Yellowknife in the Winter

Over the years as a training professional, I’ve had the good fortune to have the opportunity to visit some diverse cities and regions. Atlantic City, Niagara Falls, Whistler, New Orleans, San Francisco and Chicago quickly jump to mind. This winter I had the chance to head off to uncharted territory (at least uncharted to me) and head north. Way north.

I was expecting cold, small town, cold weather, mixed demographics and freezing temperatures. It was all that and a lot more.

As participants there was a definite mix of outgoing and shyness. But even those who were naturally (or culturally) reserved let down the walls as the trust built and faced some daunting challenges that faced them.

In four weeks I never worked with an unpleasant participant at training, did not meet a grouchy waitress, and never encountered a disagreeable person. Heck, even the ticket takers were hugging passengers at the airport!  The friendliness and openness were far beyond any expectations.

When I was exploring the town and area I began to see some of the unique and breathtaking beauty, and feel a tiny hint of why people love the north.

As for the cold, well definitely cooler than home, but it was a warmer than usual winter for Yellowknifers – again. Ask them about global warming or the environment and the responses will be both educated and unequivocal.

It’s not for everyone. If you love the glam of L.A. or the illusion of Las Vegas, then Yellowknife may be too much the real deal. I’m looking forward to going north again.

Ed Wildeman

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