EDGE YK April 2014 Final .pdf
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april / may 2014 | FREE
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Current as of February 14, 2014. Available to residential customers where access, line of sight and technology permit. Available with compatible devices within network coverage areas available from Bell Mobility; see bell.ca/coverage.
Subject to change without notice. Other conditions apply. (1) Based on total square kms of coverage on the shared 4G LTE network available from Bell vs. Rogers LTE network. See bell.ca/LTE for details.
april / may 2014
Advertising Manager Jeremy Bird
Sr. Contributing Editor Jack Danylchuk
Copyright 2014 by:
All rights reserved.
ISSN 1927-7016 (Print) | ISSN 1927-7024 (Online)
Front Edge. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Contributors. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Edgeitorial. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Events. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Found Food. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Blast Past . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
This is My Yellowknife/Leaving Home. . 17
Hayden Trenholm’s Sci-Fi Success . . . . . 21
YK Musicians Connect. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
Work in Progress – Jennifer Walden. . . . 30
Urban Agriculture. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
Edge YK’s Pizza Meltdown. . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
YK as Bonsai Haven. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
The Queen, the St. Bernard and the
Judge’s Wife . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
Lions, Llamas and Snakes, oh no! . . . . . . 54
Postcard to the Edge: A Reluctant
Trip to Vegas. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62
On Edge: How YK Sculpted my
Northern Identity. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66
On Edge: The Evolution of Devolution. 68
Cover photo by
How I Got Here: Terry Pamplin . . . . . . . . 71
On Edge: YK and the Crude
Instrument. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75
Away They Go. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78
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Leaving (while still very much
loving) YK, new ideas, weird
animals and searching for the
Loving Yellowknife is generally easy and inspires much of our content, but let’s face it, there are times – like when
the snow melts and the dust and litter and dog deposits of winter are revealed – when the city’s gleam can feel a bit
tarnished. I had a few moments this past winter where being somewhere else just had to turn from fantasy to reality,
and wrote about that trip in our new “Postcards to the Edge” travel section (p. 62). Because we know Yellowknifers are
also travellers, we look forward to hearing about your favourite, or not so favourite, escapes from the Knife.
More recently, I took the pulse of EDGE YK and noticed a slightly elevated resting heartbeat. We’ve got spring fever for
sure. Who doesn’t? Yet something else is warming us, fueling this energy. Each issue we get injections of new blood,
people pumped to share some Yellowknife experience by contributing to the magazine. It’s a highly organic process,
one sustained through heartwarming enthusiasm – and sense of ownership – for the end product. “I LOVE Edge!” is
something we hear a lot, and each time we are truly grateful, so thanks for that.
This issue is filled with some familiar faces and some blasts from the past. We introduce you to the slightly off-kilter
reflections of humour-writer Catherine Dook (p. 51). She lives in a boat off Vancouver Island now but grew up in
Yellowknife with a keen eye for the incongruities that continue to make our city quirky and colourful.
Speaking of quirky, did you know elephants and llamas once roamed Franklin Avenue? We’re not talking prehistoric
times here… check out Katherine Laidlaw’s weird animals feature on p. 54. And who knew you could grow bonsai
jackpines that overwinter outside (see Sandra Maitland’s story p. 47).
Plus, due to the overwhelming popularity of EDGE YK’S Hot or Not Guide to Wing Night, this issue we gathered our
crackerjack team of dough, sauce and toppings aficionados to determine who has YK’s best delivery pizza (p. 42).
So dig in. Digest. And maybe turn up the heat on your own idea for an EDGE YK contribution.
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Katherine Laidlaw is a journalist obsessed with all things
weird, wonderful and Canadian. Formerly senior editor at Up
Here magazine in Yellowknife, she now works as associate
editor at Reader's Digest Canada in Montreal and writes for
publications like Toronto Life, Hazlitt, and this one. A longtime Yellowknifer told her three years ago about a lion cub
that once lived in town (see p. 54), and the story's been stuck
in her head ever since.
Terry Pamplin has been a visual artist all his life (see ‘How
I Got Here,’ p. 71). He is excited to be part of NACC’s
mentorship program, which has given him a chance to
write, design a performance and take singing lessons. Those
efforts culminate in his one-man show, Let the Children Be,
at the Northern Arts and Cultural Centre May 15th. His work
is displayed at Head Space Studio and Gallery, 14 Con Place.
Long time Yellowknifer and former CBC North television
journalist, Jennifer Hunt-Poitras grew up in Pond Inlet,
Nunavut. Growing up in a small town gave her a sense
of belonging that took a long time for her to find in
Yellowknife. Jennifer's story, on p. 25, is about finding that
sense of community again – this time among Yellowknife's
musicians. Jennifer was inspired to write about the power
of music to bring us together, after attending a memorial
service for one of Yellowknife's most talented young
James has been taking pictures for a while now. With
a background in photojournalism, he enjoys capturing
candid moments of people, such as the musicians and
couples dancing at a Gold Range fundraising event (see
p. 25). While he is editing, he likes to listen to Vampire
Weekend, The Strokes and Arctic Monkeys. To check
out more of his work visit his webpage and Facebook
page: jamesmackenziephoto.com and facebook.com/
Before Alex moved to Yellowknife he lived in Ottawa. There,
he did his Masters in Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the
University of Ottawa. At no point did Alex ever play on any
varsity sports team, especially not hockey. Alex has never
played hockey. As a matter of fact, Alex doesn’t even like
hockey. But he does like to cook. See his recipe for pulled
musk ox on page 13.
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In a move worthy of a dictatorship in some distant
banana republic, the Northwest Territories unelected
premier, cabinet, and a handful of MLAs in what
passes for the official opposition in the territory’s sorry
pantomime of consensus governance have voted to
extend their term in office, likely until sometime in 2016.
The gang of 11 waited until the last days of the legislative
session, possibly in the hope of avoiding a public mauling
at the hands of the seven MLAs who stood against the
unprecedented measure. Weledeh MLA Bob Bromley
called the move “unethical and embarrassing.
“To give ourselves this authority without going to the
people and with no public input shows a cavalier disdain
for the voters of the Northwest Territories. One can
only imagine that there has been some degree of secret
communication between this government and the
federal government, as this action will require changes
to both federal and territorial legislation, something that
normally would take years to achieve.”
The reason for skipping the anticipated vote in October
2015, according to Jane Groenewegen who sponsored
the motion, was an insult masked as concern for the
electorate: faced with territorial, municipal and federal
elections in the same month, voters might be too
confused or fatigued by the democratic process to
accurately cast ballots – or cast them at all.
Several of those who voted to extend their time on
the public teat aren’t likely to seek another term.
Groenewegen and Michael Miltenberger, who seconded
the motion, have been around since 1995. They will max
out their pension benefits without having to face voters
again. Bob McLeod can’t be premier again, so there is no
incentive for him to test voters’ patience. In Yellowknife,
only Health minister Glen Abernethy and Industry and
Investment minister Dave Ramsay will be around to face
The surprise move was consistent with the current
government’s disdain for public opinion. It ignored a
call to invest at least 25 per cent of resource royalties
that will accrue from devolution in a legacy fund for
future generations; it redistributed electoral boundaries
in ways that few found acceptable; it has stood by while
the federal government forsake regional land boards in
favour of one super board; it bullied public servants into
not signing a petition that called for a review of hydraulic
All of this was done under the banner of the sham
known as consensus governance. So far, the government
has made no move to address a serious shortcoming
identified in the most recent report from the electoral
boundaries commission. The commission expressed
concern that many people in the territory, especially
those living in remote communities, have little
understanding of what goes on in the Tin Palace in
Yellowknife, the House of Commons, or even their own
It is evident now that the government prefers it that way.
If a significant block of voters is in the dark, so much the
better. Tell them that whatever is done is in their best
interests, and it's a fairly certain bet that the politicians
will be believed – regardless of the issue. That seems to
be the thinking in the Tin Palace.
There are signs of cracks, however. There is significant
opposition in the Sahtu and elsewhere to the
government’s enthusiasm for hydraulic fracturing.
Bromley tabled a petition with the names of 800 people
who want a full review of the controversial process
before another well is drilled. And a petition hastily
mounted by Yellowknife lawyer and former city councilor
Paul Falvo drew the signatures of more than 200 people
opposed to the government’s self-extended term in
Falvo told The Northern Journal the motion to extend
the term of the current legislature was “undemocratic. It
shows contempt for people because they’re saying we’re
too dumb to figure out how elections work, or they want
to be doing this work on devolution regardless of what
the people say.”
Meanwhile, the government has mounted a campaign to
attract immigration to the territory which has been losing
population and federal payments at a disturbing rate. The
immediate goal is 2,000 more warm, tax-paying bodies.
But who would move to a place where their views are
ignored and their votes count as nothing? It would be
like settling in some banana republic, and a frozen one at
– Jack Danylchuk