Nunavut Post

‘She’s given over the shop; this is her heritage’: Book Cellar alters ownership


Key takeaways: 

  • The current owner states Canada’s northernmost autonomous bookstore is vital to the community.
  • After over 40 years of handling the Yellowknife Book Cellar, Judith Drinnan has vended the shop to Jennifer Baerg Steyn, a prolific reader who intends to persist the heritage Drinnan made.

Book Cellar owner changes ownership after 40 years: 

After around 40 years, Canada’s northernmost autonomous bookstore has a new owner who states she will maintain the heritage of community building through books.

Jennifer Baerg Steyn purchased the shop from creator Judith Drinnan, who initiated the Book Cellar in the 1970s with a loan.

Drinnan made it into an institution that provides books around the Northwest Territories and Nunavut and helps libraries and schools throughout the North.

“I’m somebody who tours especially to see independent bookstores,” stated current owner Jennifer Baerg Steyn.  Source –

Also read: Sanikiluaq enters the list of Nunavut communities restarting schools at 50% capacity

Book Cellar in north changes ownership after 40 years

That’s what got her in the gate of the Book Cellar. 

Baerg Steyn began out at the shop after moving to the N.W.T. from B.C.

“Bookstores are great organizations that are simply vital to the community, and I’ve seen that here with the Book Cellar,” she stated. “We have a plan of roots that have spread out from the shop that is hopefully getting life to other communities with books. We tell stories regarding ourselves … our communities, and those things are important to understanding who we are and where we are,” stated Baerg Steyn. Source –

Books are a method to grow the vision and make sure that individuals feel seen and not alone, she stated. 

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