The Wild Side of Prince Albert National Park - Where Nature and Art Converge

June 16, 2016 | Jeff Wells

The following is a guest blog by Kjelti Katherine, who is part of the organizing group for an event in Saskatchewan's Boreal Forest called forestART.

Barred Owl
Credit: John Murray

There is something truly unique about the wild side of Prince Albert National Park. Ness Creek sits just beyond the western boundary line of the park, 20 km NW of Big River, SK. Over the last two decades, it has become a beloved boreal getaway for thousands of people who attend summer music festivals and other events held there.

Part of what makes Ness Creek so unique is the converging of beautiful expressions of ecological biodiversity and artistic diversity. There is nothing quite like listening to the sound of the fiddle echo through the forest as fireflies synch their spark to the rhythm, artists shape the sound into lines on paper and the auroras dance overhead. 

Credit: John Murray

Ness Creek is home to an incredible diversity of flora and fauna. Part of what makes the Ness Creek site so biodiverse is the various eco-zones that you can traverse, even on a short walk through the forest along the readily accessible non-motorized trails system. You can roam through upland poplar bluffs, woodland meadows, old grow pine forest, various riparian zones, and mixed prairie - all within one afternoon. This of course lends to the amazing diversity of boreal birds, mammals, insects, wildflowers, trees, and landscapes that can be observed and appreciated along the way. 

Yellow Lady's Slipper
Credit: John Murray

Ness Creek matches it's ecological diversity with artistic diversity; the site is also home to the annual Ness Creek Music Festival, the Northern Light Bluegass and Old Tyme Music Festival, Country at the Creek, Elysium Art and Music Festival, FiddlyNess Camp, the Emma Collaborative, and new on the roster this year - forestART. This diverse slate of musical and artistic programming draws an audience of those who love the boreal backdrop to their musical and artistic experiences. 

Collection of photographs by John Murray, a photography instructor at forestART:

forestART John Murray Photography

forestART is a 4-day immersive art course being held July 3rd to 7th, 2016. The nature inspired art courses on offer this year include: Blacksmithing, Nature Photography, Plein Air Painting, and Movement & Drawing. The photos in this blog were all taken at Ness Creek by John Murray, who is the Nature Photography instructor at forestART this year.

Find out more about forestART and the other other things underway at Ness Creek by visiting


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