A hard day's week in Fort Good Hope
Games, music festival, Governor General keep the whole town busy

Mike W. Bryant
Northern News Services

Fort Good Hope (Aug 14/00) - Residents of Fort Good Hope will need the next little while to catch their breaths, after a flurry of activity over the last couple of weeks.

The community was deluged with visitors as, first, the Sahtu Dene Games took place Aug. 1-3, followed by the Woodblock Music Festival, Aug. 4-6. Add in a visit from the Governor General (Aug. 7-8) and then the situation can only be described as crazy.

"It's been hectic, really hectic," said Dave Cook, senior administrative officer for the community.

It looked like it was going to be a bad week from the start when the Dene Games opened to a torrent of wind and rain, but Cook said the community did its best to persevere.

"The rain kind of made it a little bit miserable," Cook said.

"There were some thoughts that we should cancel it, but cooler heads prevailed."

The Games finally got going Aug. 2, but only some of the events were completed as the downpour continued to wreak havoc.

All was not lost, however, when it came to the Woodblock Music Festival. Even with the rain, the audience were able to stay high and dry inside the community arena.

"It went really well, everybody had a good time," said Edna Tobac, president of the Woodblock Music Society.

Tobac estimated that 500 people attended the festival this year, many from communities outside of Fort Good Hope.

Because of the rain, and moreover, because of the community's big heart, most people were able to find lodging in residents' homes, Tobac said.

"The people of Fort Good Hope were really showing their hospitality," Tobac said.

"We thank everybody who came to the community and participated and the community for helping out."

The last of the big events for the community came when Gov. Gen. Adrienne Clarkson dropped in for an official visit, Aug. 7.

According to Cook, despite the continuing drizzle and rain, Clarkson was unperturbed.

"We were having the community cookout and it started to rain. We thought we would re-schedule it, but she wanted to continue," Cook said.

"She seemed awful nice. I heard some comments later that she was really impressed with our church."

Cook said he is hoping to get a vacation soon.