Press release - for immediate release :: PDF version


Nordlys Film and Arts Festival unveils Opening Night Film and Concert


Film and music lovers rejoice! The Nordlys Film and Arts Festival returns for its 8th year from February 17-19, 2017. A fresh lineup of award-winning films, guest filmmakers, and musicians will grace the historic Bailey Theatre.


In addition to an exciting slate of international films, Nordlys is proud to celebrate “Canada 150” with a sampling of short documentaries produced by Alberta filmmakers, some of whom will be in attendance at the festival.


“Canada has a very strong and diverse film community,” says Richard Bruneau, a festival board member, “and Canada’s 150th birthday is a perfect opportunity to showcase talent from right here in Alberta and beyond.”


Opening Night Film – Pawn Sacrifice

One such Canadian is former Camrosian turned film producer, Dale Johnson. Dale will be in attendance to kick off the festival with his film Pawn Sacrifice on Friday, February 17th. Directed by Academy Award winner Ed Zwick and starring Tobey Maguire, Liev Schreiber and Peter Sarsgaard, the film tells the story of American chess prodigy Bobby Fisher and his tumultuous role within superpower rivalries at the height of the Cold War.


“It’s an incredible opportunity for Nordlys to have a special guest like Dale Johnson,” says local filmmaker and Nordlys devotee, Hans Olson. “It’s not often that an audience can watch a film with the magnitude of Pawn Sacrifice, then engage in conversation with the producer once the credits have rolled.”


Dale Johnson was born and raised in Camrose, where he attended CCHS and Augustana. He moved to the United States in 2003 with his wife and fellow Camrosian, Erika Hoveland. Dale is recognized as one of the most active financiers in independent film today. His most recent project is Lost City of Z directed by James Gray and starring Charlie Hunnam, Robert Pattinson and Sienna Miller. The film premiered in the prestigious closing gala slot of the New York Film Festival.


Concert – Michael Bernard Fitzgerald

The Saturday night concert this year will feature Calgary singer and songwriter Michael Bernard Fitzgerald, who brings an infectious on-stage energy, rich melodies and honest, longing-filled lyrics. He has shared the stage and toured with Joel Plaskett, Third Eye Blind, Sam Roberts, Stars, K-OS, The Wallflowers and many more. His latest album of soul-infused folk-rock is entitled I Wanna Make It with You.


“Anyone who has seen Michael Bernard Fitzgerald in concert at music festivals around Alberta knows what a great show he puts on. He will be a great fit for Nordlys and is sure to hook our audience with his accessible and heartwarming style,” said Sarah Skinner, the music organizer for the 2017 festival.


The complete lineup of Nordlys films, special guests and musicians will be announced in coming days.



Nordlys, which means “northern lights” in Norwegian, has become a Family Day weekend tradition for Camrose and area film lovers. Early Bird Weekend Passes are available until January 15th and may be purchased in person at the Bailey Theatre box office (cash or cheque only) and online at


Nordlys is hosted at The Bailey Theatre | 5041 50 St, Camrose, AB T4V 1R3

© 2020 Nordlys Film and Arts Society