The Northeast Iceland Hope Spot Festival

by Charla Basran
January 10, 2024

On October 1st, Ocean Missions and the Húsavík Whale Museum held the first “Hope Spot Festival” in Húsavík; a public celebration of the declaration of the Northeast Iceland Hope Spot sponsored by Mission Blue.

Weeks of preparation and anticipation went into the event! The French scouts and guides who came to volunteer with us for 3 weeks during the summertime made us beautiful banners out of recycled fishing net, sail and plastic, and our custom-designed Hope Spot flag made its debut.

To ensure all the local guests had a souvenir to commemorate this special achievement, we had an inspiring Hope Spot design created by Icelandic ethical illustrator “Styngvi”, and then laser printed this onto cork coasters at the Húsavík FabLab.

On the big day, we set up our outdoor event space. Underneath the tents, guests could learn about seabird research conducted within the Hope Spot area by the Northeast Iceland Nature Centre and find out about one of the most common visitors to these water, the humpback whales’, unique tail pattern and then design their own! Guests were also encouraged to leave a message of hope for the ocean on our display, and think about the future they would like to see for this wonderful area. 

In addition, guest could get artistic and create a “trash-to-treasure” art piece out of debris we have cleaned up from beaches around the Hope Spot area.

Guests also enjoyed chatting, relaxing, and appreciating our area over coffee, hot chocolate and handmade kleinur (Icelandic doughnuts) made the local women’s club. We loved the positive energy and the feeling of community!

The finale of the event was a raffle prize draw. Prizes were generously donated by Gentle Giants Whale Watching, North Sailing, Húsavík Adventures, as well as Ocean Missions and the Husavik Whale Museum, and included whale watching tickets, the book Whales and Tales by Hörður Sigurðarson and Hrafn Arnórsson, and reusable coffee mugs and water bottles, all fitting with our theme of celebrating our nature and promoting sustainability.  

Overall, the event was a resounding success; a day filled with smiles, laughter, art, learning, and most importantly, Hope.

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