Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Reader's Diary #1825- Bill Braden: Aurora Up!

Bill Braden's Aurora Up! is essentially two books in one and while I personally found the first more interesting, this is not necessarily how others would feel.

I've been told a little about the history behind Northern Lights tourism in Yellowknife. The story goes that it wasn't that long ago that the first potential tour operator presented his case to local business groups and wasn't taken all that seriously. People traveling all the way to Yellowknife to see northern lights? Niche market at best. But even in the short span that I've lived here (going on one decade), I've noticed an astronomical climb in this kind of tourism. There are many operators around town and it's not uncommon to fly back home to Yellowknife and be one of a handful of locals surrounded by tourists.

The first half is mostly about northern lights in general. Braden gets into the various cultural interpretations as well as the science behind them. He even discusses photography tips. Yellowknife is particularly well situated to view the northern lights and Braden explains why.

The second half revolves around the City itself; the culture, the climate, the history, and industry. Again, tourists and other outsiders would likely find this half more compelling. For locals there's unlikely to be any new info here as it's rather surface level, and also, as it's meant more as a marketing tool, it paints a really rosy picture. I love Yellowknife (else I wouldn't be here), but like any other place, it's not perfect.

Still, as a souvenir, or as a tool to entice loved ones to visit, it's well put together, complete with Braden's gorgeous photos.

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