Laurie Sarkadi is an award-winning writer, producer and singer-songwriter living near Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada. She is the author of the memoir Voice in the Wild and released her debut album “Middle World” in June 2020.
Born in Brantford, Ontario, she grew up in nearby Guelph where she’s currently doing her Masters in English, working under the supervision of Lawrence Hill. She went to Ryerson University for journalism before unerring wanderlust took her to Europe, Africa, Western Canada and the Arctic, where she now lives.
She moved to Yellowknife as the Edmonton Journal’s northern correspondent in 1989, writing passionately about the environment, women’s rights and the powerful struggle by Dene and Inuit to reclaim their inherent rights to self-government and self-determination. She married and has lived off-grid in the wilderness for more than 30 years, raising three sons, pumping water from the lake, using solar energy and observing the habits of her neighbours – bears, eagles, wolves and other miraculous creatures – which she writes of in her memoir Voice in the Wild.
When the Journal closed its bureau she worked briefly as a policy analyst for the territorial Department of Aboriginal Affairs at the Beaufort-Delta and Deline self-government negotiating tables, then began a 16-year career with CBC North radio and television, earning an English Television Award for “Living Hope,” an interactive special on suicide prevention in Nunavut. She’s written and produced for CBC’s The National and The Current and was production manager in Canada for ZED’s feature-length documentary Ice Diamonds, by Paris-based director Jean Queyrat. Her non-fiction appears in Canadian Geographic, The Globe and Mail, walrus.ca, Up Here and several anthologies, including Dropped Threads 3: Beyond the Small Circle, as well as Yellowknife’s hyper-local EDGE YK magazine, which she edited for many years.
Mid-life crisis was avoided when she purchased a guitar and started writing music. For ten years she fronted the lively Yellowknife dance band “Wake Up Hazel,” touring northern festivals with incredible bandmates. Through the generous help of northern arts funding she recorded and released her EP Middle World in May 2020 while floundering with the rest of the world during the pandemic.