Yellowknife's own: Floating Sauna

YELLOWKNIFE'S OWN: The Great Slave Floating Sauna Project

Introducing a new GoFundMe campaign for Yellowknife, Northwest Territories to design and build a permanent floating community-use wood-fired sauna on Great Slave Lake. This floating sauna on Yellowknife Bay will be designed for year-round use and available to all members of the Yellowknife and YKDFN communities.


The campaign:
The 60-day GoFundMe campaign launched on January 31, 2018 with a fundraising goal of $20,000 by March 31, 2018. Once our goal is met, construction is scheduled to begin with the structure being completed June 1 — July 1.

The sauna:
The sauna platform will be approximately 27' x 16', with the structure being 16' x 14' x 11' containing 1 wood-fired sauna stove with a designed maximum occupancy of 6. The sauna will be complete with a small changing room.


A non-profit organization:
100% of the project's fundraising goes toward the project, and all finances are managed by The Great Slave Sauna Society, a non-profit organization of volunteers passionate about this campaign and motivated by the prospect of creating something great for our community.

How you can help:
1. Donate to our GoFundMe fundraising campaign
2. Like us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter
3. Talk to your friends, family, and coworkers.


Its location:
The sauna's location has been chosen by our team for its balance between accessibility and escape, creating a natural sound barrier and peaceful atmosphere. For now our answer to this question is "Yellowknife Bay". Its exact location will be announced in March 2018.

Getting there:
Getting there is part of the experience, and can be done by canoe or kayak during the warmer months, and by foot or skis throughout winter. The sauna will be operational year-round, all-seasons, and in any weather condition — winter, spring, summer, fall.

How it works:
To fuel the wood-fired sauna, load your canoe or sled with wood. That's it! Supply your own wood and head to your new community sauna. The sauna will be operational year-round, all-seasons, and in any weather condition, so dress appropriately.

The social component:
The sauna room environment is conducive to open, intimate, and quiet conversation, and can be a social activity that involves family, friends, or soon-to-be-friends, but many opt to use the sauna in solitude for a more meditative experience.

The design:
Designed by aspiring architect Peter Fredrick Kelly. Influenced by his experience studying in Finland. Peter was part of a small team of Canadian grad-students building and detailing a public sauna in downtown Helsinki. (kulttuurisauna.fi)





1. Fire
An open flame can be destructive, but contained within a sauna stove, its heat can be healing and fundamental to new growth. Fire is an essential component to any traditional sauna, and a powerful energy that must be respected.

2. Water
Water is another essential component to the sauna. It participates in every aspect of the sauna experience. When the heat and steam become overbearing, it's traditional to find relief by jumping into a lake, or rolling in the fallen snow.

3. Recycled Materials
Reduce, reuse, recycle: Minimizing the environmental impact is vital to us. We have begun sourcing 55-gallon barrels to repurpose as pontoons, as well as reclaimed local timber to reduce cost and incorporate the wood's unique character.

4. Natural Materials & Finishes
Shou Sugi Ban is a traditional Japanese technique to preserve and protect wood from the elements by burning or charing its surface, extending the lifespan of the materials without any chemical processes, naturally sealing and protecting the wood.


The rewards for contributors:

$20

A personalized digital thank you card from our project organizers

$35
Access to our private campaign-end event on Saturday, March 31st featuring live music. (Location to be announced soon!)
A personalized digital thank you card from our project organizers

$75
Early notice when the sauna becomes available to the public
Access to our private campaign-end event on Saturday, March 31st featuring live music. (Location to be announced soon!)
+
A personalized digital thank you card from our project organizers

$100
Name etched into the side of the sauna wall (Optional)
+ Your first bundle of firewood delivered to your door with a hand-written thank you card from our project organizers
+ Personal shout-out from our project organizers on Facebook and Instagram
+ Access to our private campaign-end event on Saturday, March 31st featuring live music. (Location to be announced soon!)
+ Early notice when the sauna becomes available to the public


Who's behind it?:
The Great Slave Floating Sauna Project is headed by three members of the community and founders of The Great Slave Floating Sauna Society, a non-profit organization,  who have volunteered their time to make this dream come true.

1. Thomas Sven Whittaker
Thomas is a long-time northern resident originally from Kugluktuk, Nunavut and Executive Director of The Great Slave Sauna Society. With a family history of over 47 years in the Arctic Circle, Thomas's aim is to combine his Scandinavian heritage with his extensive northern experience to bring sauna culture to northern Canada, where he hopes the physical and mental health benefits of the sauna may be fully realized.

2. Tyler William Fissel
Tyler is an Intern Architect in Yellowknife and a board member for the Rainbow Coalition of Yellowknife. Tyler’s graduate thesis explored the remoteness of the NWT and proposed a series of off-grid structures (including a floating sauna) designed to enhance the experience of the landscape. Tyler is motivated to see our community experience Great Slave Lake in a new, exciting way.

3. Peter Fredrick Kelly
An Intern Architect living in Yellowknife for 2 years, current member of the houseboating community and an avid photographer. He holds a Masters Degree in Architecture from Carleton University in Ottawa. Peter also studied architecture at University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa and Aalto University in Finland, where he helped build and design a community sauna in Helsinki.


Donate today!
This isn't just our project—It's our entire community's! Our vision of building a community-use, community-owned sauna floating on Great Slave lake cannot be fulfilled without the help of our friends and neighbours. Together, with the help of small donations like yours, we can create something wonderful that belongs to us all, and something that we can all experience.


Contact us
1-867-446-8811
yksaunaproject@outlook.com

3524 McDonald Drive, X1A 2H1
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories


What to know more? Follow our project blog



A special thank you to Field & Forest, Gawain Jones Photography, and Aerials North for their support with this project.

Field & Forest | Gawain Jones | Aerials North

Donations ()

  • Thomas van Dam 
    • $100 
    • 25 mos
  • Steve Kelly 
    • $250 
    • 25 mos
  • Roxanne Davies 
    • $35 
    • 25 mos
  • Sa Taylor 
    • $100 
    • 25 mos
  • Anne Whittaker 
    • $100 
    • 27 mos
See all

Organizer

Elliot Moose 
Organizer
Yellowknife, NT
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