"So what can you do in Yellowknife that you couldn't do here?" is the somewhat peevish, possibly rhetorical, question sometimes posed by (some) Southern relatives.
A legitimate question, I suppose - although in answering it, my main conundrum is: where to begin?!?
Well - here's an example. My house guest this week is Charlotte Kwon of Maiwa Handprints in Vancouver: check out her company at Maiwa Handprints. Charlotte's passion is the natural dyes of this world, with a special focus on artisans in remote areas whose exquisite work does not easily reach world markets. Some years ago I had visited her store / teaching space in Granville Island (what's not to like about fibre arts in Granville Island?) and bought something there, without really knowing much about the story behind the company or the person. Then a year or so later I attended a lecture by her at ACAD (the Alberta College of Art and Design), and I began to catch a glimmer of the excitement of the field, and of Charlotte's status as one of the premier natural dyers and teachers of the natural dyeing process in Canada.
And here in Yellowknife - she's my house guest! Here she is enjoying breakfast (we share taste in strong coffee, good/unusual cheese, and prosciutto):
She's not here to visit me, of course - that was the luck of the draw of being one of the few people in my fibre group who has an extra bedroom and no pets. Rather, she's teaching a week-long workshop on natural dyeing at the Yellowknife Guild of Arts and Crafts. For her introductory Tuesday night lecture she laid out some of the luscious wares she sells at the Granville store (from India, China, Cambodia, Indonesia, Peru, Mexico):
For the course itself, she also lugged natural dyes and other supplies from Vancouver:
Unfortunately, I can take only part of the course but not all of it - Aurora Chorealis has its Remembrance Day concerts this weekend, which involves two practices during the week and three appearances in different venues. That could also be an example of "what you can do in Yellowknife that you can't (or aren't likely to) do elsewhere", but that will have to keep for another posting. In the meantime, I'll enjoy Charlotte's company and learn what I can in the time that I have. I'm a lucky woman!