Sunday, September 16, 2012

Dog Island 8 - My Homework

Darkness has descended upon Yellowknife, as it does in the fall. In some parts of the country – where it actually gets dark in the summer – people can occasionally enjoy a drive-in movie. Not an option in a place where the sun glares through your window at two o’clock in the morning.

But the midnight sun of our summer evenings is quickly fading as the inexorable march towards winter continues. Sometimes during this in-between period, if we are very, very lucky, a group of our local film buffs – members of that esoteric organization known as the Dog Island Floating Film Society – will stage Yellowknife’s answer to the drive-in movie.

A week ago Friday, a flotilla of boats – cabin cruisers, utility boats, canoes, kayaks, and – strangely enough – a floating dock, all gathered in the vicinity of Dog Island, out on Yellowknife Bay, to enjoy this year’s offering of films. A huge screen was set up in front of the houseboat anchored in front of Dog Island, while the organizers projected films from a tiny island (basically, a point of rock sticking up from Great Slave Lake) just in front.

There were a number of National Film Board shorts – carefully chosen by the society’s selection jury – along with local offerings about fish camps and the Aboriginal lifestyle. The crowd was enthusiastic, popcorn was distributed to the movie-goers’ boats from one of the local houseboats, people and dogs wanting to go from Point A to Point B to visit friends casually cut through the boats strung together. We had to ask a canoeist to paddle us over to the boat selling T-shirts. It’s a community thing.

It was all good. Until the rain started. Sadly, “Dog Island 8 – My Homework” was cut short by a deluge. The organizers, fearing damage to the rented AV equipment – not to mention electrocution – called it a night a little earlier than we had all hoped.

Many thanks to Terry, Aggie, Andrew and all the other folks who made it happen.