Hay Riverites promote region at tourism and mining conferences


Hay River lutenist Tyler Hawkins performs at the Spectacular NWT Days in Ottawa on Jan. 30.
— photo courtesy of Robert Hawkins

A couple of Hay Riverites were on opposite sides of the country last week, attending different functions but both contributing to the promotion of the NWT. Tyler Hawkins, a lutenist and founder of the NWT International Lute Festival, and Robert Bouchard, MLA for Hay River North, were in Ottawa and Vancouver respectively.

Hawkins was invited to perform at the Ottawa Convention Centre on Jan. 30 for the Spectacular NWT Days.

The event showcased a variety of exhibits in an interactive pavilion where people could learn more about the NWT and enjoy musical and cultural performances.

Hawkins said he learned about the invitation three weeks before the event, when he got a phone call from someone with the GNWT.

I was honoured to be contacted to participate because I’ve done events like this before but nothing quite like that,” he said. “If the legislative assembly achieves the goals it had intended, then I can look back on this event many years from now and say that I was there for that, which is really exciting.”

Hawkins performed on a giant white stage in the shape of a drum, for approximately 250 people in a large banquet room.

He said his performance was intended as background music while various people – ministers, MLAs, premiers and others – met and greeted each other.

Meanwhile in Vancouver, Bouchard attended the Mineral Exploration Roundup 2013 conference with various NWT ministers and Premier Bob McLeod.

The biggest thing is that we launched a mineral strategy looking at getting feedback from the mining industry on things that the North should be doing in the future,” he said.

The NWT and Nunavut Chamber of Mines were also present at the conference, as well as other major players in the mining industry such as Avalon Rare Metals, Tamerlane Ventures, Fortune Minerals and Canadian Zinc.

Asked about future mining activity that would impact Hay River, Bouchard mentioned the Avalon Rare Metals proposed processing project at Pine Point.

The company is currently in the environmental review process and will be attending hearings in Yellowknife and Fort Resolution this month,” he said. “Hopefully that process will be done in a month or two and they can get started on getting approval from the water board after.”

Canadian Zinc, which has designated Hay River as a jump point once the Cadillac Mine near Fort Simpson is operational again, is currently seeking approval from the water board and undergoing the public consultation process.