Exploring Yellowknife Living in Yellowknife

How to Experience YKIFF [Your Guide]

your guide to the Yellowknife international film festival

Yellowknife knows films. This wonderful city has many talented filmmakers, producers, directors, actors and on goes the list. It is a place where many seem to find inspiration or use it as a kicking off point for other creative works. While at the same time, with 8 months of dark cold nights, the everyday Yellowknifer also has much experience with films in the form of hours viewed.

The Yellowknife International Film Festival has now been kicking around for a decade and has taken its place at the end of September/early October as an annual event that must be attended by all.

Our goal with Yellowknife Online is to ensure that residents and visitors alike make the most of their Yellowknife experience regardless of how long that might be here. So in true form, we were approach by YKIFF to help put together a guide on how to best experience YKIFF. Below is our findings. It might not be a complete guide, it never is, so if you have any advice of your own, please add it in the comments. Now… on with the show!

Figure Out What to Watch

Study the Schedule

This should be the first thing you do. Go to the YKIFF website, Facebook Page, or get the App (see below) and look at the schedule. Read the descriptions, plan with friends and know the locations of each film.

Read Random Richard Reviews

You will have your own favourites or interests but reading Random Richards Reviews will give you more insight into what to expect from certain films at YKIFF. Check out his site at randomrichardsreviews.ca.

Get the App

One sure fire way to know what is going and where is to download the YKIFF app for Android of iOS. On the fly you can know what is happening. The apps are coming. Search YKIFF in the app stores.

YK Film Fest

How to Decide Where to Go

Throughout the festival, there will often be three films being shown at the same time, one at each venue, so making a decision where to go is even more important. Here are some considerations:

Popcorn or Wine

Do you want popcorn or wine. Capitol Theatre will cover that craving for the salty snack while NACC will indulge those looking for a classier beverage.

Outside or Inside

Do you want to have a theatre in the park feeling? Well, go watch any film in Somba K’e Civic Plaza and get that feeling. If you want to opt for a warm, sheltered venue head to NACC or Capital Theatre.

Kid Friendly or Not

Have the kids with you? Or finally free of them? Most films at Somba K’e Civic PLaza will be suitable for kids while many films at NACC and Capital Theatre might be more suitable for adults or will be lost on the kids.

Do As The Friends Do

If you are indecisive, take a poll with your friends. Find out what film most people want to see and go there.

Yellowknife Film Festival

Where to get Tickets

Now don’t get confused but with multiple venues comes some important information about where you get tickets for shows at those venues.


NACC is fairly simple because we should all have gotten tickets for NACC events before. You can either purchase tickets in person at the NACC Box Office in Sir John Franklin High School or online at naccnt.ca.

Capitol Theatre

If you are wanting to see a show that is hosted at the Capital Theatre you have to buy your tickets online on the WAMP website at wamp.ca

Somba K’e Civic Plaza

And, if you hadn’t guessed, shows at Somba3 K’e Civic Plaza are free!

Yellowknife Film Festival

What to Bring

This isn’t rocket science; you’ve seen movies before. This is essentially the same thing, but here are some good to knows about viewing films at each venue.

Somba K’e Civic Plaza

Will start with the venue you’ll probably need to bring the most. Somba K’e Civic Plaza is in fact outside so prepare for that. The weather is getting cooler so the key here will be to stay warm. Here is a quick list of items you might want to bring:

  • Air Mattress
  • Foamy
  • Foldable Chair
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Big Blanket
  • Pillow
  • Thermos of hot beverage
  • Snacks
  • Thick sweater
  • Big fluffy socks
  • Proper outerwear
  • Hot Pockets
  • Aurora Heat

Capitol Theatre

The Capitol Theater is simple. Bring cash. The concession only accepts cash. There is an ATM on site but avoid those fees and plan ahead. This theatre has also been known to be cool. Bring a sweater if desired.


NACC, like Capitol Theatre, also only accepts cash, so if you want that glass of wine, bring the paper stuff.

Yellowknife Film Festival

Where to Spot YKIFF Celebrities

We have it on pretty good authority that some of those YKIFF celebs will be frequenting the following local establishments. So if you want to mingle with the stars, start here:

The Cellar Bar and Grill – 4910 50 Ave – On Franklin.

Twit – 4915 50 Street

The Fat Fox Café – 5008 50th Street – Range Street

Additional location:

If you’re in Old Town, we’re willing to bet you might also run into some folks at The Woodyard (Brew Pub).

Yellowknife Film Festival

YKIFF Must Do’s & Etiquette

Other than just watching films there are some other events and information you should really know about this little thing called YKIFF.

  1. Check out the workshops – Each year there is a handful of special events and workshops that should not be overlooked. If you are wanting to take your YKIFF experience to the next level, this is how. This is your chance to get up close and personal with some of your idol filmmakers. Find out more at ykfilmfest.com/workshops
  2. Show up earlier, especially to NACC – Do yourself a favour and show up to events at least 30 minutes prior. Have a glass of wine. Relax. You’ll get a seat.
  3. Check out Fun at Midnight (2016) – To celebrate the premiere of The Sun At Midnight head to the Elks Lodge after 9pm on Saturday and party it up at the swanky event of the festival. More details here.

Do you have something to add to our YKIFF guide? We want to hear it. Leave us a comment or two.

New to Yelowknife

About the author

Kyle Thomas

Kyle grew up in Yellowknife and is a local entrepreneur, bread maker, and Yellowknife-ophile who is addicted to learning as much as he can about the community and sharing it with anyone who'll listen. In 2009 he developed YkOnline.ca. A website all about living, working and thriving in Yellowknife for residents, newcomers, and visitors.

1 Comment

Leave a Comment