Alaska Arts Confluence to present First Friday with Joe Ordonez

HAINES — The Alaska Arts Confluence in Haines will host a First Friday book signing of “Where Eagles Gather: the story of the Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve, Haines, Alaska,” a new book by local author, naturalist, and photographer, Joe Ordonez. Ordonez, a veteran river guide and owner of the Haines-based eco-tour company, Rainbow Glacier Adventures, has led float trips through the Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve since the late 1980s, and co-authored the “Complete Guide to the Tatshenshini River.” Ordonez cites his passion for “this sacred gathering spot for our bald eagles” and a desire to give back to the preserve and its wildlife as the motivation for writing the book, which was five years in the making.

“This is the first ever hardcover book available that reveals the story of the region, the wildlife, its people, and why it is so important,” Ordonez said in a release.

The book combines the author’s photography with the natural and cultural history of the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve, how it came to be protected, and what makes the area so special and worthy of protection. The author will donate a portion of the proceeds from the book to Lynn Canal Conservation and the Audubon Society.

The book signing coincides with the annual aggregation of approximately 3,000 bald eagles that take advantage of the Chilkat River’s late salmon runs, and precedes the 21st Annual Alaska Bald Eagle Festival, Nov. 9-15 in Haines.

In addition to the book signing, the Alaska Arts Confluence will also welcome members of the public to view and comment on full-sized color print-outs of the interpretive signs for the Fort Seward Walking Tour. The interpretive sign print-outs will be available for viewing and comment from Thursday, Nov. 5 through the end of the Bald Eagle Festival, Nov. 15, at the Art on Main Street storefront in the Gateway Building, 217 Main Street in Haines.

November First Friday will also feature a silent auction of high top sneakers decorated by Chilkat Valley artists to benefit Southeast Alaska Independent Living. Volunteers will show off the sneakers at First Friday events on Main Street and collect bids for the charity fundraiser.

Haines began celebrating First Friday in February 2015, with local businesses and organizations holding arts and cultural events on the first Friday of each month, creating an Art Walk in downtown Haines that now extends from Jones Point to Historic Fort William H. Seward.

AAC continues to accept proposals for both rotating and semi-permanent art installations in Art on Main Street storefront, to adorn the windows, wall space, and some floor space. The request for proposal application is available to download at For more information, contact Carol Tuynman at 303-0222.

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