From November 2 to 5, youth from all over the Yukon will be converging on Dawson City to hone their art skills in the 16th annual Youth Art Enrichment Program.  

Hosted by the Klondike Institute of Art and Culture (KIAC), the four-day program is for Yukon students in Grades 9 to 12 who are interested in the arts.  

“Doing this program could be a stepping stone to a career,” says Marie-Claire Findlay-Brook, Interim Programs Manager at KIAC.

She participated in the program 12 years ago, and now, along with an assistant, is in charge of putting it together for 2016.

The Youth Art Enrichment Program offers an opportunity for the students to work with a professional artist while focussing on a creative discipline of their choice.

“Taking this program builds confidence to apply to art school or to work as a young artist,” she says. “How cool is that?”

The program features four workshops, each focusing on a different aspect of the arts. Students can choose a workshop that appeals to them.

The four workshops are Explorations in Encaustics, given by Yukon artist Nicole Bauberger. She will show students how to paint using molten beeswax mixed with pigment. Kuentina Qatis, a screen printing artist, will teach students how to print photos, designs, logos or text onto any medium, such as paper, wood, and clothing. George Maratos, from Whitehorse, will lead an Improv Intensive. This will offer theatrical and improvisational skills through games, exercises and performances. Finally, Whitehorse artist Meshell Melvin will immerse students in additive approaches to the basics of sculpture, using everyday materials such as cardboard, wire, clay and found materials.

Students in the program will choose which workshop they want to take, and Findlay-Brook and her assistant will fit the student with the discipline they most want to take.  

The four-day program also features art-oriented activities in the evenings, including an art night with the current Yukon School of Visual Arts students, games night and a film night.

KIAC provides all breakfasts and lunches for the duration of the program and covers a significant amount of the student cost; however, each student must contribute $100 towards hotel expenses. Dawson residents can attend free of charge.

Before the end of the program, KIAC collects one piece of artwork from each student to include in the Youth Art Enrichment Program Exhibit, which will be shown in Dawson and in Whitehorse. The exhibition will be at the KIAC Coffee House in Dawson City on Nov, 5, the Commissioner’s Youth Showcase in Whitehorse on Nov. 30; and the Yukon Arts Centre ATCO Electric Yukon Youth Gallery in Whitehorse from Jan. 6 to 28.

Every year, KIAC also purchases two pieces of artwork from the program for the Karen DuBois Collection in Dawson City.

Findlay-Brook is pretty excited for this year’s program to start.

Along with KIAC, other contributions and funding come from the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nation, Youth Investment Fund, Department of Education, Northern Vision Development and the Downtown Hotel.

“Our main goal is to reach out to all students who are interested and hope they can participate in this program,” she says.

Applications will be accepted until Oct. 11.  

For more information on the course, or how to register, go to www.KIAC.ca, or contact Marie-Claire Findlay-Brook at [email protected]