Symposium to discuss activating history

Every two years the Yukon Historical & Museums Association holds a meeting for the entire Yukon heritage community. It moves around the territory, but executive director Lianne Maitland says that one of the places they like to come back to is Dawson City.

The 2017 Heritage Symposium, called Activating Our Communities, will take place on Thursday, October 26 from 10 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. at the Klondike Institute of Art and Culture in Dawson City. It was last here in 2014.

Promotional material for this symposium stresses that “Heritage is one of the cornerstones of community – and community is a cornerstone of the heritage sector.”

YHMA sponsors this as a free event – one that is open to more than just members of the heritage community.

Maitland says the aim of the gathering is discuss how to activate communities “to maximize our impact and relevance, spark creativity, share skills and resources to improve sustainability, learn from each other, consider and give voice to multiple perspectives and empower our communities to tell their own narratives.”

After a brief welcome session, Angela Danville of the Atlin Arts & Music Festival will be the keynote speaker for the day, presenting a talk called Partners in Storytelling: Inter-sectoral Collaborations in Heritage.

After the morning break there will be shorter presentations until noon.

Jackie Olson, executive director of the Klondike Visitors Association, will speak on Grassroots Partnerships.

Chris Clarke and Bo Yeung will present their project, Weaving Voices: A Walk for Reconciliation, which they prepared last spring and summer in partnership with the Dänojà Zho Cultural Centre, the Dawson City Museum and Klondike National Historic Sites.

Sylvie Binette, from Binette Cultural Solutions, will present Hacking the Old Log Church Museum. The second annual “hack” took place at the Old Log Church in late September.

After lunch the YHMA will present an update on its activities.

Presentations will continue with Joella Hogan from the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyak Dun asking, Whose Cultural Centre? Balancing the Needs of the Community.

Alex Somerville, executive director of the Dawson City Museum will reveal some of the plans the museum board and staff have for changing the look and display focus of the facility. The theme is Opening Up & Reaching Out, and it is intended to reorganize the use of space in the Old Territorial Administration Building so that will be able to be more readily opened on a year round basis. Completion of the plan is a couple of years away.

Angharad Wenz, the museum’s project curator, will present something called Museum Yoga.

The last longer presentation of the afternoon will be from Janna Swales, the executive director of the Yukon Transportation Museum. She calls it No Harm, No Foul.

The afternoon will conclude with a series of short “Ignite” style reports in which various organizations, including some of the cultural centres from around the territory, will present five minute PowerPoint reports of 20 slides each, with a 15 second interval between slides.

The Ignite presentation format is defined as the “presentation equivalent of a haiku or sonnet” ( and is also described as a shorter form of the popular Pecha Kucha format.

The day will wrap up at 4 p.m.

There is no symposium related evening event planned, but the Dawson City Museum will have launched its SS Princess Sophia travelling exhibit about the human impact of the deadliest disaster in Yukon history on October 25. This is the 100th anniversary of the sinking, which took place along the Inside Passage just before the end of World War I. Delegates are invited to take it in.

About The Author

Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top