Five films from five NWT regions will make up a collaborative effort between the Northern Arts and Cultural Centre (NACC) and Western Arctic Moving Pictures (WAMP) to debut the brand new Trapper Radio Series.

“It was a long road to get here,” said Jeremy Emerson, WAMP’s executive director.

The series features a collection of projects from the North Slave, the Mackenzie Delta, the Dehcho, the Sahtu and the South Slave. Pat Braden, Leanne Goose, Wesley Hardisty and Dylan Jones — also known as Crook the Kid — are among the many artists showcased.

For Marie Coderre, NACC’s executive director, the development of the series came about to find new avenues to present artistic material after NACC shut down in March 2020.

“Everybody was doing their best to do online shows in their living rooms and things like that,” Coderre said of the transition.

Through research that she conducted, she would end up getting in touch with WAMP, which was in a similar situation regarding a growing number of online shows.

“We couldn’t do a lot of in-person stuff,” Emerson explained. “We were turning to video and (different) projects to engage filmmakers, but also musicians and performers from the NACC side of things and working together on that.

“So that was kind of where they didn’t have as much experience in doing video and things like that,” he said. “They were able to handle the performing arts side of things, and I think it worked out really well.”

The collaborative efforts of the two organizations would result in the creation of the $170,000 Trapper Radio Series. The injection of federal and territorial government funding was especially important for NACC, which was facing significant revenue losses.

“Like hundreds of thousands (of dollars),” said Coderre. “We didn’t have rentals. We didn’t have ticket sales. Many sponsors bailed off because they were facing some important financial losses. So it was very stressful to just plan a big, high-scale project like this.”

The project funds led to the hiring of the necessary crews in each region to make the Trapper Radio Series a reality.

“We hired a lot of local filmmakers. We use footage from filmmakers from different regions,” said Coderre. “So it was a project that was aimed at supporting the economy of local artists here. It’s 100 per cent NWT.”

Despite being a combination of various films, the title Trapper Radio Series comes from bush-style radios that are still used in some communities today.

Alhough editing is ongoing for some aspects of the project, the Trapper Radio Series is scheduled to premiere via an online screening on Jan. 29 at 7:30 p.m.

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