Meet a Local: Pat Kane

I’m Pat Kane and I’m an award winning photographer based in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. I’m part of the indigenous photo collective Natives Photograph and the Canadian documentary collective Boreal Collective. I’m also the co-founder and president of The Far North Photo Festival. When I’m not doing photo work, I’m often helping out the Yellowknife film scene as a fixer.

How long have you lived in Yellowknife and what brought you to the North?
I’ve been living in Yellowknife for 15 years. I came here to work as a magazine photo editor on the recommendation from a friend who thought I’d enjoy it here. Turns out I love it here!

What do you like best about living in the North?
The best thing about living here are the people. Yellowknife is a very young, creative and progressive city with lots of interesting characters always coming and going. You have to be a certain kind of person to thrive here.

What’s your favourite place/activity to show visitors?
When people come to town, I love bringing them to meet my friends who live on the houseboats on Yellowknife Bay. They are a community of good-hearted people who love having a laugh around a campfire.

What is the biggest misconception people have about life in the North?
The biggest misconception about the North is that nobody lives here and there is nothing to do. We have 33 communities scattered throughout a territory twice the size of Texas and everyone knows each other. We are incredibly busy with events and sports and films and all sorts of creative projects. Visitors are genuinely surprised with how much energy there is here.

How do you keep warm in the dead of winter?
Staying warm is actually really easy. Buy a good parka and boots and stay active. If you don’t embrace the winter and enjoy it, you’re probably not going to be sticking around very long.

What is Yellowknife’s best kept secret?
Yellowknife’s best kept secret is the food at Miss Saigon’s, a Vietnamese takeout restaurant located in the back corner of a convenience store.

Which celebrity do you think would fit in best in Yellowknife? And why?
Yellowknife is full very fun, over-the-top people who work hard and play hard, so I think someone like Jack Black would fit in here. Or maybe any cast member from Game of Thrones because we all wear fur and love to drink wine.

What’s in store for you in 2020?
I’m working on a few documentary photo projects this year about food and culture in the Northwest Territories.

What’s your favourite movie?
I love all sorts of movies and have many favourites but if I had to narrow it down to just one, it would probably be Back to the Future.
Follow on Instagram: @patkanephoto