Meagan Deuling

Wicked Fit

Ryan MacGillivray has been sheep hunting for 10 years. Three years ago, he had the idea to start a boot camp for sheep hunters. He did this because he knew the participants in the camp would push him to train harder for the sheep hunting season. “Well, I wanted people to work out with,” he …

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The Last Ski Race of the Year

Volunteers are gearing up for the Buckwheat Ski Classic. The cross country ski race is on March 25, but starting in early March volunteers were driving up to Log Cabin, B.C. from Skagway, Alaska two times a week to set tracks for the course. The last two years the race was rough – the weather …

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Training Ground

Mount Sima is “the first mountain in North America to have a jump line in.” That’s what Graham Pollock says. He’s the head coach of the Yukon freestyle ski team. A jump line means a skier can take more than one jump in a row while going down a hill. Sima has three jumps in …

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Keeping the Dream Alive

When Jolie Angelina McNabb was buried 16 years ago, Kwanlin Dün elders gave her the name, Blue Feather Eagle Woman. The Bluefeather Music Festival started in 2010 as a tribute concert to Jolie, who committed suicide. She had a dream, that she wanted to do something for youth, something to give them hope so they …

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Get your elbows up

I crowd-sourced tips for navigating the ski swap. A local ski-lover and gear aficionado advised me: “Go early. Really early

Learning how to Live Joyfully

Ever since she was a little girl, Teva Harrison drew. She studied art after high school. But, as it often goes, “needing to make a living, I digressed.” After the explanation, Harrison laughs. A joyful, full, belly laugh. To make a living, she worked as the director of marketing for the Nature Conservancy of Canada. …

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The legacy of the Follies

The Frantic Follies Vaudeville Revue is the longest running independent theatre company in North America. Or, at least, that’s Grant Simpson’s speculation. He’s also got an application in to the Guiness World Book of Records to affirm that the it’s the longest running vaudeville show. In the world. Simpson is into longevity. The Whitehorse show …

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Questioning the World

Harlan Pruden and Marney Paradis are PhD program at UBC. Pruden gave a talk to a group of peers – including Marney – after class once. As Pruden describe it, upon hearing the presentation, Paradis’s mind was blown. Two-Spirit People, Then and Now: Sex, Gender and Sexuality in Historical and Contemporary Native America is the …

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What’s Up in the Sky

When I was a kid my mom ran a park in the southern interior of British Columbia. Mabel Lake Provincial Park. Mabel Lake is remote and undeveloped. There was electricity in our trailer, but no phone lines. Whatever isolation this lead to during the day, it meant the nights were dark. The same families would …

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The Tagish Kwan Photo Parlour

Another new initiative has sprung up on the Carcross Commons. Near the totem pole stands an off-white canvas wall tent. Inside, it’s set up as a photography studio. There are lights and high quality cameras with multiple flashes. There is a printer, and a tickle trunk. It’s the second place in the territory to offer …

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Passion for Fashion

Evelyn Koh wanted a reason to stay in Haines Junction. She worked for years in Whitehorse, at the college and for the Yukon government. She also did carpentry and design work. For a while, she traveled back-and-forth between Whitehorse and Haines Junction. Finally, she settled in the community. She owns a piece of land off …

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You Are What You Wrote When You Were a Child

Ten years ago husband and wife Dan and Jenna Misener were at Jenna’s parents’ house for Christmas. The couple was in Jenna’s room, going through a box of childhood memorabilia. They found her diary. They spent the day reading entries aloud to each other. It inspired them. Back in Toronto, the Miseners booked a bar. …

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The 2016 Kluane-Chilkat International Bike Relay: A Photo Retrospect

The relay creates memories worth cherishing. Piles of cyclist race through the Haines Pass, many in costumes. Many without training or practice or cycling experience. Teams camp in fields before and after the race, which takes place around the summer solstice. The light is almost the best part of the race, hence the photo retrospect.

The Magic of Mushrooms

Jean Francois is a chef. I met him at a B.C. heli-ski lodge on Highway 5 — The Yellowhead — in the early 2000s. He cooked pastries and cakes and cookies and yelled at the breakfast servers at six in the morning. I was a person cleaning rooms, chopping wood, listlessly dusting big stone walls, …

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The Paradise Beat

“Welcome to paradise,” Kevin Jack says. Thus begins my tour of a property that edges onto the swampy back of Marsh Lake. An old gold mining site, it is a refuge for old gold mining things: a tiny log cabin with grass growing out of the roof; metal drums sunken into the ground on a …

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Pop-up Fashion

Jessica Vallenga has an eye for quality-made clothes; she is an artist trained in textiles, and she makes clothes. She turns embroidery into pendants and earrings, and she makes lingerie. As well as making clothing, Vallenga keeps her eyes peeled for second-hand finds wherever she goes. Most recently, it was Seattle, where she found a …

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The Condiment that Some Take For Granted, and that Others are Really Into

Mustard. It calls to mind sausages, one side of the inside of a sandwich (the meat side), pretzels, Dijon, grainy, spicy, Germany, France, omnipresent condiment, pestle and mortar, seeds, curry, and for some reason, fine beer. But Saskatchewan? No. Roslyn Woodcock recently learned that 90 per cent of the world’s mustard is grown in Canada, …

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Staying out of the Trenches

There was a time when Barbara McInerney says she wouldn’t sit in the same room with Whitehorse RCMP officers. She’s the executive director of Kaushee’s Place and Betty’s Haven — two women’s shelters in Whitehorse — and she says communication betweeen the organziations and the police was non-existent. Which is troublesome for all parties, because …

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The Big Top Comes to Whitehorse

The circus arts are some of the oldest performing arts: acrobats, contortionists, the bearded lady, bears pedaling bikes, clowns, and juggling. The big top, pennant flags waving in the wind. The smell of wood chips and animals. It’s mysterious, glamorous. Magical. From the outside. In reality, “everyday is the same” — a new town a …

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Potatoes Grow Anywhere

Formerly the Ramada, now the Days Inn, sits at the edge of the Whitehorse industrial area. It’s parking lot and big-box-store land, the concrete jungle of our Northern capital. It’s windy and dusty and, according to Francis van Kessel, general manager at Days Inn, the perfect place to grow potatoes, carrots, beets, and maybe kale. …

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Tagish Khwaan researcher

Formerly Tools, Now Artifacts on Display

The Kwanlin Dün First Nation recorded elders’ stories in 1993. This turned into about seven boxes of transcripts, which sat in an office. Elders gathered several more times, and their stories of camp locations and trail locations were again recorded, transcribed, and combed. Archaeologists compiled and compressed the information-as-stories, and honed in on one geographic …

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Remembering Sandi Gleason

A friend of Jeanie Dendys’s 15-year-old son told Dendys he gets more excited for the native hockey tournament than he does for the Canada Games. Dendys figures it’s because of the exposure and the level of competition — and the community. A nation-wide community forms during the Yukon Native Hockey Tournament; teams come from all …

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One River, Many Maps

At the beginning of his noon hour public lecture David Neufeld said he was working on his book but didn’t want to finish it because then he would lose his excuse to spend so much time on the Yukon River. He said when you say you’re working on a book, you get away with things. …

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Kin and Creation

Before he met his wife, Simon Gilpin’s paintings were dreary — depicting cloudfilled skies. After, he created wide-open, blue-skied paintings. “I only just realized I did that.” Gilpin used to destroy work he didn’t like. Now, “it’s not fair for me to judge.” Paintings he doesn’t like move others to tears. He lets his paintings …

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Talking to Strangers

It’s been done before, and Moving Parts Theatre is doing it again — transforming Well Read Books into a theatre. Around the corner from the till, in the back, is the stage, wedged between the “Biography” and “Literature” sections on one side, and “Hobby & Craft/Trains, Boats & Planes” on the other. “People are Strange” …

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Overcoming Emotional Collapse Through Creation

Olinka Vistica and Drazen Grubisic broke up in 2003 in Zagreb, Croatia. Like most post- relationship humans, they had ordinary objects kicking around their houses that sparked emotions, relating to the relationship, or the demise of it. The two artists joked about starting a museum. They asked their friends for their relationship remnants. They got …

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Someone to Talk To

Hailey Hechtman volunteered for a distress and support line in Ontario for five years. She wanted to keep volunteering for a support-phone organization when she moved to Whitehorse in 2013, but there wasn’t one. So she created the Yukon Support and Distress line. Through her role at the Second Opinion Society, Hechtman approached organizations like …

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The Story of a Voice

The two songs Tristan Whiston sang constantly during his transformation from a female into a male were, “Water is Wide” and “I am Sailing”. Both are about the ocean. Whiston recorded the changing quality of his voice during his gender change. He had been a soprano singer; he had been training his voice since he …

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Stay Safe in the Mountains

Michelle Christensen follows a routine before she heads to the backcountry for a day of skiing. It’s a safety routine, and it starts in her living room. She checks the weather and road forecasts, and logs into the Avalanche Canada website for trip reports — where skiers post conditions to a forum, like the Yukon …

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Running’s His Medicine

Caribou Legs has a home now, in Whitehorse. He’s lived here for about three months. He runs everyday, and he works with youth. He’s currently organizing a jigging marathon for New Years Eve; he’ll invest the money raised on his next runs — he’s going to Inuvik, where he’ll do four youth workshops, and then …

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Tending The Fire

It’s a beautiful achievement when the most gratifying part of everyday is coming home to a still smoldering fire. Add a few kindling sticks, open the flue, give it time to catch, add bigger logs, let them catch, close the flue three quarters. Keep an eye on it. You’ll hear the sap crackle out of …

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Passion for Detail

Masamichi Nakatsuka has a painting, a watercolour on paper called “Passion”, that he completed in one sitting. The painting is of a skull with paint dripping down its side. Nakatsuka, who goes by Michi, says he couldn’t stop working until it was finished. It took five to six hours. Michi ended up in Whitehorse because …

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Why They Bike

We hear them before we see them; they squeak up behind us on the snowy trail or sidewalk. A muffled “on your left” as they slowly pedal by. Their LED headlight, taillight, and headlamp briefly illuminate the dusky winter daylight. The headlights of passing cars reflect off the back of their neon safety vest. Ski …

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On Cursive

Cursive writing has gravity, compared to printed writing. Cursive is used for special occasions, like thank you cards and letters to lovers, or to grandparents at Christmas. It denotes formality. A letter written in careful, swirly cursive is a letter to save, folded up in a box with dried roses, collected, re-read. One has to …

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Waiting For Snow: biathlon

Control over heart rate and breath is an integral part of biathlon. It sucks learning technical aspects of shooting in the freezing cold.

Theatre in the Bush

Theatre in the Bush is held in the fall, and with a start time of around 8:45 pm, it’s held in the dark. The darkness and the bush are integral to the event. This year the show was on a Saturday evening in mid-September. ‘Theatre in the Bush’ was projected onto Brian Fidler’s gravel driveway; …

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Terry Fox was a heck of a man

“It’s like the Yukon scenery — I never get tired of reading about Terry Fox.” George Maratos has never had cancer, and nobody in his immediate family has suffered from the disease. Terry Fox is still his hero. He can’t stop talking about the man. About how awesome he is. Because of what he did …

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Southern Salmon

You stand on the bridge, the rough wood warm underfoot. You lean over the green metal railing, staring into the river water. Sometimes a line of men, all strangers, sit in plastic woven lawn chairs, holding fishing rods.It’s salmon season; this means different things to different people.To me, it means going to the bridge down by …

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The Collector in Tagish

His name is Douglas Roy Rogers Dupont the 3rd. That’s what he’s known as on the water around Tagish at least. It’s his two-way radio handle.

Making Croquet History

There’s only one archived photograph that proves croquet is part of Yukon’s past. When she saw it, Nancy Oakley’s imagination sparked; she’s got big plans for the future of croquet in the Yukon. The executive director of the Yukon Historical and Museums Association was struck with the notion to host a fundraising croquet tournament. After …

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Hot Dogs

In summer, Stevens attaches her dogs to her bike with skijouring gear and takes them for long runs, interrupted by swims.

Produce Your Own Enjoyment

It’s a rainy Sunday at the end of June; Ben Harper’s Fight for your Mind is playing loudly in Devon Yacura’s kitchen. The air smells like sweet porridge. On the stove is a wide, tall stainless steel pot. It’s a fancy pot; it has a spigot on the bottom, and close to the spigot is …

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My Bro’s a Dad, Man

My brother’s been embarrassingly responsible for as long as I can remember. He’s the oldest of five, and old-fashioned familial responsibility lay on his shoulders from the beginning. His shirt was always tucked in, even when he was playing volleyball or shooting his BB Gun. He always told on me, too. Looking back, I’d say …

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Love is Easy

If she were to write a love letter to Whitehorse, Lindsay Zier-Vogel says it would be to the Yukon River early in the morning. And to the mountains. So she did, she wrote the letter, sealed it in an airmail envelope, and hid it — maybe on the Millennium Trail, or maybe in the industrial …

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More than Nutrition

Every Wednesday at lunchtime the basement of the Skookum Jim Friendship Centre fills with moms, a few dads, and their babies. According to Shannon Walker, co-ordinator of the Pre-natal Nutritional Outreach Program for the past three years, the program has been going on “forever”. Walker brought her now 22-year-old daughter when she was a baby. …

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The Sport of Art

Visual art is typically a lonesome pursuit. The public often has to wait months, if not years, to see new works emerge from studios. Art Battle turns these concepts upside down. In its five-year existence, the live-painting competition has seen over 300 artists facing off to produce “instant art” in cities across southern Canada. Amber Church, …

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