “luck” by following a few techniques honing
in on some of the intricacies of our northern lakes and the
magnificent species that thrive here.
Yellowknife and the surrounding area are very unique in that
they have an abundance of water, varying habitats, conditions
and species. Fishing here can be a very daunting and
confusing enterprise, even for the experienced angler. Our
goal is to focus on the basics, get you started and hopefully
help in landing your first northern fish. If you have already been
fortunate, then read on to improve your success!

• Good footwear
• Clothing – layers (wool will be your best friend — over a
billion sheep can’t be wrong), rain gear
• Sunglasses or protective eye wear (hooking one’s self or a
friend is a painful experience; just imagine one in the eye!)

Species of fish and tips for success:
• Lake Trout:
• Summer – Fish are typically 20 feet and deeper as water
warms. Less success fishing from shore. In a boat use
downrigger with plugs, spoons or ciscoes. Vertical
jigging works great if you can find numbers of fish
• Northern Pike:
• Most common sport fish and relatively easy to catch due
to their aggressive nature and broad range of habitat.
photos Brent Reaney

consulting, guiding, and currently owning my own business
in the commercial fishing industry. One of the main reasons I
chose to stay in Yellowknife was simply the world-class fishing
opportunities in the surrounding waters. The fish are big and
there are lots of them! Living in the north has also provided
me the opportunity to fish with some great anglers. Terence
Courtoreille, Art Barnes, Mack Stark and Darin Benoit are
national and international fly-fishing competitors who have
inspired me to evolve as an angler to where I now compete on
a national level.

• Summer – focus on weed lines, creek mouths, points and
drop offs. Bigger fish will be deeper as the water warms.
• Walleye (AKA Pickerel):

Getting Started
• License – Visitors Centre: $10 resident, $20 non-resident
(excellent deal and quite possibly the most inexpensive
fishing license in the world!)

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• Rod (medium action), reel, line (10lb min)
• Lures (Five of Diamonds is a great start and will catch most
species), spinners (Panther Martin, Mepps), jigs with rubber
tails (yellow )
• Needle-nose pliers, wire leaders (if fishing for pike)
• Bug protection – repellent, jackets or hats

• One of the more sought-after game fish due to their
excellent table fare.
• Summer – Walleye will be found deeper, but will move
into shallows and feed at night or in overcast conditions.
During the day, fish with bottom-bouncers with a worm
harness tipped with minnows or leeches. This is a
great technique for locating fish. Walleye are typically
concentrated, so once you are onto a few fish, anchor
and jig off the bottom. Bait fish are walleyes main forage.
Tipping jigs with a minnow will increase your success.
continued on page 24



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12-08-20 7:03 PM

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EDGE_Fall_2012_ITI_Film_Commission_Ad.indd 1

going to be found. Success lies in fishing
productive water with the correct presentation.

Regulations and ethical angling:
Pack it in – pack it out – there is nothing worse than
fishing in pristine waters only to find cigarette butts on
the shore or beer cans at the bottom of the lake. Take
everything you bring in the boat back home with you.
continued from page 22

Local “hot spots”
These areas are easy to access and are within city limits. Also,
it’s totally legal to fish at a lake in town, as long as you have a
valid license. There are many areas to fish from shore and most
have boat-launch access.
• Kam Lake – Pike, Walleye, Whitefish
• Grace Lake – Pike, Walleye, Whitefish
• Jackfish Lake – Pike, Whitefish
• Yellowknife River – Pike, Whitefish, Walleye, Inconnu, Trout/
Grayling in upper reaches (Tartan Rapids)
• Great Slave Lake (Back Bay – Gov’t dock) – Pike, Walleye,
• Long Lake – Pike, Whitefish
For those with more time and a fishing budget, there are
various outfitters and guides in town. Two you won’t be
disappointed with are Yellowknife Outdoor Adventures, owned
and operated by Carlos Gonzalez, for some serious pike fishing
on Great Slave Lake and Greg Robertson’s Blue Fish Charters.
If you are looking for a custom fishing trip in style, check out
Yellowknife Open Water Charters Inc. with Peter Palmes. He
offers float-plane fishing trips for the day in Cessna 185s . Not
only is he a great host, he’ll put you on some big fish!

Points to consider: weather, time of year, time of
day, water temp, habitat type.

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Yellowknife and area is situated on Precambrian Shield, which
provides us with some serious challenges as anglers. As a result
of the cold water for much of the year and bare rock for a lake
bed, it limits productivity of plant growth, aquatic invertebrates,
bait fish and, in turn, sport fish. There are large areas of water
that simply do not hold fish. In northern waters, 90 per cent
of the fish are found in 10 per cent of the water. A big part of
your success will be keying in on suitable habitat where fish are


Be mindful – big fish breed and pass on their “big fish”
genetics. Take a picture and give others the opportunity to
catch a trophy.
Know your limits – Northern lakes are very sensitive systems
and daily catch limits are there for a reason. The fish are
slow growing; they mature later and are easily affected by
overharvest. Enjoy a fresh shore lunch, by all means, but there
is no need to fill your freezer.
Barbless – the NWT has a barbless-hook regulation. This is
designed to reduce handling time so the fish can be released
as quickly as possible.

Good eats
Most of the fish found in northern waters are all excellent
however you choose to prepare them. The most important
factors to consider when eating fish are to make sure they are
kept fresh and not overcooked. If your fish smells or tastes
“fishy” it may be too late.
• Lake trout are excellent cooked whole on the bbq or baked
in the oven. Wrap them in foil, stuff them with your favorite
filling and have a party.
• Pike and walleye are great pan-fried. Keep it simple; salt and
pepper dusted with a little flour and cooked in butter and oil
and you won’t be disappointed.
• Deep-frying any fish is always good… what food isn’t?
Always remember to make sure the oil is hot and a wet-drywet formula (example egg-flour-milk) when battering your
fish for the best results.
• To impress your guests, try preparing some ceviche. Any
white-fleshed fish (pike, walleye, whitefish) is excellent when
prepared in this manner and recipes can be easily found
• Inconnu is an oily fish and can be overwhelming for some.
The best way to prepare it is by poaching or smoking,
though it’s also excellent in curries and chowders.

www.GlenAber nethy.ca


867 669 2290




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Enjoy the events
around the summer solstice.

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June 21st is
National Aboriginal Day.

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possibilities on Canada’s
largest LTE network.

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Trade in your current phone and you could
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Available at:

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4802 50th Avenue Lower YK Center
867 873-5441

Offer ends May 31, 2013. Available with compatible devices within network coverage areas available from Bell Mobility; see bell.ca/coverage. Long distance and roaming charges (including foreign taxes) may apply. Paper bill charge ($2/mo.) applies
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of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., used in Canada under license.


Photo courtesy Propheads V Productions Ltd.

One of YK’s greatest aviators, the late Arnie Shreder has a charity relay
team walking – as well as a burger named – in his honour

by Pat Kane
Arnie was born in Kingston, Ont. on Nov. 21, 1942. His father,
Malcolm, was a ground-scout in the First World War and later
became a psychiatric nurse after moving the family to Weyburn,
Sask. Growing up on the prairies, Arnie was captivated with the
crop dusters that buzzed the fields near his home and at 17, got
his private pilot’s license.
A few years later, Arnie followed in his father’s footsteps and
became a psych nurse with the Prince Albert Penitentiary. When
an infestation of worms took hold of the canola fields in the


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“He saved most of his logbooks, old photos, certificates,
licenses – all sorts of pilot-related stuff,” she says. As Yvette

thumbs through the box of documents, she tells her dad’s story.

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As Yvette Shreder drops a worn-out cardboard box on her
kitchen table, a bit of dust and the stale smell of old paper fill
the air. “It’s gotta be in here,” she says, looking intensely into
the box and rummaging through. “Ah, here you go, maybe
you can find something in this.” Shreder holds out a small, navy
leather book. On the first page, the name of the owner is handwritten: Captain Arnold Roderick “Arnie” Schreder, the late
chief pilot of Buffalo Airways. Yvette’s dad.

mornings to get dad out of bed and fly those old war planes,”
Yvette says. It was with Buffalo that Arnie moved onto the
larger – and more difficult – C-46, a rugged plane known for its
ability to transport cargo to remote locations. At one point in
his career, he was one of only three Canadian pilots licensed to
operate the C-46.
But to those who knew him, flying came naturally. Reading
his list of qualifications and aircraft he was licensed to fly, one
might ask, “So what doesn’t Arnie fly?” Twin Otter. Check. 185.
Check. Aztec. Navajo. All Cesnas. All Pipers. Turbo Beech.
Norseman. Check, check, check, check, check, check. And
those are the aircraft outside of the fleet he regularly worked
with, which included the DC-3, DC-4, Electra, C-46 and his
favourite, the CL-215 waterbomber.
“From a technical standpoint, he was a natural pilot and knew
how to safely operate every aircraft he flew,” says current Buffalo
chief pilot, Justin Simle. But to Simle and the several hundred
more that Arnie trained, calling Arnie a great pilot was a given.
To them, the words “mentor,“ “teacher,” “father figure” and
“friend” seem more fitting.

photos courtesy Yvette Shreder

“In the twilight of his career, he wasn’t looking for more flying
hours to put on his resume, or any other personal gain, and so
his focus was to train every young pilot that walked through the
Buffalo hangar the best he could,” says operations manager

Arnie at the Relay for Life with granddaughter Alex and former
Buffalo co-worker Kelly Jurasevich.

early 1960’s, the province called on pilots from all over Canada
and the U.S to crop dust the entire region. Arnie was one of
them, and he never went back to his nursing job.
“After that, he made a few hops North,” Yvette says. “First it
was flying for McKenna Airline out of Fort McMurray and then
Ptarmigan Airways here in Yellowknife in 1974.”
It was in Yellowknife where Arnie would stay. The lure of the
North took hold – along with a few business ventures. He
worked for Raecom Air and then partnered with YK Air Services
in the early 1980’s.

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“I remember dad taking me on work trips growing up,” Yvette
says, looking through another old logbook. “We’d go fishing
or, if we landed at an exploration camp, we would eat as much
of the camp food as we could. I grew up around airplanes and
hangars, it was all very normal for me.”
In 1984, Arnie got called for a new challenge: to fly refurbished
cargo planes from the Second World War at Buffalo Airways.
“Buffalo Joe (McBryan) would call our house early in the

continued on page 31

In the heart of
Old Town

5005 Bryson Drive
(867) 873-8064



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NWT’s largest gallery ∏ Fine art ∏ Northern souvenirs
Northern apparel and outerwear ∏ Infant and children’s wear
NWT diamonds ∏ Dawn Oman merchandise and artwork

short story

The bar vomits us all up at 2 a.m., sends us blinking into the
sunshine. The sky is washed out with blue and pink and if the
street wasn’t so empty, or maybe if you were tanked enough,
you’d honestly think it was day.
Gregory’s almost tanked enough. He stumbles out behind
me with a bummed cig dying between his thumb and finger,
wearing the kind of grin you only get from leveraging Grade
School Crushes and Last Night In Yellowknife for a drunken
make-out with Trina LeShures, who was, arguably, the hottest
girl in our grad class.

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He’s been my best friend forever and I hate him so much.
“Ready to crash?” I ask him. He grins even wider. His nose is all
red with smashed capillaries.
“Airport bright and early,” he says. “Yeah, man. Yeah. Let’s go.”
The cig burns down and scorches his thumb. He throws it
down and we start walking the two blocks to my house, right
into the sun.
We’re on my row of houses, all of the windows wearing
blackout shades, sucking up the light how black holes do. I

want to get into the dark and sleep off those nasty Jager shots.
Gregory is probably going to pass out on the living room floor.
Then a truck pulls up and a guy with a beard says, “Hey. Hey,
you boys. You seen a SUV hauling a boat?”
“Yo, wait, is that Brad?” Gregory asks, like he wanted a Brad for
The guy peers out the window. “Gregory! You little bastard.”
Gregory knows him, which doesn’t surprise me anymore, ever,
and Brad explains how him and his girlfriend had this huge
fight and she drove off with the SUV, but his boat is still hooked
up and he doesn’t want anything happening to it, especially
because she’s had a couple.
“My house is right there,” I say, pointing in case Gregory’s
“Last night in Yellowknife, man,” he says. “Come on. We gotta.
Gotta, you know, help him out.” He’s got both hands on his
knees like he might puke, which would probably deter Brad
from letting us help, but then he swallows and grimaces and
flashes the world’s least-convincing thumbs up.
“Alright,” I say. “Fine.”
Me and Brad and Gregory go for a rip around town and we’re
just about the only pickup on the road. Gregory fiddles with
the satellite radio and loves the first 10 seconds of every song.
Brad offers us smokes in between compiling the list of places
his girlfriend might have gone and leaving her a rambling
voicemail. He strips the plastic off a new pack and struggles to
pinch out the first one, eventually spilling half of them on the
We wind up and around through the boxy metal warehouses
and dead-eyed streetlamps and Gregory pushes his head up
against the glass window, so he’s either getting nostalgic or
he’s needing to hurl. The sun’s not going up and it’s not going
down. Maybe he’ll miss that.
I’m about to tell Brad we should pack it in when he lead foots
the brake and we shriek out a stop by the soccer field where

our team used to scrimmage. Someone hopped the curb and
there are tracks through the grass, and then down a ways is a
shiny black SUV and a hitched boat, parked real neat by the
“Damn,” says Brad, and he vaults right out of the truck. Gregory
thumps the back of the seat, pumped up, and wrestles his way
out of the seatbelt. I get out and follow behind them. The white
lines need a repaint and I think about all the hours and all the
cleat marks we stamped into this field. How Gregory got so
good I still don’t know.
Brad’s girlfriend is sitting draped back in the boat, one hand
over the side catching invisible spray. Her eyes are red and she
starts crying, and then Brad is crying, too, and we give them
some privacy by wandering towards the far goal.
Gregory takes a mock free kick, skate shoe scything the grass.
He watches the invisible ball curl around a wall and bulge the
back of the invisible net. He cups his hands around his mouth
and cheers out loud.
“Roll me one,” he says.
“Roll me one,” he says. “It’s an indirect.”
“Screw off,” I say. And I want to say, screw your scholarship.
He shrugs and slings his arm around my shoulders. He’s
sweating booze and it smells. “I’m going to really miss you,
man,” he says. “For real. You better be down to visit me. I don’t
care if you have to steal…uh, steal Brad’s boat.”
“Yeah,” I say, and I want to stop there, but with the sun this
bright it’s hard to hide anything. “Yeah. I’ll miss you too.”
He pounds my back and backs up, tries to whistle for the kick. I
roll the imaginary ball and he strikes it and we both watch it sail
through the net.
Gregory grins and points to me for the assist, and then he finally
leans over and throws up.

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If you can’t
have fun here,
give up.
5018 Franklin Ave.
Open Monday to Saturday
11:30 am to 2 am



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Though Rich Larson's never been to Yellowknife, this story draws on the experiences of two good friends and former teammates.


bear country
Spring is here! With the melting snow and warmer weather
bears are starting to come out of hibernation.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources advises the public to treat bears
with respect and take precautions when travelling or camping in bear country. For more
information on bear safety, contact your local ENR office or visit www.enr.gov.nt.ca
North Slave Office – Yellowknife, NT
Phone: (867) 873-7184 • Emergency Line: (867) 873-7181
Tlicho Area Office – Behchoko, NT
Phone: (867) 392-6511

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© 2009 Hunter Douglas Inc. ® Registered trademark of Hunter Douglas Inc.


on edge: opinioN

Lynda Comerford

How the lure of cheap line dancing
helped unleash my inner senior

Not long after, my new status was verified when I got home
from shopping at a local drugstore. I looked at my sales receipt
and saw I had been given the seniors discount! No questions
asked. The under-20 cashier had simply looked at me – my
grey hair (I hope), the telltale giveaway. I brushed the incident
off, happy to save the $5.50. And, I reminded myself, as time
rolls on there will be more of these little perks – free dental
work and City parking, to name a few.
Now, we all know that 50 is the new 40. Any women’s
magazine will tell you that. Active aging is the new trend.
Whether it’s running your first marathon, taking yoga classes,
transcending through tai chi, kite skiing or climbing a
mountain, the over-50 set is out there proving they are the new
40, maybe even a 30 here and there.
Making an effort to follow the trend, I look around for a suitable
life-transforming activity I can ease into. I take note of a local
group offering line dancing every Friday night at the Baker
Centre. It’s only $2 (only $2!) and is always packed. You
don’t need to know anything about line dancing, but the one
prerequisite is you have to join the Yellowknife Seniors’ Society.
Well, I might have grey hair, but surely I’m too young to join a
seniors’ society!

That’s okay though, because now I have a myriad of other
“Active Living Programs” to choose from. My new membership
will get me into yoga, curling, Scottish Country dancing, tai chi,
and an assortment of bowling options: carpet, lawn, or fivepin alley. And if mental push-ups are what you’re after, there’s
bridge, an investment club, art group, and a book club.
The Yellowknife Seniors’ Society offers stimulation for the mind,
body and soul. And don’t forget your stomach. One of the
Society’s trademark events is “Lunch With the Bunch.” Every
Friday, a local group, business or collection of benevolent
individuals cater a lunch, which is always a sell-out at $5 per
person. I have personally experienced some of the best chili
ever there.
This is all great, and I make a mental note that we are lucky to
have such an active group of seniors in Yellowknife. And then
somewhere between that mental note and my next dish of
chili, I got asked if I’d consider running as a board member for
the society. Are you kidding me? Surely I must be too young to
be on a seniors’ board! I thought about it long and hard, and
decided, you know what – these are a fun bunch of people
doing worthwhile things. If I can make a positive contribution
to this group, I’m happy to do it.
So here I am – the newly designated “Chair of the Social
Committee.” And with confident, diva peacefulness, I declare –
age is a state of mind, camaraderie is a state of community and
Clairol is a girl’s best friend – or not.
Embrace your inner senior and rock on!

Lynda Comerford is a writer and adventurer of life who has a fascination with people and a soft spot for seniors -- be they humans,
cats or dogs. She is always looking for good chili recipes.


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Recently I realized I’d have to find a new anticipation, because
I think my ship has finally sailed. There was no real defining
moment. Being in my fifties, I just decided it seemed like
a reasonable time to finally declare myself “a mature older

Apparently not. Our gung-ho Yellowknife Seniors’ Society
starts its membership at 50, and associate members start at age
19! That’s one heck of a grooming program. I paid my $10, got
my official laminated card and have managed to muster up only
one night of line dancing since.

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I had always looked forward to being “a mature older woman.”
There was just some sort of confident, diva peacefulness
associated with that phrase; a confidence that the foibles of
one’s youth are well behind you.

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centre edge


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Eggs produced right here in the N.W.T. Now available
at the YK Co-op and the big Extra Foods. polaregg.ca

Photo Gawain Jones

Team Overlander: Left to right: Rachelle Francoer (former assistant manager) Aki Iwase (pink bike), Rodney Makohoniuk (paddle), David
Stephens (road bike), Sandra Stirling, Bill Stirling, Jean David Boudreau (snowshoes), Jordan Crosby (skates), Kyle Lundy (red hat), Josiane
Bousquet (skuba gear), Nathan Paquin (skateboard/helmet), Lily Panaloo (basketball)

Doing it all

Overlander Sports, affectionately referred by just about everyone
I know as “Overlanders,” has been around for as long as I can
remember. As a kid I used to wrap myself inside the caterpillar-like
sleeping bags that hung from the ceiling along the back wall, or zip
and unzip the legs off of ultra-light cargo pants while waiting for my
Dad to decide on a tent or a pair of hiking boots. When I crashed my
bike in Grade 3, I took it to Overlanders to get it re-spoked. It’s where
I got fitted for my first set of skis, where I went for tennis racquets and



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by Miranda Booth

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Things are different for a sports store in a small city, and as of this June,
Overlander Sports has been doing everything from selling gear to
sponsoring community events for 30 years.

shin pads, where I bought my hiking backpack for my first
trip away from home. When I shop there today, whether
it’s for SmartWool, yoga pants, or bike tubes, I invariably
learn something new — and as cheesy as it sounds — I
feel special. I pay a bit more for something invaluable;
the experience of being doted on by a bright and helpful
staff, who love what they do and know a heck of a lot
about it. Sandra and Bill Stirling, the husband and wife
team who own and manage the store, are the reason it’s
still around today, and if you think they sit back and rake
in the rewards of their successful business, you’re dead
wrong. They mop the floors, and work the till just like
everybody else, and they’ve been doing it for 30 years.

gives back to the community in a big way. “Tournaments,
marathons, Banff Film Festival, the list is so long it’s
incredible. We get sponsorship letters every single
day,” she says. Perhaps the most interesting feature of
their current storefront (on 50th street) is the enormous
underground warehouse where you’ll find rows upon
rows of canoes, bikes and strollers, and — right next to
Bill’s office — a giant food cache. A food cache? What,
do they have a bunker too? I was surprised to learn the
store’s basement is home to the YK Food Bank, a space
provided free-of-charge for food bank volunteers to
store and give out 100-150 boxes of groceries to needy
families every other Saturday.

When I ask Sandra how she feels about being an owner/
manager of the Northwest Territories’ largest sporting
goods store, she admits it’s all a bit surprising. Sandra
went to school for Renewable Resources Technology.
Before Overlander, she was a government worker. Retail
and gear weren’t really her thing, but then she got
pregnant. While on maternity leave, Tony Chang and
a group of local businessmen saw a gap in the market
and approached her about opening a sporting goods
store. They needed a manager and another partner. “I
thought ‘Well, okay, if I quit the government, I can get
that superannuation money and I can invest it in the
business.’ So, that’s what I did. I took a gamble,” she says,
adding the first few years were particularly dicey. “I didn’t
know what I was doing. Honest to God, I knew nothing.”
But despite Sandra’s lack of retail experience or business
background, she pulled through, what she calls, “the
school of hard knocks.”

Another thing that makes Overlanders unusual is that it
really doesn’t exist anywhere else. Francoeur is a selfproclaimed gear-junkie, and in every city she visits, she
hits up the Mountain Equipment Co-op and Recreational
Equipment Inc., but nothing is quite like Overlanders.
“Skate sharpening, bike repair, skateboarding,
snowboards all at the same time as shoes and canoes. It’s
like ‘Wow! We have everything.’”

Her husband Bill, with an equally inapplicable
educational background of Sociology and Education,
got involved with Overlanders mid-way through year
one. Bill is the consummate sportsman. He plays soccer
and broomball, he paddles and snowshoes, and he’s also
the kind of guy who rescues his neighbour (me) when she
realizes her boots and bindings don’t match just before
heading out for a ski on the lake behind his house. “Wait
right here,” he said. “I’ll lend you a pair of mine.”

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“I think one of our biggest strengths is Bill’s knowledge,”
says Sandra. “And maybe I just have good instincts, I
don’t know.”
Neither Bill nor Sandra is particularly keen on boasting.
I have to go to former Assistant Manager, Rachelle
Francoeur to get the real goods. It turns out Overlanders


It’s true. Down south, stores carrying sports equipment
and apparel usually have a few specialties, but it’s rare,
if not impossible, to find a one-stop-shop for sports and
outdoor gear. Overlanders has adopted this business
model for a reason. To cater to Yellowknife’s tiny
population, where you can only sell so many strollers and
canoes before you hit total market saturation, they’ve
had to cast a wide net and offer a little of everything. “If
we were just a bike shop, we’d be in big trouble,” says
Sandra and Bill, who still put in over nine hours a day
and have to be reminded to break for lunch, look
around to friends of the same age and see them retiring,
vacationing, and taking that elusive “time off.” Only
recently, Sandra stopped coming in on Saturdays. “By
now I would have been retired, I would have had a
pension for life, I would have had it made, right? You
make those choices in life. Are you gonna go this way, or
are you gonna go that way?” she asks, though retirement
doesn’t seem to be on the agenda any time soon. Sandra
is still excited about coming to work every day and
doesn’t plan on letting up until that changes. She asks Bill
what he thinks about the future. “I like working,” he says.

he fate of your h
disc and so much more! air


Watch for
our huge
Anniversary Sale
in September!





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We look forward
to meeting
and exceeding
your expectations!

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photo Brent Reaney

A guide to some of the area’s best hiking trails
by Jamie Bastedo

Wait. I don’t have much space here. I’ll have to stick to sites that
meet all of my pet criteria:
• Outstanding natural features
• Easy access
• Big enough to lose yourself in
• Well-trodden and much loved by me
So here goes. My half-dozen favourites – three in town and
three along the Ingraham Trail. Odometer readings are from
the Explorer Hotel.

Yellowknife’s Natural Hub
Yellowknife's distinction as a "city in the wilderness" is driven
home after a stroll around these two aquatic centrepieces
of the community. Over eight kilometres of easy, all-season
walking trails — with benches and interpretive plaques along
the way — will take you around Frame Lake or, via Jackfish Lake,
all the way to Highway 3 near the main access to Fred Henne

The lakeshores and adjacent terrain include everything from
long stretches of flat sandy beach to rugged bedrock cliffs over
30 metres high. The undulating topography and varied aquatic
habitats found here contribute to this area's diversity of plant
communities, birds, and wildlife. Many fine viewpoints offer
impressive vistas of the city while others give an impression of
remarkably unspoiled wilderness.

Urban Oasis for Wildlife
Named after one of Yellowknife’s first mayors, the twokilometre trail around Niven Lake can be accessed from the
east along Niven Drive (by the mailboxes), from the west
through a public easement off De Weerdt Drive, and from the
south off Highway 4 by the transformer station, just past the
Explorer Hotel. It has two very different faces. The southeast
shore nearest town is graced with a wide, smooth trail that is
suitable for bike and wheelchair access. The opposite shore is
much more rugged, though easily negotiated on foot, going
over high rock outcrops and offering splendid views of both
Niven Lake and Great Slave Lake. Numerous benches along
this scenic loop trail are well placed for wildlife viewing, picnics
or a quiet mid-afternoon siesta.


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Local rockhounds, birdwatchers or dog walkers may search this
list in vain for their favourites – the sandpits near the airport for
example, or what about that big rock knob behind Weavers’
store, or…

Park. The most popular access points for the Frame Lake trail
are right behind the Northern Frontier Visitors’ Centre, the new
Somba K’e Park by City Hall, and off the main road to Stanton
Hospital (Catalina Drive). You can access the Jackfish Lake trail
at the north end of Lakeview Cemetery, off Highway 3 just east
of the Fred Henne Park entrance, or via a connecting trail at the
north end of Frame Lake.

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“Keep the best sites to yourself.” That’s what the late, great ecoactivist and fellow nature writer, Edward Abbey, would have
advised me if he knew I was writing an article about the top
walking trails in and around Yellowknife. But sorry Ed, I want to
celebrate the “best sites,” champion them, keep them on the
map. The question is, how to pick them?

photo Brent Reaney

What makes Niven Lake special is the ecological diversity
it offers so close to downtown. The lake was selected as a
lagoon soon after Yellowknife moved up the hill from Old
Town in 1947. It received over 30 years of sewage, which had a
tremendous fertilizing effect on the entire ecosystem. Since its
closure as a lagoon in 1981, the lake has returned to a relatively
natural state.

Pillows, Plutons and Pockets of Gold

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Hundreds of tourists, students, geologists and curious
Yellowknifers have strolled down this four-kilometre, familyfriendly trail since it was developed as a Fred Henne Park
attraction in the mid-1980s. Found at the north end of the
territorial park, located along Highway 3, this trail is marked
by small white prospectors painted on the rocks and brightcoloured flagging tape. Besides being an exceptional
showcase of Precambrian geology, the trail takes you through
several kinds of habitats, from dry, lichen-spattered bedrock to
rich cattail marshes alive with birds and aquatic mammals. Ask
the folks at the park gatehouse for the numbered, interpretive
guide that explains many of the cooler geological features.
It was right here that Yellowknife’s first mineral claims were
staked by Norman Jennejon when he discovered the gold that
led to a massive staking rush, and the eventual establishment
of the Con and Giant mines. The several rock trenches crossed
by the trail were blasted by eager prospectors in the 1930s and

‘40s. Remains of several tent platforms and a privy date back to
this time when gold-studded dreams abounded.

An Elevating Showcase
Seen from any high rock outcrop or office building in
Yellowknife, the wild landscape north of town rolls gently away,
flat to the horizon, in typical Canadian Shield style. The Martin
Lake trail is situated along the Vee Lake road, which meets the
Ingraham Trail 6.6 kilometres north of Yellowknife. Slow down
at the last major right-hand curve towards Vee Lake and stop
when your odometer reads 11.4 kilometres from town. Look left
for the trailhead, a gap in the roadside willows, usually marked
with flagging tape.
Scattered amidst this undulating plain of rock are a few
pronounced domes and ridges that look almost out of place.
One of the highest and most accessible of these promontories
is Ranney Hill, an isolated mound of volcanic rock that rises like
a dark fortress above a sea of pink granite.
Named after Bill Ranney, one of the many prospectors who
swooped into the region in the 1930s, this mini-mountain is
best climbed from the southwest flank and is situated about
halfway along the Martin Lake trail. The two-kilometre hiking
path takes you through a diverse mix of forests and wetlands,
past secluded David Lake, which is a favourite breeding spot
for many water birds.
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continued from page 44

Sedimentary Sea

Cascades and Crowberries

An easy 20-minute drive east of Yellowknife along Ingraham
Trail takes you to the rarely travelled Bighill Lake trailhead,
and into the heart of a former marine basin now filled with
sedimentary rock. When Madeline Lake comes into view and
your odometer reads 24.4 kilometres from town, look right
for a rough vehicle trail that leads to an old borrow pit. The
trail itself starts at the southeast corner of this pit and is usually
marked with orange flagging tape.

Magnificent Cameron Falls is one of the most visited natural
wonders in the Yellowknife region. The Cameron Falls parking
lot is located 2.3 kilometres beyond the Powder Point boat
launch at the east end of Prelude Lake, or 48 kilometres
from Yellowknife. A rolling 20-minute hike to the falls takes
you through a diverse mix of forests and over a fascinating
showcase of sedimentary rocks. This one-kilometre trail offers
a pleasant family adventure and is suitable for children, but
take extra caution along its steeper portions, especially around
the cliffs above the falls. Be sure to follow the trail that leads
upstream to take in the dreamy footbridge that spans the river
just above the falls

Traverse the roots of Precambrian mountains and ponder their
demise as you walk south towards Bighill Lake. About halfway
along this 6.5-kilometre trail, you come to a high ridge offering
breath-taking views of raw Shield wilderness broken only by
the skyline of far-off Yellowknife. Red arrows painted on the
rock mark parts of the trail. Some stretches are straight and
unmistakable with the bedrock as smooth as a sidewalk. Other
stretches have sudden jogs and can be confusing. If you think
you’ve lost the trail, backtrack until you find a familiar spot then
look for areas where foot traffic has worn lichens off the rocks.
Expect several ups and downs along this trail, which ends at a
low sloping rock outcrop along the stunning shore of Bighill
Lake. Stop for a picnic or bring a tent and camp for the night.

The falls, and the river that stretches many kilometres above
and below them, are named after Allan E. Cameron, a geology
professor from Edmonton’s University of Alberta. During his
many trips to the Yellowknife region in the 1930s, he shed
much light on the local geology and left behind a legacy of
field maps that guided the footsteps of many prospectors who

photo Brent Reaney

Jamie Bastedo is a Yellowknife author and naturalist who has lived and worked North of 60 for 35 years. His many award-winning
books celebrating northern lands, animals and people can be found by searhing his name at www.fitzhenry.ca and all are available
at the Yellowknife Book Cellar.

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The Codfather




5024 51ST STREET
follow us at SIGNEDYK

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22" WIDE



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by Mike Auge
photos by
Pat Kane
Nothing truly announces the arrival of summer like the crack
of the bat, the smack of ball hitting mitt, and the delightful
heckles emanating from the beer gardens as another season of
Yellowknife’s favourite summer sport, Slo-Pitch, takes off. With
over 50 teams signed up in the four divisions of the adult mixed
league every year, Slo-Pitch is easily one of the most popular
sports in the North. If you’ve never experienced the joy of

rounding the bases under the gorgeous summer sun, I highly
recommend finding yourself a team. For those of you new to
town, I’m sure you’re thinking to yourselves, “I wonder who the
top dog is? Who do I have to knock off the pedestal to take my
rightful place as king of the hill?” Well, that’s why I’m here, to
give your first lesson in YK Slo-Pitch 101.
continued on page 51



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12-04-16 9:59 AM

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MBYT_EDGE 1/4 Ad.indd 1

Kindergarten & Preschool Registration
• École J.H. Sissons - French Immersion Prek/K
• N.J. Macpherson School - English or Montessori K

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• Mildred Hall School - English PreK/K
• Range Lake North School - English PreK/K
Kindergarten students must be 5 years old by December 31, 2013
Child’s birth certificate and health care card required

For more information call 766-5050 or visit yk1.nt.ca

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