Joslyn Kilborn

Quilters Without Borders

Quilters Without Borders has been going strong for 14 years, based in Bear’s Paw Quilts on Second Avenue. I had the pleasure of chatting with four members of Quilters Without Borders one Thursday afternoon to get some insight into the organization and the women who make it happen. Joining me were May Gudmundson, Lee Pugh, …

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National Theatre Festival Comes to Whitehorse

“It’s the only national theatre festival in Canada,” Selene Vakharia tells me. She, along with a handful of other local creatives, are working on the Yukon end of the traveling theatre festival: Magnetic North, based in Ottawa, which moves to a different Canadian town every second year. “This year they picked Whitehorse,” Vakharia says. With …

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You Know It’s Spring When the Swans Arrive

“Last year was a big year,” says Scott Cameron, Environment Yukon’s Wildlife Viewing Technician. “We were up to 2,000 swans every day for a few days.” The height, he says, was April 9, when 2,200 were counted out on M’Clintock Bay. Typically that number is closer to 1,200. “And early too – usually you expect …

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Sal Capone: The Lamentable Tragedy Of

“The play was inspired by the shooting of a young man named Freddy Villaneuva,” Vancouver-based playwright Omari Newton tells me. “A young man that was apparently unarmed, had no previous criminal record. He got into some kind of altercation with the police, and he ended up getting shot. He died.” His play, Sal Capone: The …

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Trees grow differently on mountain pass. It’s harder to grow. Compare to the southern trees, mountain trees are facing a disadvantage.

What’s on at Rendezvous

It’s that time of year again, when it’s totally normal to see girls walking around in period costume, when men compete in beauty pageants, when that guy with the really long beard who comes into the restaurant you work at starts talking about the medal he hopes to win.   And this year is no …

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Soul Migration band members

Frostbite is Back

Yukon’s winter music festival, Frostbite is back for 2016, finally. A small group of volunteers have been working hard to make this happen.


After months of slowly working on my camper, I pull an all-nighter on the last day of April, frantically paring my possessions down to what can fit inside my new miniscule home. Innumerable donated garbage bags later, my bedroom is stripped to its bones and inside my camper sits a very pleasing little pile of …

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The Gold Sisters

Making Plans for the Midnight Sun

Rumour has it the 2015 lineup is the Kluane Bluegrass Music Festival’s best yet. No shortage of interest in headlining 2 decades in.

Talk Daddy To Me

I arrive in Ontario on a Monday at 1 a.m. It’s late on a work night and the airport is an hour’s drive from home, but my father is here to pick me up, having made it clear when I booked the flight it was no problem for him. It’s the cheapest option that gets …

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Winter Is Not Coming

I’ve been online shopping. Specifically, I’ve been fixated on merino wool base layers on Amazon. Researching sizes, the best weave weight, which tops will work both as under and outer wear, what brands won’t pill. I’ve found some that are half price! With free shipping! And in the seven days since I’ve been home I’ve …

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Yukon vegetarian

I am not a hunter. Not everyone has to be. I’m spending time with a man who is respectful, thankful, spiritual about the process.

It’s Been a Slice

If you’ve walked past Bocelli’s Pizzeria lately, you may have seen a small sign in the window advertising its farewell. The local makers of saucy, thincrust Italian-style deliciousness are closing their doors. On Friday, August 28, the pizza oven will fire for the last time. Bocelli’s has been at the corner of 4th Avenue and …

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Review Haiku

“We want to freshen up the image of the library … as the cool place that it is,” Sarah Gallagher tells me with a sideways glance. We both giggle. It’s funny, because she’s a librarian and I have a degree in literary criticism and books are a big part of our lives. The library is …

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No Exit

It’s mid-winter when I finalize the tentative plans I’ve carried with me since leaving Ontario to drive to the Yukon a year ago. This summer I will leave again: the myth of an uncle I’ve never met pulls me to New Mexico. I’ll slip down the West coast, visiting friends as I go, then cross …

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The Thai Box

Guess what I did today? I ate Thai Food. Coconut rice! Pad Thai! And I didn’t even have to go to Skagway. All I did was walk along the river to Rotary Peace Park, where a little red trailer was serving a small selection of the food I’ve missed since moving here. It’s called the …

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Where the Wild Women Are

The paths of Maureen Morris and Sandra Grace Storey have crossed more than once during their careers, but today is the first time they meet.

Whitehorse Has Gas

If you’re unsure whether you consider Whitehorse a progressive city, here’s some fodder for the thought that it is: we’re one of a (growing) handful of municipalities across North America that is learning how to produce energy from our own waste. It’s called biogas, and if you’ve heard of it, it’s probably because it’s an …

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Open Mic Fright

Two weeks before my open mic appearance, I begin learning my first song on the banjo. Although it’s far from my first choice, I settle on a song that meets my basic skill level: “Old Joe Clark”, one of those traditional folk songs that repeats the same simple melody over and over. The lyrics are …

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The Brush Stroke

Hi, I’m Joslyn, and I’m afraid of…painting. More specifically, I’m afraid of looking silly because I’m bad at painting in front of those who are good at it. And so, though I have long longed to walk up to an easel and express myself all over it, I have shyly avoided every opportunity to do …

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Old Cabin in Space

Over the spring break for Whitehorse schools, the open art studio, Splintered Craft, will be filming a music video. By no means a small undertaking, the community studio — a Skookum Jim Friendship Centre program — is pulling in all the help it can get, which means everyone is welcome to pitch in. They began …

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Strippers Who Live In Cabins

When I first meet Tina, during this year’s Rendezvous, she introduces herself as Misha. After waiting for one Jarvis Street Saloon manager to talk to another Jarvis Street Saloon manager, who relays messages from the front of the bar where I am, to the back of the bar, where Tina is, I’m finally lead around …

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SMRT Pop Ups

“It’s an exploratory adventure,” says Sofia Fortin, one of the masterminds behind the currently ongoing SMRT Pop Ups initiative at Rah Rah Gallery. “A bunch of us were getting together to talk politics, talk shop,” she says. “An opportunity as young professionals to share what we’ve been learning. It turned into random acts of volunteering.” …

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King of the Castle

“When I moved to Whitehorse I started building with snow in my yard,” says Tyler Waddell, owner of Rockhard Construction, and man behind the new snow castle at Mt. Sima. “Stuff like snow-slides with Christmas lights, ice rinks. The plan here was to build it big.” Waddell began building his snow castle before Christmas, just …

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Turn Your Conversations Into Art

 “ Anyone – no matter what their background is – can take a tape recorder and go out and ask some questions,” says Saskatoon-based artist Joel Bernbaum, who will be in the Yukon this weekend holding verbatim theatre workshops with Whitehorse’s Open Pit Theatre. “ Verbatim is a fancy term but it actually just means …

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Yukon Natural History

Until recently, collections of Yukon natural history have been given homes in other parts of the country. Our own territory has had no formal collection of our own diverse species of birds, plants, or insects. Someone living in Ottawa had a better chance of viewing such collections. But, something is coming. To the Yukon Research …

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Quilters Without Borders

 “ We might be copyright , ” says May Gudmundson, laughing . A pin with the words I (heart) Quilts rests above her heart. “There’s another Quilters Without Borders in the States. We just wanted to have a group name.” “ And there are no boundaries for where we’ll give quilts,” adds Lee Pugh, in …

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After hearing artistic director David Skelton talk about Nakai Theatre’s 24 – Hour Playwriting Competition on the radio, I decide to sign up. I’m not a playwright , but, then again — maybe I am. Maybe my passion for writing has been waiting for me to direct it at theatre, at which point my true …

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Yukon Artists in the International Songwriting Competition

If it hasn’t crossed your radar yet, this years’ International Songwriting Competition has some pretty serious judges. Tom Waits. Sarah MacLachlan. Bela Fleck. I discovered the competition this year on my Facebook news feed, entirely because Tom Waits is a God in my circles. What’s cool is that anyone with $35 can enter and potentially …

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Yukon Party Culture

I walk into a “September Scramble” party at 1:00 a.m. on a Saturday, late and completely sober. It’s been a while since I was at a party like this; one you can hear from a block away, where you enter through an open front door wreathed with smokers, picking your way through a mountain range …

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Mardi Bras for Karen’s Fund

Mardi Bras is a booby ball — but you don’t need boobs to come. Though this fundraising celebration for Breast Cancer Awareness Month may have begun as a women’s-only event five years ago, today it’s a costumed party for everyone. Even firefighters. Who, by the way, will be there donating their time to help run …

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We Are Golden

As I walk into the Yukon Arts Centre early on a Tuesday morning I pass a woman holding some wild flowers in her hands. Our eyes meet in the way eyes seem to meet in the Yukon — a second longer than normal, accompanied by a smile. I feel a trickle of warmth down my …

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Northern Exposure

My first time skinny-dip comes among a swirl of firsts. It happens in Atlin, my first time in that pretty town, in my first month living in the Yukon. It’s my first time taking my clothes off where strangers can see me, my first time standing tall and nude in the unshielding bright of day. …

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Killing My First Fish

The day I kill my first fish I eat a tuna sandwich for lunch.I’m on a bush excursion, assisting a field biologist. On our lunch break, which we take on a log on the marshy edge of Snafu Lake, I open a can of tuna I purchased at the Superstore and spread the flaked bits …

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Rise of the Nerds

If you didn’t know that the Yukon has a thriving nerd community, you aren’t alone. Given both the North’s reputation for robustness and the long-ingrained notion of fragility associated with nerds, it isn’t surprising that a comic and gaming convention hasn’t happened here before. And yet the apt name of this weekend’s first-ever comic convention …

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Parking Lot Living

My first friend in Whitehorse is an older man I meet in the automotive section of Canadian Tire the day I arrive. He helps me with my engine and ends up giving me a tour of the city, introducing me to everything from the $1 showers at Robert Service Campground to the old tourism movie …

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Morel Hunting

A year after the forest fire, anarchy blooms in the Little Salmon/Carmacks bush. Free-growing morel mushrooms attract transient seasonal workers from all over the world; we form camps with no one in charge. As I plan to pick mushrooms in the Yukon wilderness, this is what locals press me to be wary of — not …

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