‘Hay Days’ has successful first year

Hay River’s first try at an arts and music festival was a success as various events took place around town this past weekend.
The weather created a road bump in the planning, as the outdoor segment of the festival had to be moved indoors, but there was a steady flow of entertainment all weekend.
Acts performed non-stop this weekend at the Back Eddy, The Dog House and the Community Hall and an art show was set up in the Curling Rink.

The musical acts ranged from some of Hay River’s own, to musicians from across the Territories. Even Canadian Idol rapper Godson, from Yellowknife, came in for the weekend.
“It has been great,” he said of the weekend. “The town I don’t think is used to an event like this, so it will take a few years for it to get into full swing.
“I’d come back every year if I could.”
He noted that not only does this give larger names exposure, but gives the local musicians a chance to play as well.
“There are not a lot of venues for the locals to play so this gives them a chance to play,” he said.
But the musicians were not the only ones hoping to see more artistic awareness in the community.
Photographer Karl Johnston, from Fort Smith, was set up in the curling rink not only promoting his work, but also arts and culture in the North.
“I believe in what [the Hay River Arts, Music and Culture Society] is trying to teach,” said Johnston. “It is essential for a lot of Northern communities. Arts is a renewable resource we have up here and it showcases the North’s beauty and it needs to be done a lot more.”