Faro’s sheep and cranes ready for their closeup

Faro’s Crane and Sheep Viewing Festival has attracted international attention before as it grows yet again in its fifth year, but this time the International Crane Foundation will help attract even more attention.

The Wisconsin-based organization has a crane preserve that protects representatives of all 15 known species. It has a global mandate and has outreach programs.

Two members are coming to the Faro festival May 9 to 11 to facilitate a global student art exchange.

Daniel Steiner, community development and grants co-ordinator for the Town of Faro, says they will bring art from all over the world – Russia, Africa, China, United States – and will invite Yukon students to contribute artwork, too.

They are working with Innovators in the Schools and hope to make this an annual component of the crane and sheep viewing festival.

To coincide with the annual migration of thousands of Sandhill Cranes, on their way up the Tintina Trench and right over Faro and on to the nesting grounds in Western Alaska and North-eastern Siberia, the town’s festival draws attention to that other natural wonder, Fannin’s Sheep.

Tours to the Sheep Viewing Cabin on Blind Creek Road will be on the Saturday between 1:30 and 5 p.m. Tours to the mineral lick are at 2, 3 and 4 p.m. Talks on cranes will be 2:30, 3:30 and 4:30 p.m.

At the cabin will be local artist Jackie Irvine who will demonstrate her painting technique.

The Anvil Arts Society, too, will be offering wood and leather burning workshops on Saturday … all with an animal theme.

It will also offer organic coffee and desserts to enjoy with acoustic music.

More local knowledge will be shared by such Faroites as Raven Padmos, a herbalist. She will guide participants to Van Gorder Falls and show them local plants on Saturday from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.

Charles Jurasz, a local naturalist, will be leading an interpretive hike and discussing fire ecology. This begins at 9:30 a.m. at the Interpretive Centre.

On Sunday, at 9:30 a.m., Bernie Grant will offer a fly casting demonstration.

And Bruce Bennett will be presenting Birds of Faro on Sunday at 9 a.m. … with just enough time to to partake of the Pancake Breakfast.

Photographers have much to gain from this weekend, too. Marten Berkman offers a landscape and wildlife photography interactive workshop on Saturday at 10:30 a.m.

He will also show his film, Moving in the Magic of This Place, on Friday at 7:35 p.m.

This film is followed by the International Crane Foundation’s Into the Outdoors and Passage of Migrants.

More information on the Foundation can be found at www.savingcranes.org. The two visitors will offer a keynote presentation on Saturday at 8 p.m.

Information on the festival, itself, is available at 994-2728 or [email protected] or from its website at www.faroyukon.ca.

Steiner wants visitors to know that there is no gas station in Faro at this time. So, a fill-up in Ross River or Carmacks would be needed.

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