Friday, September 23, 2011

If It's Wednesday, This Must Be Whitehorse!

Four... Three... Two... No, that's not me reading out the forecast highs for Whitehorse next week, that's actually me counting down to one of my most highly anticipated events to come out of this filmmaking experience yet...

Dolly Day Celebration Yukon, here I come!

I'm flying out this Wednesday to Whitehorse, where I'll be presenting the film (at both English and French screenings), meeting with the public as well as local filmmakers, journalists, and most importantly, Claire Derome . She's the woman who's responsible for bringing our film to the Yukon as the centrepiece of "Dolly Day" - a unique fund-raising event she created this year for the local chapter of the Imagination Library (read more here).

Originally founded by Dolly herself in Tennessee, the Imagination Library's mission is to fight illiteracy by providing one free book per month to every child enrolled in a local program from birth to 5 years of age. And Claire tells me that since its inception in 2006, her chapter of the Imagination Library has been in constant expansion. The overwhelming popularity of the program will see The Yukon Imagination Library distribute a total of 15,000 books to over 60 percent of the region's children by 2013!

In order for this non-profit organization to keep up with the almost viral demand, funds and awareness are always in desperate need of being raised. It was when Claire heard an interview I did on Radio-Canada about the film and Dolly's implication in it that she had the idea for bringing me and the film to the Yukon and creating the "Dolly Day Celebration" around it.

The event involves a screening of the film, a meet and greet with me and a whole evening's festivities featuring the fantastic blue-grass band, "Second Cousin" playing the film's music as part of their repertoire. Everyone involved has waived their fees (thanks again to @MongrelMedia!) and all proceeds of this event will go to the Yukon Imagination Library. I'm so thrilled to be able to contribute to this organization and its important work. And I so love the "full-circleness" of the whole thing - the film that Dolly helped to make has now become a way to help Dolly's cause!

I'm very much looking forward to actively "giving back" to Dolly in this small way. The fact that I will also, finally, get to experience a part of this country that has long-fascinated me from afar is just a really juicy cherry on top.