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New Aurora Festival “NAKA” Set to Shine in Yellowknife

February 08, 2019

The City of Yellowknife, together with Yellowknives Dene First Nation (YKDFN) and the Government of the Northwest Territories departments of Industry, Tourism and Investment and Education, Culture and Employment – Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre, are pleased to announce the launch of “Naka”– a celebration of the aurora borealis and Dene culture.

Naka, pronounced Na-ke – Willideh for “Northern Lights”, is planned for March 3 to 8 and will showcase the aurora borealis and Dene culture in Yellowknife, Chief Drygeese Territory. The week-long event will feature story telling, drum prayers, art demonstrations, opportunities to learn how to photograph, the science behind the aurora, and even a spectacular screening of Aurora Triptych in the Snow Castle; a Yellowknife aurora time lapse film that has been recorded to a live ten piece orchestra which has been screened across North and South America.

“Having a new destination event that celebrates the aurora and Dene culture in Yellowknife is a valuable addition to Yellowknife’s festival scene and gives our visitors an incredible opportunity to learn more about where they are visiting,” said Mayor Alty.

Naka will culminate with the YKDFN Cultural Gala on Friday. The evening event will celebrate the grand opening of the newly opened Dene Artisan Shop in Dettah. Models, making their way down the runway supported by indigenous make-up artists, hair stylists, photographers, and musicians, will showcase pieces that are handmade by artists across the north, most of which will be available for sale in the newly opened shop.

Day Time Event Location Entry
Sunday, March 3 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Opening Ceremonies Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre Free
Monday, March 4 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Concepts of Aurora Photography Indoor Workshop Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre Free
Tuesday, March 5 7:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Aurora Triptych (film) and Outdoor Photography Snow Castle Free
Wednesday, March 6 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

In Awe of the Northern Lights

The Science of the Aurora

Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre Free
Thursday, March 7 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Aurora Art Workshop Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre Free
Friday, March 8 7:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. Yellowknives Dene First Nation Cultural Gala Chief Drygeese Centre, Dettah

Additional information for all of the events during the week can be found at
– 30 –
For more information:
Dave Zethof
Special Events Coordinator
City of Yellowknife


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