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Practical information about living in the Northwest Territories.

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Norm's Story - Yellowknife

In 1939, at the age of 66, my grandfather Louis Lessard, set off for Yellowknife from what is now Fort McMurray. To get here, where dreams of gold awaited, he and his son put a tent on top of a raft, strapped on some supplies and sailed towards a new future.

When my grandfather had made enough money from prospecting to purchase the Rex Café in Old Town, he sent for his family. My great-grandmother, grandmother and children arrived in 1941. My mother worked at the Rex Café, and that was where she met my father, Alex Glowach.

From my grandparents’ perspective, Yellowknife was the future. I’m part of that future, a legacy I continue to discover every day at my job in the NWT Archives at the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre. My family legacy continues with the two daughters my wife and I have raised here. Educated in a school system with fine teachers, they’re off doing their post secondary education, which is generously supported by government programs, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see them come home and settle in Yellowknife.

The city is growing, but for me, the newness of its four-generation history and the tight-knit community it continues to be, make it feel like a small town in a cosmopolitan city. A place where anything is still possible.

I’m making my mark nationally, with the band Priscilla's Revenge. And we’re committed to reaching our goals while staying in Yellowknife. My passion for sound has also made my recording studio, Spiritwalker Productions, the longest operating studio in the North. This says something about the entrepreneurial climate in Yellowknife – as the city grows; there will always be room for new businesses.

Three generations of my family have already made their mark in the Yellowknife. I expect we’ll continue to make our mark for generations to come.