Alyssa Friesen

Mush Rush 2016

I like the people. I like the dogs, I like the camaraderie – being part of something that is bigger than yourself.

Ready… Set… Snow Race!

The fastest snow machine race on earth, the 47th Alcan 200 International Snow Machine Road Rally, will roar to a start on Jan. 16 near Haines, Alaska. Drivers sign up the night before, Jan. 15, at 5:30 p.m. at the Fogcutter Bar in Haines. Spectators buy their drivers by class in a Calcutta auction, and …

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Over the Rainbow

The Northern Lights School of Dance (NLSD) is bringing the story of The Wizard of Oz to Yukon Arts Centre stage in full colour this month. “We’ve adapted it based on the 1939 film version of the story,” says Dale Cooper, artistic consultant for the production. “It made more sense to do the story based …

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Tuning In

I think I like violins because they cry. Or perhaps it’s the way resined horsehair pushed and pulled over wire strings makes my spine quiver. It could be the intensity of the violinist drawing the bow, rocking with the motion, fingers dancing deftly on the instrument’s neck, connecting with the sound through closed eyes. A …

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Tasting Dawson’s High Society

Sunday, October 16. I arrived at the Scotch Club late. The meeting started at 4 p.m. and I had missed the formal introductions. Two friends – seemingly also late – greeted me at our host’s door. “We’re having a party for you,” said one. “Dammit, I hate surprises.” I replied. With the previous night’s light …

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Visitors Countdown

Sawdust, grass and gravel are flying, there is painting to be done, tidying and dusting—the rural museums around the territory are gearing for the tourist season. “Opening is always a great flurry,” says Sharron Chatterton, manager of the George Johnston Museum in Teslin, with an exhalation of all the tasks yet to be completed, “all …

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Never Say Die

Silence. Except for the wind whooshing through the open windows, the tires treads padding on the pavement, and the hum of acceleration, like a bicycle picking up speed, it is quiet. This is what an electric vehicle sounds like. Gliding down the road at about 80 km/hour, but for the stones and holes in the …

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Transparency Theory

The Yukon School of Visual Arts (SOVA) in Dawson City is going on the road. Students and faculty will arrive in Whitehorse next week to bring a collaborative installation exhibit to Arts Underground. For the first time since the school’s establishment in 2007, Arts Underground is hosting the annual student gallery show. The students arranged …

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Tracing Figure Eights

A small gang of eager, young skaters hangs off the side of the players’ bench. Outfitted in snowsuits, oversized mittens and colourful toques tucked under black hockey helmets, they thump their boot-bound feet on the inside of the boards and gaze out across the glistening ice surface. I imagine they are visualizing the ice flowing …

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She’s Got the Tools

The Yukon is often suited to those with a hands-on lifestyle. The territory is brimming with active, independent, multi-skilled residents. And women in the professional trade field are growing. One organization in Whitehorse is contributing to this growth that by educating young women in high school from across the territory and providing them with opportunity …

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Short Sightings, Wide Views

On the day before the 13th Annual Dawson City International Short Film Festival (DCISFF) schedule was released, I joined festival producer, Dan Sokolowski, in his office in the Klondike Institute of Arts and Culture (KIAC). A giant whiteboard with 110 colour-coordinated cards taped to it faced Sokolowski’s desk. Each card was printed with a name …

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Process of Imagination

One thing his early journalism career taught author Lawrence Hill was to pursue the adventure of his stories. Alongside working on final drafts of his eighth novel, Illegal, due out early next year, over the past few weeks the Berton House writer in residence has been embracing the Yukon and doing preliminary research for a …

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Out on Screen

The territory’s first queer film festival, OUT North, is coming to Whitehorse March 24 to 25. The festival features two days of award-winning films, and local, national and international filmmakers. The goal, say OUT North producers Debbie Thomas and Fiona Griffin, is not only to bring together the Whitehorse queer community, it is to enhance …

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Jigging In

By taking her fiddle class online, one fiddle instructor is changing the music education community the in the north. Zavallennahh Huscroft (formorly known as Zav RT, here is another community event that she has helped with Here), from Victoria, has been teaching fiddle for 20 years, working in rural northern communities in the north for …

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Keeping it Real

Yesterday was Jimmy D. Lane’s 47th birthday. At home in White Rock, British Columbia, the blues musician comments that aging is an opportunity to “observe” and “let things soak in”. “As I get older, you learn to smell the roses, you stop and you take a pause, and you might want to observe a flower,” …

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Mush Rush 101

The mossy floor of old growth forest is soft and damp. I breathe the air; warm and thick. My exhalation of carbon dioxide draws mosquitoes to descend on me like a plague, biting through my jeans to my flesh. “There!” my striped-touque, flannel-plaid-clad guide, Jeffery Mickelson, says from behind me. I retrace my steps and …

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