Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) announced today that Last of the Fur Traders, a compelling documentary following a former Hudson’s Bay Company engineer as he retraces his steps through the Arctic with his filmmaker son by his side, will premiere on November 17.
Hugh Kroetsch is 85-years-old and it’s been 64 years since he left Canada’s North with enough stories and memories to last a lifetime – many of which he documented in 8-mm film. This forgotten footage inspired Hugh’s son Frederick Kroetsch – a documentary filmmaker based in Edmonton – to share his father’s legendary stories, provide a unique account of this historic period that helped shape the nation, and explore the North today.
The film follows Hugh and Frederick as they travel across the Western Arctic – from Gjoa Haven in Nunavut to Inuvik in the Northwest Territories. The region has changed significantly over the years but the warmth and hospitality from the Inuit and First Nations people remains the same as Hugh begins to recognize the significance of his journey, on many levels.
“The further we travelled across the North the more my dad realized the impact of his old footage. Many community members were crying at the sight of a father or aunt that they’ve never seen before.” says Frederick Kroetsch.
Last of the Fur Traders will be further brought to life with rich integrated described video, making it accessible to the blind and partially sighted community. Hugh will help describe the never-before seen footage, share his colourful memories and provide a firsthand account of the evolution of the Arctic.
“AMI is committed to sharing stories from across the country and we’re thrilled to have a documentary that is so intrinsically Canadian,” says John Melville, Vice-President of Programming and Production for AMI. “Hugh’s personality is infectious, and his stories are remarkable. To join him on this nostalgic journey is an honour.”