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Home Event Whooping Crane Festival
Whooping Crane Festival
Event Date(s): September 6th - 8th, 2024

The first Northern Whooping Crane Festival will be held in Fort Smith, NT from Friday, September 6th, to Sunday, September 8th, 2023. The purpose of this festival is to celebrate the recovery of the once almost-extinct Whooping Crane population, and to bring the community together to discuss how to continue to protect this amazing bird and other species at risk in the South Slave region.

It is a great conservation story, having grown from less than 50 birds in the 1950s to over 500 birds today. The Wood Buffalo Whooping Crane population – the only remaining wild population – is currently stable and predicted to continue growing.

The festival will feature:

  • Presentations on the Whooping Crane with the goal to raise awareness and celebrate the only wild migratory population of whooping crane
  • An opportunity to bring local experts together with researchers and conservation project leaders to share information about the species’ remarkable recovery, on-going conservation efforts, as well as challenges faced in protecting it
  • A chance to learn the story of Canus, the great-grandfather to many of the current Whooping Crane population at The Northern Life Museum and Cultural Centre
  • Excursions to explore habitat and biodiversity in the region including a guided hike to Salt Plains with Parks Canada
  • Art sales, crafting workshops, and children’s activities throughout Fort Smith
  • On the land events coordinated by Fort Smith Metis Council, Smith’s Landing First Nation, and Salt River First Nation

Beyond the beloved whooping crane, this region is home to the largest free-roaming population of wood bison, the largest wolves, the most northern garter snakes, white pelicans, and northern leopard frogs, the largest dark sky preserve, and the best aurora – and this is just the shortlist.

The Northern Whooping Crane Festival is a community joint effort co-organized by the Fort Smith Métis Council, Smith’s Landing First Nation, Salt River First Nation, the Town of Fort Smith and proudly supported by Aurora College, Parks Canada-Wood Buffalo National Park, GNWT-Department of Environment and Climate Change, and the Northern Life Museum and Cultural Centre.

The festival is free to attend.

More information, will be available on the Festival Facebook page