Nancy Makepeace is the Hay River organizer of the NorthWords Writers Festival.
NNSL file photo

The NorthWords Writers Festival is giving Hay River a chance to hear about the creative process.

On May 31, it will offer free presentations by a filmmaker/storyteller and two writers working on a book.

Fran Hurcomb of Yellowknife and Bea Lepine of Hay River will be doing a presentation from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. in the Hay River Seniors’ Society Room at Whispering Willows.

Their presentation – called Celebrating Fishing on Great Slave Lake: The Making of a Book – will focus on their process and progress in writing a history of commercial fishing on the lake.

Lepine has stories about the lake and Hurcomb will share findings from their research.

There will be a slideshow and the authors are encouraging people to bring old fishing photos of their own.

Dennis Allen will follow with a presentation from about 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The award-winning Inuvialuit filmmaker, songwriter and storyteller will entertain with his tales from across the North.

The three presenters were selected for the Hay River section of the NorthWords Writers Festival by Nancy Makepeace from options offered by the festival.

“It will be a really interesting afternoon. Something for everyone,” said Makepeace, who is the Hay River representative of the NorthWords NWT organization.

She believes a lot of people will be interested in hearing about the upcoming book by Lepine and Hurcomb.

“They were here before at the museum and asked people to come share stories,” she noted.

Makepeace thinks that Allen will give a very interesting presentation.

“He’s a Northern storyteller and filmmaker,” she said. “He wears a lot of hats, so I thought people in Hay River would be interested in his story.”

The afternoon presentations are open to everyone.

Makepeace noted that, on the morning of May 31, Hurcomb will talk to Grade 4 & 5 students at Princess Alexandra School, while Allen will give a presentation at the South Mackenzie Correctional Centre.

The NorthWords Writers Festival was founded in Yellowknife in 2006 to promote Northern and Indigenous authors.

Since 2010, it has also offered events in Hay River and Fort Smith.

Paul Bickford

Paul Bickford is the reporter for Hay River Hub.

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