What's Up Yukon

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The Big Squeeze

lemonade stands pop up on street corners. It’s The Big Squeeze lemonade-stand fundraiser in support of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Yukon!

Perfect bite of Blackened sweet peppers with chili and eggs

Blackened sweet pepper with chilis and eggs

Cooking red bell peppers and onions until they’re soft and just beginning to blacken makes them sweet with a bit of char flavor. Tuck them into soft rolls with eggs for brunch, or a light supper.

Homecoming for Brandon Isaak

“We wanted to do a record and we didn’t have long to do it,” says Isaak. “So we just did it live in a day, basically.” 

Care for the Whole Self

I want you to imagine your favourite pie – apple, blueberry, rhubarb or a rebel mix of all three. I want you to picture yourself eating this freshly baked, perfectly flakey pie, one beautiful bite at a time. In math class, you may have learned to associate pies as a metaphor to illustrate fractions. If …

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Célébration de la francophonie yukonnaise

… et des célébrations Pour la 11ème édition, l’AFY et ses organismes partenaires, bien rôdés dans l’organisation de l’événement, ont voulu apporter de la nouveauté. Finis les longs discours de remerciements, ces derniers, raccourcis au maximum, laissent dorénavant place aux festivités : vendredi 12 mai, dès 16h15, une réelle chasse aux trésors, destinée aux familles, …

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A New Daily Routine

The quietness is however short lived, the silence broke as soon as I approached the harnesses… It was their way of showing their will to go; their desire to work. They were 50, and yet only 14 would be taken for the first round. And they knew it very well! As soon as I put …

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Cool to be kind

Meg Rodgers is a self-proclaimed “whole food junkie” who exudes kindness in everything she does. It’s not only in the name of her baking company, Kind Whole Foods, but in the kindness she extends to the planet, via the mouth-watering, cruelty-free delicacies she so passionately creates as part of her self-started business. “I think we …

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Domestic Bliss

Do you or someone you know love books almost as much as their pet? These three books draw on the animals in our outer lives to illuminate the complexity of our inner lives. For the Dog Lover: Where the Red Fern Grows, by Wilson Rawls A boy and his two dogs become much more than …

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Books to Spring Forward

It’s (hopefully) coming to the last wintery blows before the ice breaks; the spring will soon rush in and soon after we can cast our mittens aside for a season. Enjoy the longer nights – while they last – by burying yourself in one (or all) of these books, based around the “Three R’s” of …

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An Accidental Alien

With the world’s longest undefended border it’s not difficult to become an accidental illegal alien, especially between the Yukon and Alaska. After all, the last time there was a serious passport control on the Chilkoot Trail was during the gold rush. And not so long ago, a person could float down the Yukon River from …

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A Southern Story with a Northern Connection

The OUT North Queer Film Festival brings film lovers an American documentary with a local twist on April 9. Southwest of Salem tells the true story of four young lesbian women accused of sexually assaulting two underage girls and using them in satanic rituals in the early 1990s in San Antonio,Texas. They were wrongfully convicted …

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A Swiss Tradition in the North

Of course, you have noticed that many people from Switzerland visit the Yukon in summer. Did you ever ask yourself what they do in wintertime? Here is the answer: They enjoy a relatively mild winter in Switzerland and every now and then they eat a Swiss cheese fondue. Fondue has a long tradition in Switzerland …

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Can You Do the Cancan, Kate?

During the 1890s, the United States was a melting pot of entertainment – and vaudeville became the perfect vehicle to showcase this wealth of diversity. From New York to Victoria, B.C., vaudeville reigned supreme as the most popular entertainment in every city and many small towns. The key to vaudeville’s success was that it allowed …

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History Offers Timeless Perspectives

Stories are invaluable teachers, says B.C. author Caroline Woodward, they have the ability to “give us whole worlds.” Old stories, too, are relevant artefacts that help us gain perspective on how much, or how little, progress we have made. Fictional stories, the writer continues, are able to relate emotive experiences in a way that nonfiction …

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Grazing around the world

Don’t you just hate it when you place your order for a dinner, after agonizing for 10 minutes, and then see something even better being carried past your table to someone else? The Cellar Steakhouse and Wine Bar, at the Edgewater Hotel, finally has as a solution: They are called Tapas.  These mini-meals are miniature …

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Fitting in is a fickle thing

My roots are in the east – specifically, a small coastal town in Newfoundland. My roots as an advocate are there too, buried amongst many memories of feeling like an outsider. I was “different.” A lot of those feelings came from subverting social expectations placed upon me as a woman. I have always been brazen, …

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A Fable of Feminist Lore

“… but also they were a family, because this story is all about that. About humans and human-ness. Fathers and daughters, brothers and sisters. Love and betrayal and loyalty and madness. Lovers and heroes and the passing of time and all those marvellous baffling things… those things that make us human.” –excerpt from The One …

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Cooking Up a Career

Teresa Kozakewick grew up in Alberta. Raised by a father who had a passion for food, she had always been drawn to cooking. She enjoyed watching her dad cook on special occasions. Now her passion has become a career path. After moving to the Yukon, she enrolled in the Yukon College Culinary Arts program for …

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Curtains Up!

On April 4th Nakai Theatre invites theatre lovers, supportive friends or simply the merely curious to attend their 24 Hour Playmaking Cabaret, held at The Deck at the High Country Inn. The event, which has been held for nearly 25 years, revolves around Nakai’s 24 Hour Playmaking Challenge, which took place March 11 to 12. …

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Bringing Yukon literature to the world stage

Each October, the city of Frankfurt in Germany plays host to the second largest literary trade fair in the world, with 7,153 exhibitors representing 106 countries present in 2016. The Frankfurt Book Fair (known as the Frankfurter Buchmesse (FBM), in German,) is a tradition spanning more than 500 years, with the first book fair being …

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Caroline Drury takes that voice in a new direction

Caroline Drury sings “Love Potion #9.” That’s all anyone needs to know before deciding to buy her newest CD, Loving You, Loving Me. “Love Potion #9” was popular two decades before the 24-year-old former Yukoner was born. It is a fun song … but it can be something entirely different once Drury’s crystal, clear voice …

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Adventure and Great Powder

Interest in backcountry skiing in the Yukon has taken off, especially among tourists, says backcountry ski expert and guide Claude Vallier. Vallier recently published a backcountry guide book to the Haines Pass, to accompany the guide book he produced in 2007 about the White Pass. The books, Haines Pass Backcountry Skiing and White Pass Backcountry …

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Fun and Games After School

According to Darwin Murray, after sitting in a desk all day, it is fun to get up and run, play games and meet new people before heading home from school. Tuesday after school, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., an enthusiastic group of children from Grades 4 and 5 participate in a Skookum Jim Friendship …

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Camp Fire Cake

Sometimes, you just need cake. I’ve baked this from scratch before, but this is the one time I’m going to advocate boxed over homemade: when you’re deep in the backcountry it’s just too much fuss to pack in all the things you need to make a decent cake. The last time I made this, I …

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Home Is Where the Heart Is

In August of 2008, we had ground cleared so we could build a new house. It wouldn’t be very big or fancy, but it would be a clean, dry place to live. You see, the previous winter I had had pneumonia. Which was exacerbated by the mold in the existing house we lived in. It …

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Arts, Culture and Creation

“Artists show the world unseen,” says Tahltan First Nation artist Rhoda Merkel. “Teachers show students a better form of themselves.” Merkel, who was raised in Whitehorse but lives in Atlin, combines both talents in her newest project, the Sam Johnston Storytelling Festival, which takes place Tuesday, March 7 in Teslin. The festival is a collaboration, …

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The Long-Awaited Day

This day, I woke up at 6:45 a.m. I must say I was surprised to have such a good night’s sleep. No stress, no sadness. But the anxieties arrived as we get closer to the airport. My fear of the plane finally bit the euphoria of departure. We quickly found a parking space, tested the …

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Benefits of Boxed Wine

If you drink wine in the Yukon, certainly you have had a glass of Copper Moon wine. Maybe out of a glass bottle, but probably out of a box. I personally love that the Yukon wine drinking community has embraced alternative packaging and the pile of benefits that come with it, but there is more …

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A Long Race for a Big Finish

Registration is now open for the premiere Yukon Ski Marathon, hosted by the Whitehorse Cross Country Ski Club. The 50 km race is being held on Sunday, March 5 and begins at Mount Lorne, runs from there to Cowley Lake, then to Wolf Creek, Mount Sima, Harvey’s Hut and finally finishes at Mount McIntyre. For …

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Bush Gypsy’s Banquette

Sometimes when you’re in the bush you need lots of calories, but you don’t have lots of time (or energy) left at the end of the day. By prepping the first part of this three part recipe for dinner, you have yourself a hearty, quick breakfast, as well as lunch or dinner the next day …

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A Provocative Gold Rush Mystery From the Other Side of the World

“Mannering was in the august high noon of his life. He was prosperous, and well dressed, and he owned the largest and most handsome building on Revellstreet. There were gold nuggets hanging from his watch chain. He ate meat at every meal. He had known a hundred women — maybe even a thousand — maybe …

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Nicole Edwards: Genre Bender

Nicole certainly mixes it up with genres including Jazz, Gospel, Rock, Roots, and the Latin sounds in “Lychee Martini” and “Second Thoughts”

Double Think Twice

Vurt (Jeff Noon, 1993) A mad romp through a Trainspotting-like drug culture, Vurt features virtual-reality ‘feathers’ that take you to bizarre and forbidden worlds, shadow-creatures that exist in between this world and the virtual who can slip in and out of your mind at will, slobbering man-dog hybrids and cybernetic implants that can render a …

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Battle of the Bands

This Rendezvous, The Battle of the Bands is going down, bringing together youth bands from across the territory to battle for top dog honors of the Yukon Music scene. BOTB is presented each year by Bringing Youth Toward Equality (BYTE), and this year for the first time, in conjunction with Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous. “They are …

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Don’t Ignore that Gut Feeling

“Were the gut solely responsible for transporting food and producing the occasional burp, such a sophisticated nervous system would be an odd waste of energy. Nobody would create such a neural network just to enable us to break wind. There must be more to it than that.” –an excerpt from Gut: The Inside Story of …

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Butterflies, Ravens and Tlingit Princesses – Oh My!

The event’s honoured figure, Sam Johnston, is a venerated elder within the Teslin Community. He has been a politician, athlete and former chief of the Teslin Tlingit Council, as well as a celebrated community figure. “The goal of this day is to share some stories with (Johnston), make him feel special and thank him for …

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A Home Away From Home

Stepping into Johnson’s Crossing Lodge nestled off the Alaska Highway at historic Mile 836 feels more like walking into your mom’s living room than a highway lodge. Vintage tins and rusted relics line the shelves overtop a cozy room with tables and chairs. A table top is scattered with hundreds of puzzle pieces waiting to …

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Fun Family Literacy Tips!

Don’t expect your little one to always sit still to read a book. Toddler’s move around. It is what they do. So don’t worry if they wiggle, tumble and roll. They may be on the move but they are listening. yukonliteracy.ca

Beyond the Limits

Mallory Pigage is a 26-year-old woman with an apartment in downtown Whitehorse, a large network of friends and her own business. A true Yukon success story, Mallory is determined to focus on her capabilities rather than her limitations, and has made a name for herself within the community despite challenges. After graduating from high school, …

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Brave and Bold

Jessie Royer Kennel: The J Team Age: 40 Nationality: American (Fairbanks, AK) Experience: Rookie

Home for a Yukon Spell

When my parents drove the Canadian Shield to Whitehorse 34 years ago in a rusted, steel blue Pontiac, they were unaware of the lifelong curse they were casting upon me. No, my parents are not wiccan worshippers, or practitioners of the Craft, just a couple of Ontario born kids who had a dream of carving …

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Birdie – Tracey Lindberg

“Maybe she didn’t cry because tears were a currency in her life for so long that holding them back meant she was richer.” Birdie is an experience. Here the written word weaves between oral and written history, dreamtime and shared reality; it wraps and warps time and memory, ancient knowledge and new experiences, into one …

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Yukon Stories

Arctic Secrets Directed by Allan Code, a Whitehorse based filmmaker, Arctic Secrets is a symphony of immensely strong and surprisingly fragile elements that comprise the wilderness of the Yukon Territory. Stunning imagery abounds in this visual adventure through its waters, mountains, and forests. Focusing mainly on the more arctic regions of the territory, Code and …

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How to Choose a Library Book

Libraries are the most thrilling silent spaces to walk into; to me, they’re goldmines of intrigue. But when going in blind, the variety and selection can seem a bit overwhelming. With so many titles how do you make sure you’re choosing the right one? First off, that’s the magic of libraries: you’re only committed to …

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Delightful Devilry: The Cancan Invades New York

Although the cancan made its North American debut with Offenbach’s opera Orpheus of the Underworld in 1861, it wasn’t until it appeared in the first American musical that the cancan became a true phenomenon in North America. In 1866 Henry C. Jarrett and Harry Palmer imported a large group of Parisian dancers to perform the …

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Giggle for a Good Cause

Laugh it up, because Jan 26th and 27th Ride for Dad presents its fourth annual comedy show at Coast High Country Inn. Featuring local acts Steve McGovern and Jenny Hamilton and imports Scott Belford and Kelly Taylor, the evening will feature drinks, laughs and a break from the winter doldrums. All proceeds from the event …

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Calling Aboriginal Artists!

The Yukon First Nation Culture and Tourism Association is looking for artists, artisans, musicians and performers from the Yukon and abroad to be part of the seventh annual Adäka Cultural Festival, which takes place at the Kwanlin Dun Cultural Centre from June 30th to July 6th.   “We generally reach out to the well-established group …

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Heading Out? Check it Out!

For many Yukoners, enjoying the backcountry is an integral part of their lifestyle whether they love to ski, snow machine, snowshoe or run sled dogs. They rely on their own experiences and common sense to keep themselves safe. Some have tuned into avalanche forecasts that have been available since 2011 on the Canadian Avalanche website …

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Comfort food can be healthy

“It is really nice here,” says Virginie Hamel as she looks at the high ceilings and natural woods of the Meadow Lakes Golf Club chalet. “And a lot of people from  town, too,” says Hamel. “I was amazed at the amount of support I got from the community; Whitehorse is cool like that.” When the …

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Epiphanies

“It’s like everybody knows the story,” muses a reporter to her colleague. “Except us.” The journalists of “Spotlight,” a legendary investigative unit at the Boston Globe, won a Pulitzer for a series of revelatory articles on the cover-up of child abuse in the Catholic Church, published in 2002. But as one of the characters ruefully …

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Comics capture real life stories

“People always blame strange occurrences on a full moon, but I think shit is weird every single day.” “That’s a lie.” “I’m going to get us some wine.” –excerpt from Time Clock by Leslie Stein Up until a year ago, I was unenthused about graphic novels, but Time Clock by Leslie Stein captured my interest. …

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Cutting the Cost of Wine

Everything about wine is fun. It is delicious on its own and it is wonderful with food. There is a wine to match every mood, celebration or weather. All of this fun isn’t exactly free, though. Wine costs dollars and calories, two things that many of us put great effort into managing.  With a little …

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Aisy Doodles, December 21, 2016

Aislinn Cornett is an art therapist, writer, artist and adventurer born in Whitehorse, Yukon. She currently lives, writes and doodles on the beach in Mexico.

Birds and Loss

“His mother used to say the soul was a bird that lived in the nape of the neck. At night it flew out of the mouth, and when you woke it returned; and when you died, it flew away forever. The world outside the glass that night seemed entirely an abstraction, a dream. Here, in …

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Bugaboos, Part 1

Due to the geographical layout of the valley we ascend, Anniversary Peak and Hound’s Tooth remain in view for most of the way while all other peaks are generally obscured by trees and hills. The hike takes us three hours, with few breaks, and spits us out onto an incredible plateau of rock, overlooking the …

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Indian Dance + Celtic Beats

On Saturday, Dec. 17, Yukoners will have a chance to immerse themselves in an uplifting show Bhangra: The Dance of the Punjab, which will feature bhangra dancing to traditional Irish and Scottish music by the Whitehorse band Crooked Folk, as well as group dances from Gurdeep’s bhangra dance class students. The evening has been organized …

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Aisy Doodles, December 14, 2016

Aislinn Cornett is an art therapist, writer, artist and adventurer born in Whitehorse, Yukon. She currently lives, writes and doodles on the beach in Mexico.

Doubt, Delight and Discomfort

“That night I went through my reprimand sentence by sentence, word for word, and it got better each time.” “I put on a CD of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21, but soon swapped it for one of Sting’s albums, only to switch to Dire Straits and then John Cougar Mellencamp. I didn’t really feel like …

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About a Fair

From stunning jewelery, fine arts and unique crafts to quality prepared foods and personal care products hand made by Yukon artisans, the 12 Days of Christmas has become one of the largest Yukon craft fairs over the past decade. From its humble beginnings as a one day Christmas market in 2005 it has gradually grown …

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I’m a Survivor

We fundraise in the community every year, to cover the team and recreational paddling expenses, so that participating in Paddlers Abreast is not an impediment to anyone. We do not receive government funding. Any donations above $20 is eligible for a charitable donation receipt. When we have a surplus, we donate money to Karen’s Fund, …

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Aisy Doodles, December 7, 2016

Aislinn Cornett is an art therapist, writer, artist and adventurer born in Whitehorse, Yukon. She currently lives, writes and doodles on the beach in Mexico.

Aisy Doodles, November 30, 2016

Aislinn Cornett is an art therapist, writer, artist and adventurer born in Whitehorse, Yukon. She currently lives, writes and doodles on the beach in Mexico.

Everyone Matters

One of the philosophical pillars of the Learning Tree Daycare is to teach the kids there about helping other people. “Teaching kindness and all of that stuff, it all feeds into what we want the kids to be learning,” says Christine Greff, who directs the daycare’s programming. Teaching kindness was the impetus behind the first …

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A Local Getaway

We also enjoyed petting the many friendly animals that live with the host family. Eight dogs, a horse, a donkey and several chickens can keep adults and kids busy during their stay. Looking inside the guestbook we realized just how many guests have already had a great time in this cabin since 2008. Phrases like …

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Harvey Burian: Growing up Multicultural on the Stewart River

Life on the river was isolated, especially in winter when the steamboats were not running. Sometimes visitors did stop in to catch up on the news. Harvey remembers: “We had radios…and we got mostly Alaskan stations…KFRB in Fairbanks…[and] in the last few years…we had a Ham radio…and the RCMP office in Mayo had one and …

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Aisy Doodles, November 23, 2016

Aislinn Cornett is an art therapist, writer, artist and adventurer born in Whitehorse, Yukon. She currently lives, writes and doodles on the beach in Mexico.

Food is Medicine

Is your digestion slow? Feel cold all the time? Tired and achy? Low mood? Lack the energy to get through your day?  If any of these symptoms are a problem for you and you’re struggling to feel well, no matter what you try, Chinese medicine and acupuncture might have the answer for you. You could be suffering the effects of Yukon’s long, dark, cold winters. But …

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Dawson Quilts

An internet search will show that the hottest baby gifts of 2016 include a light-up singing turtle, organic cotton mittens and an infant sized pair of UGGs. But the hottest gift for Dawson City babies is a handmade quilt. It’s been the most popular gift since 1980. That’s the year the tradition started. It can …

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Aisy Doodles, November 16, 2016

Aislinn Cornett is an art therapist, writer, artist and adventurer born in Whitehorse, Yukon. She currently lives, writes and doodles on the beach in Mexico.

Bordeaux vs Meritage

Picking up a new bottle of wine can be as difficult as cracking a secret code. What do all of these symbols and words mean? What mystical juice is hiding inside the bottle? At the end of the day, we just want it to be tasty – right? Let’s decode one of these mystery words: …

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Aisy Doodles, November 9, 2016

Aislinn Cornett is an art therapist, writer, artist and adventurer born in Whitehorse, Yukon. She currently lives, writes and doodles on the beach in Mexico.

Calls to Action

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) Calls to Action task all sectors of Canadian society to make changes that will affect “the way things are done” between First Nations people and non-First Nation Canadians. The TRC came about as a way to address the legacy of residential schools, and to help to reconcile relations between …

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F*ck Feelings

“There’s no ‘should’ or ‘should not’ when it comes to having feelings. They’re part of who we are and their origins are beyond our control. When we can believe that, we may find it easier to make constructive choices about what to do with those feelings.“ -Fred Rogers. From, The World According to Mister Rogers. …

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Aisy Doodles, November 2, 2016

Aislinn Cornett is an art therapist, writer, artist and adventurer born in Whitehorse, Yukon. She currently lives, writes and doodles on the beach in Mexico.

Family Fun Literacy Tips

Literacy begins as a newborn – long before a child enters school. Literacy starts in the home with families. Your child is never too young or to old to talk, sing and read with. These are things you can try tonight. Learning to read starts from birth. Talk, talk, talk. Narrate the day as it …

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Hepburn Tramway Historic Walk

“There is nothing like walking to get the feel of a country.  A fine landscape is like a piece of music; it must be taken at the right tempo.  Even a bicycle goes too fast.” Paul Scott Mowrer Whitehorse resident Peter Long is an avid walker.  He has explored many trails in and around Whitehorse. …

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Haiti after Hurricane Matthew

The eye of Hurricane Matthew hit the Tiburon Peninsula, the southwest tip of Haiti, on October 4th. With winds that blew 230 kilometres an hour and up to 500 millimetres of rain in two days, it was the strongest storm to hit the country in 50 years, according to the NASA website. The storm stripped …

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All Kinds of Bargains

It’s autumn and time for the thrift shop in Haines Junction to ramp up again for winter. Dozens and dozens of bags of used clothing and housewares have been dropped off in the last month at the back door of St. Christopher’s Church. Local women were sorting and organizing for weeks in preparation for the …

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Celebratory Mad Libs

Welcome to What’s Up Yukon’s first mad libs. With winter on the horizon, it’s time to renew our

A-moose-bouche

Savoury pies are ideal for cool weather and days that are getting shorter. Moose pairs beautifully with earthy mushrooms and Bonanza Brown ale by Yukon Brewing. But if you don’t have a bottle of Bonanza Brown and a pot of moose stew meat kicking around, then substitute any sort of nutty beer you’d like and …

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500 Moments of Mindfulness

Think this whole mindfulness meditation thing is just woo-woo mumbo-jumbo that could never really do anything for you? Do you scoff at the idea and get defensive or evasive when the subject comes up? Your stress is real! Your pain is true! How dare people dismiss your complaining! How could just sitting around and doing …

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Engaging Historical Fiction

I am not one who likes to read dry historical tomes. I like to absorb my history through the sugar coated pill of historical fiction, written by an author whose research is meticulous. And in this genre, Louis de Bernieres is a master. His works include books such as Birds Without Wings and Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. …

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Creativity Runs Strong

Artistic genius runs in the de Repentigny family. Halin de Repentigny agrees. Over the phone, he said his dad loved to draw – he was always drawing something. De Repentigny’s mom loved music. Today the genius continues with Halin de Repentigny, his brother, Serge, and Halin’s two daughters, Mado and Rosa. This Friday, the family …

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And now for something completely cifferent …

Straddling comedy, horror and drama genres, Anders Thomas Jensen’s 2015 film Men & Chicken is on the brink of insanity. It is certain to be any dark comedy director’s dark comedy; Jensen has crafted a unique blend of laconic humour, deadpan wit and outlandish setting. Upon learning from their father, posthumously, that they are not …

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About arrivals and departures

The epic saga of immigration is brought to human scale in Brooklyn, a critically acclaimed film based on the novel by Irish writer Colm Tóibín, with a screenplay by Nick Hornby. Released in 2015 and available on DVD at the Whitehorse Public Library, Brooklyn follows a young woman who finds herself part of the Irish …

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“It Can Happen to Anybody”

“Once you hit homelessness your world crumbles. People don’t know that there’s people who care.” So says Kerry Nolan, who is speaking first hand. Now, she is the administrative coordinator at the Victoria Faulkner Women’s Centre in downtown Whitehorse. She welcomes women to the centre, chats with them over coffee while they wait for appointments. …

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A Special Baby: Ellen’s Story

Ellen had four babies at Whitehorse General Hospital. Her births were always fast and she liked the support that she got at the hospital. In her fifth pregnancy her baby was diagnosed with spina bifida at the 20 week ultrasound. Spina bifida is a birth defect where there is incomplete closing of the backbone and membranes around the spinal …

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How Yoga was Practiced in the Ancient Past and Today

The yoga practiced today is not at all like it was practiced in the ancient past. Faeq Biria, a well known Iyengar Yoga teacher in Europe and the director of the Iyengar Yoga Centre in Paris said that Patanjali, who wrote the ancient text The Patanjala Yoga Sutras (500-300 BC) would not recognize the yoga …

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Creating Healthy Communities

United Way Yukon is a charity that raises money to fund Yukon organizations. Its mandate is to fund programs that enhance the “physical, mental and social well-being” of Yukoners. So says Brian Bonia, who is United Way Yukon’s campaign cabinet director. It is a volunteer position. An example of these organizations are Blood Ties Four …

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Future Past

Young Alex DeLarge and his gang of droogs aren’t choosy about whose lives they wreak mindless havoc on. From the down-at-the-heels to the well-heeled, the young thugs attack indiscriminately, mercilessly and irrationally. One thing leads to another and Alex is charged with murder and sentenced to prison. He’s selected for the fictional Ludivico technique, a …

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Heavy Metal Mountain

As Tom unpacked he took inventory: sub-Arctic self-erecting tent, sleeping bag, water/bear proof ruck sack full of high protein granola and astronaut food, zinc for the nose, GPS, selfie stick. He hadn’t been camping in years, since his last fall in the Yukon 20 years ago. But here he was, back again. Roughing it for …

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Building Tourism From the Ground Up

The Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre, a cultural hub of our capital city, will see national delegates focused on aboriginal economic development arrive on Monday, October 3 for the CANDO 23rd annual conference: Partnerships for Prosperity, Change Collaboration and Opportunity. CANDO (Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers) is a federally registered, non-profit society that …

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Doors are Open for Culture Days

The Yukon is recognized for its rich cultural diversity, and you are invited to experience it during the seventh national Culture Days and Doors Open celebration, from Friday, September 30 through to Sunday, October 2. “The best place to start your Culture Days experience is at The Old Fire Hall,” says Michele Emslie, co-ordinator and …

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A Marathon of Creative Fun

On October 1, the Yukon Comic Culture Society will invite Yukoners of all ages and experience to leave their solitary art holes and create comics alongside one another for 12 straight hours. If you’ve heard of the Nakai 24-Hour Playwriting Competition or the 48-Hour Film Challenge in Dawson City and Whitehorse, you’re familiar with the …

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Healing Through Art

Dennis Shorty created his first sculpture when he was eight years old. It was a moose carved out of poplar with a burbot fish skull for antlers and a bit of “fish glue” to hold them in place. He was proud of the sculpture and showed his father, Alec Shorty. Alec told the young carver …

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Comics are the People’s Medium

Anyone can make comics, and they are mass produced and traded for cheap. That’s the message Jonathan Rotsztain brought to Dawson City during his art residency with KIAC. Rotsztain describes himself as a “graphic designer who makes comics. “I’m a writer before a drawer, but I never found writing on its own that compelling as …

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Better Together

Community in the Yukon is small. For filmmakers, it’s even smaller. That sometimes causes competition between people in the territory who try to make it in the industry. But, filmmakers can’t be islands. That’s what filmmaker Naomi Mark thinks — it should be about collaboration; bringing a small group of people together to push projects …

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Imagination & Artistry at the Whitehorse Etsy Sale

Etsy.com’s coast-to-coast pop-up event is back in Whitehorse for a second year, celebrating local artisans. Over a dozen vendors will be there with wares for you to touch, smell, see and drool over, and buy.   The event takes place in 38 communities across Canada on the same day. Etsy.com is a online forum where …

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Hidden Treasure in Haines Junction

Another successful year has ended for the local gallery in Haines Junction. For the last five years, the gallery has been housed in the basement of St. Christopher’s Church. It started when Lynn De Brabandere, the minister, was having coffee with local artist Marty Ritchie and the conversation turned to the need for a display …

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Exotic Animals to Visit the Yukon

A wide variety of exotic animals from Cuvier dwarf caimans, pythons, tortoises, tarantulas, a black lemur and opossums are being brought to Whitehorse for the Canadian Accredited Zoo & Aquarium (CAZA) Professionals 2016 Conference running Sept. 21 to 24. These animals will be showcased in select elementary schools in Whitehorse and at a series of …

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Dawson Tinder Report

Hello, dear readers. The Annual Territorial September Scramble is on in full force. Up the Klondike Highway where the winters are darker and colder than in Whitehorse, the stakes of the dating game are stacked even higher. I went to Dawson for five days, and swiped and liked and Tindered away. In the efforts of …

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Curry Cauliflower Pickles

When I was a kid, we had yellow curry powder in the house for exactly three dishes: curried rice with raisins, curried chicken steamed buns and these deliciously addictive curried crab puffs my parents would make for special occasions. Although very mild as far as heat level goes, the power of that spice has always …

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Amazonian Mythology and Western Hallucinations

Somewhere between Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and the writings of Colombian philosopher Santiago Castro-Gómez lies Ciro Guerra’s film Embrace of the Serpent. Shot in stunning 35mm black and white film in the Amazon, Embrace of the Serpent is a dream-like manifestation of the psychotropic diaries of two ethno-botanists’ encounter with an Amazonian shaman. Switching …

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Fear and Loathing

Dear Reader, having just read the title of this article, I assume you may believe the following about myself: I am insane, and I am a diehard superhuman athlete. While you may be right about the former, I would disagree with the latter. Before I delve deeper into that, let’s get some information out of …

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A Market for the Whole Community

Whitehorse chef and cookbook author (and What’s Up Yukon columnist) Miche Genest has a wonderful description of the Fireweed Community Market: she calls it “community glue.” Providing access to fresh local food is just one role the market plays. According to Genest, it is where people go to connect with friends and the greater community …

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A new place to knit

Jackie Yaklin is a true knitter. If you see her at the dentist office, she likely has knitting needles in her hands conjuring up something warm for someone. “It is like an obsession and I seem to be really obsessed with starting projects,” she admits. “I have four projects going on right now.” Yaklin likes …

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Family earns a home; the community wins a family

Jeff Wolsynuk looks like his happiness will burst out at any second.  Tanya Butler looks relieved and content. The couple is sitting in the kitchen of their home. Their home. That they own. Three years ago, they did not know that their lives would be so settled and secure; that their family – including Zahara, …

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Chunky Chipotle Salsa

What do robots dip in salsa? Microchips!  Salsa is the Spanish and Italian word for ‘sauce’, and besides being incredibly easy to prepare (chop stuff up and mix together), it’s also flexible in its variation. Salsa can be made out of nearly any fruit or vegetable, to suit any sweet or savoury purpose. Chopped strawberries, …

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Cello Lessons in the Communities

“They just don’t stop!” That’s the coordinator of the Yukon Cello Project, Nico Stephenson, describing the energy and enthusiasm his students bring to music class each day. “Whether that’s playing cellos, or playing outside, they just don’t stop.” While it means that some youngsters struggle to sit still, it also means there is a collective …

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Continuing the Legacy of Alex VanBibber

The late Alex VanBibber had a favourite refrain: “An outdoor life is a healthy life.” This is according to his friend, Harvey Jessop. Jessop wrote some remarks about VanBibber’s life for the Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Board, pertaining to a new scholarship it is offering in VanBibber’s legacy. The Alex VanBibber Sharing the Land …

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Hands-On Haute Couture in the Junction

From beading to working with hide and hair, “Textile and fashion endeavours are followed by a huge number of locals,” says Heiko Hähnsen. He’s the director of the Junction Arts and Music, or JAM, an organization that “nurtures the arts”, according to its website, and is hosting Haines Junction’s first Hands-On Craft Weekend. Given that …

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He built a better greenhouse

There are two kinds of gardeners in the Yukon: those who can grow tomatoes and those who can’t. With Yukoner Bob Sharp’s Solar Growing Greenhouse Kit – a stable-temperature greenhouse that extends the growing season by three months – it is now much easier to join that first club. “Nothing about this is secret,” Sharp says. “It’s …

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Ah, Salander

Did Stieg Larsson know his character Lisbeth Salander was destined to achieve the iconic status of a Marvel superhero? Maybe not.   In the 2011 American remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, available on DVD at Whitehorse Public Library, director David Fincher and screenwriter Steven Zaillian elegantly adapt Larsson’s sprawling Swedish noir to …

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Artists Going Flat-Out

Question: What does a steam roller have in common with wood block printing? Answer: Joyce Majiski and Linda Leon. The two Yukon artists are hosting a spectacular event from August 5 to 7. Each day between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. at the skating oval in Shipyards Park a road packer will be rolling over …

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4-H is Good for Kids

Kids and horses, life doesn’t get much better than that. 4-H is thriving in the Yukon. We are the Spirit Riders 4-H Horse Club, based in Whitehorse and loving everything. We are a district club operating under the umbrella of 4-H Yukon and regionally under 4-H British Columbia. 4-H has been around the Yukon for …

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Especially Good Fun

There is something special about watching Special Olympics athletes compete. If you know people with an intellectual disability involved with the Special Olympics, then you know what it’s like to watch a person give everything they’ve got. It’s just like watching any athletes perform the sports they love – except there is an underlying air …

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A Big Yellow Truck with a Past

“It’s a 1942 International,” Sid tells me as we are standing by a truck whose yellow paint is slowly chipping away with age. The truck’s original grey colour has been exposed underneath the bright yellow. Its large body and tires tell us it was a truck built for working in rough terrain. “It’s a six …

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Bringing Crowds to Dodge

The Dawson City Music Festival (DCMF) is a major draw for audience and performers. It takes place this year between July 22 and 24. Emily Farrell was a venue stage manager for 13 years, and is now in her second year as executive director of the festival. “One of the bands getting a lot of …

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A Music Scene Darling

The music scene in Whitehorse is really something. Full of fresh, creative musical sounds that come straight from the heart and soul of artists who discovered their own voices inside the warmth of their homes in the dead of winter. The diving board for many of these discoveries is Peggy Hanifan and her Wednesday open …

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CypherFest

For the sixth year in a row, Breakdancing Yukon Society (BYS) is inviting professional and aspiring dancers from across Canada for a weekend of performances, dance battles and workshops. This year they are bringing up two renowned dance groups to the Yukon for the festival: OURO Collective and Tentacle Tribe. OURO is a dance collective …

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Here’s Your New Home, Bees

We saw the queen recently. She wasn’t wearing a crown. She was sporting a big blue dot on her thorax though. The Cheshire Beekeepers’ Association, founded in 1899, has great information about queen marking on its website. The queen is much easier to locate in the hive when marked. Queen records are easily kept. Most …

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A Feast for the Senses

The Atlin Arts and Music Festival is preparing for a weekend of music, visual arts, film and food, taking place in Atlin, BC from July 8th to the 10th. Kim Winnicky is from Whitehorse. She has been the festival coordinator for six years. “The Atlin Arts and Music Festival is about building community through music …

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Camaraderie in a Canoe

Nine ladies in a voyageur canoe whose ages range from 23 to 62; 715 kilometres; paddling for Yukon Cancer Care Fund. Stix Together is a team of Whitehorse women participating in the 18th Annual Yukon River Quest. The race begins with a mass start at noon on Wednesday, June 29. Participants gather at the gazebo …

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Banners! Banners!

“They were popular back in the 1960s,” Sid tells me as we stand in one of his many garages. Built attached to his house, his old garage holds tools, machines and different parts of Sid’s antique/vintage collection. Looking up towards the ceiling, vintage banners, t-shirts, and hats are attached to the wooden beams above us. “They’re …

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Hot Ticket to Ride

France has the Tour de France. Italy has the Giro d’Italia. And here in the Yukon, we have the Kluane Chilkat International Bike Relay. The relay sees cyclists ride the spectacular 238.3 km from Haines Junction, Yukon, to Haines, Alaska. The race is split into eight legs and can be done as a relay by …

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A Passion for Yoga

There are numerous ways to get into yoga – just ask any of the instructors at the newly-opened Soulstice Yoga Studio in Dawson City.   One grew up doing sun salutations with her yoga-enthusiast mother; another took interest in hot yoga to improve her fitness levels while at university; another made it part of a …

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A Warm Home in a Cold Place

Did you grow up or work in Tungsten, in the Northwest Territories? If so, you’re invited to a party and might not even know it. Expats from this now defunct mine and community are putting together a reunion June 24 to 28 at Mount Robson Provincial Park near Valemount, BC. The group hopes to get …

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Family Camping

My daughter’s dad and I started taking our daughters for Dempster Highway camping adventures around 1991, and the magic and fun times of those trips stayed with them,  helping them to become independent and adventurous souls. Here is an excerpt from my daughter Rachel’s 2001 essay, called “True Tracks,” that shows the kind of fun …

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Follow Our Trails

Audience members with program “maps” in hand will be guided through the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre for a unique performance adventure from Gwaandak Theatre, showcasing the spectacular riverfront and Yukon stories about who we are and where we come from. Gwaandak Theatre in association with the Yukon Arts Centre and Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre (KDCC) …

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Cumin Mango Chutney

Having trouble finding uses for your abundant mango crops? Look no further than this exotic chutney, combining the bright, tropical flavour of mango with the warm, spicy-sweet tones of cumin. If you’ve never had it before, chutney is sweet and savoury, with a chunky, salsa-like texture. It’s a perfect addition to a cheese plate, a …

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An Enterprising Adventurer

The lure of the Yukon brought many enterprising people north.  Togo Takamatsu was one of them. He was born in Chojumura, Japan on February 10, 1875 and immigrated to Vancouver in 1907. In the spring of 1920 he arrived in Carcross becoming one of 20 Asian people living in the Yukon according to the census. He …

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The CutOff Restaurant & Pub: Real food for real Yukoners

The CutOff Restaurant & Pub has really nice customers. On a Sunday night, looking at the crowd that has come in for the ever-changing weekly dinner special, you see a lot of long-time Yukoners. Real Yukoners who dress comfortably and laugh out loud. This is what you get when you open a new restaurant 20 …

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H – Hue Oasis – “A Host of Colourful Flavours”

The Hue Oasis Restaurant in the Skky Hotel was a pleasant surprise.  My companion and I, even though neither of us had been there before, had high hopes and we were not disappointed. We entered the restaurant through the foyer of the hotel and picked up local magazines as we went in.  We were seated …

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Gluten-Free to be You and Me

I came to the Yukon in the spring of 2012 and that August I noticed a full-page story in the Yukon News saying that more North Americans have gluten problems than once thought. Having been diagnosed Celiac more than 30 years ago, I was curious about the availability of support and reference material for celiacs in …

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Forget the Tortoise…

The lynx waits patiently by an animal trail at edge of the forest. A snowshoe hare emerges and the chase is on! Within a handful of leaps, each pushing their long hind legs and padded feet through the snow, the lynx is triumphant. She will be in prime condition to nurse her kittens come spring. …

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Consent is Sexy

May is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and the Victoria Faulkner Women’s Centre in partnership with Les Essentielles want you to know that Consent Is Sexy. The women’s groups are hosting a handful of events this month and kicked off their campaign with a reading on May 3rd of Chance, a new play by Yukoner Melaina …

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A Bird in the Hand is Messy

I don’t like crows. I never have, and probably never will. I can spend hours watching eagles soar and glide on the thermals. I love blue herons, in flight or standing in solitude along the shoreline. Ravens are mysterious and interesting. Loons, well you get the point. There are many birds I like. As a child …

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Community Knitting

22,360 stitches an average sized pair of hand knit socks I knit in the morning I knit at night I knit in my car only at a red light. I recently had my blood pressure and heart rate checked. When I told my sister my heart rate at rest was 61, she said, “Well that’s …

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Erin’s Birth Story

Erin found out she was pregnant when she was 17. She still lived with her parents and had just finished high school. Her relationship with her boyfriend was complicated. She had friends who had had an abortion, and friends who had given their baby up for adoption, but neither of those were options she ever …

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DIY Campfire Treats for Kids

Just building and helping to keep a fire going is great fun for kids of all ages. There is something magical about being near an open fire. A fire is even more of a happy time when incredible edibles are created even by closely supervised toddlers. Depending on what is being cooked, different tools are …

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Catch A Cutthroat

This is an awkward time of year for fishing.  Each day, as the amount of daylight lengthens, we grow impatient to be back outside, with fishing rod in hand.  As the warmth of the sun returns, and the snow begins to disappear,  a growing mistrust for the strength of the ice on the once frozen, …

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Healthy Drinks

answer is the often vague and elusive response that is elicited by so many nutrition questions: it depends. A smoothie is only as good – or bad – as what’s in it. Smoothies can be an easy and taste bud-friendly way for kids and adults to up their servings of fruits and vegetables. They offer …

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Entrepreneurs share success

Just because you have a great idea for a business, it doesn’t automatically follow that you have an idea of how to get it up and running. What does follow is a lot of research into areas you may have no experience with: market studies, permitting, supply chains, advertising, patents, etc. StartUp Whitehorse aims to …

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Bushmom

What am I doing? It is -45 C and I am starting to feel trapped. I haven’t left the house – unless you count visits to the outhouse or to grab more wood, which at these temperatures are so quick that they hardly bear mentioning. I haven’t left the house in 15 days. I haven’t …

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Getting in Sheep Shape

We drove four hours from Whitehorse to one of my favourite fishing lakes, then an hour and a half across. As a sheep hunter that’s all the info we give on our hunting spots. If you know where that is, you know the Yukon better than I do. Looking up the side of the mountain …

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A Good Kind of Fat

Whenever I think of avocados, my mind immediately goes to a cartoon I saw circulating Twitter one day that shows an avocado running away from another avocado in tears. The one standing there looks guilty, and says, “I said, ‘You’re the good kind of fat!’” Aside from the cheeky jab at body image issues, the …

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Deep Ecology within Architecture and Design

The Living Building Challenge is an international sustainable building certificate program to foster the conscious development and design of eco-friendly architecture.   It was launched 10 years ago, and pillars of performance include, site, water, energy, health, materials, equity and beauty.  Recently the Maori tribe Ngai Tûhoe completed the construction of New Zealand’s first living …

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An International Celebration of Talent

The Folk Society of Whitehorse has been hosting the famous Yukon-Alaska Coffee House for  more than 25 years. This event features two coffee house evenings, back-to-back, in Skagway and Whitehorse. The Yukon evening of talent, which takes place on Saturday, will also serve as the finale to a series of Whitehorse coffee houses that happen …

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Flat Feet and Brave Hearts: The Yukon at War

Canada was part of the British Empire, so when war was declared by Great Britain on August 4, 1914, Canada, too, joined the the conflict. There was a tremendous upswing of patriotic fervour. The vast American influx during of the Klondike gold rush had been largely replaced by a more settled British population, eager to …

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Exploring Justice with Gwaandak Theatre

Gwaandak Theatre is known for producing high quality, thought provoking and original productions. A large portion of its mandate is to help cultivate Aboriginal and Northern artists gain professional experience and exposure on stages close and far from home. Now celebrating their 15th year, Gwaandak continues to cultivate new theatre and artists with Its Exploring …

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G – G&P Steakhouse – “Come As You Are for a Fine Evening Out”

It was time to go out for dinner and, since my regular companion was still on the high seas, I invited yet another friend. I was the first to arrive G&P Steakhouse on Main Street. As it was a Monday night, I hadn’t bothered to make reservations.  I was lucky to get the last table. …

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A Room within a Room

The intensely charged film Room was the Winner of the Audience Choice Award for Best Canadian Feature at this year’s Available Light Film Festival. If you missed it in February, The Yukon Film Society is bringing it back to the screen March 20th. Adapted from Ireland-born writer Emma Donoghue’s Booker Prize nominated novel of the …

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Bottoms Up!

Feeling thirsty this Saint Patrick’s Day? Your librations need not come from far away this weekend. Home-grown beer and spirit producer Yukon Brewing has recently released something new into their line up; a Yukon-made whisky, Two Brewers Single Malt. February 13th marked the much anticipated release of their first batch, of which approximately 700 bottles …

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Crafts to Brighten Up Your Spring

“We’re very excited about the warm welcome at our new location,” says Pam Charman, events organizer for the Yukon Crafts Society. After many years hosting the Spring Spruce Bog Craft Fair at the Gold Rush, they’ve moved to the Westmark. And with a higher-than-normal number of vendors, this year’s fair needs two rooms to fit …

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Hawaii in a Mason Jar

One thing I often notice about winter is the way it makes you really appreciate warmth. It feels great to get out of the cold, cuddle up under a blanket and enjoy a hot beverage while you jealously flick through pictures online of other people’s beachside holidays. I’ve lived in Yukon for almost a year …

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Avoiding Lemons

Up until mid-July of last year, I had always had the same car – a 1999 standard transmission Honda CRV. When the rear CV joint went, I was cash strapped and just needed a vehicle to get me home to the Yukon from Naramata, BC, where I was working as a cherry picker. I wound …

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Folk VERCH-uoso

If you’ve got a yen to hear some some good old-fashioned country fiddle playing, you won’t want to miss April Verch. Verch, along with bandmates Cody Walters (banjo and electric bass) and Alex Rubin (guitar and mandolin) will be stomping, singing, fiddling and strumming their way into Whitehorse Friday, March 4th. A self-described “Ottawa-Valley Girl,” …

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Feelin’ Hot, Hot, Hot

It’s easy to distinguish what the latest food trends are when you see the latest creative potato chip flavours. I realize this sounds a little crazy, but let me explain. A recent trip to Superstore had me eyeing up the 60-cent bags of President’s Choice harissa hummus chips. This particular variety is in their “world …

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Have Some Francais Fun

Often mistaken for the French version of the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous Festival, Les Rendez-vous de la Francophonie (RVF), from March 3rd to 23rd, is a national initiative lead by the Canadian Foundation for Cross-Cultural Dialogue. The RVF is an event surrounding the Journée Internationale de la Francophonie (March 20), which is organized every year around …

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Barb McInerney

Barb McInerney came up to the Yukon in the 1970s to work in a camp kitchen. Though she worked in mining before starting at Kaushee’s Place in 2000, she says that no matter what job she had, she was always trying to advance the most vulnerable of her communities. “I feel like I’ve been doing …

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Hitting the Powder

I will try anything once; twice if the first time doesn’t kill me. Which is fortunate, because that’s how many times I had been skiing prior to my lesson at the Mount Sima Ski School: exactly twice. I was 17 and had gone on a “romantic ski date” with my then-boyfriend at the Batawa Ski …

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Fusion of fun and authenticity

A weary traveller can be forgiven for expecting typical food in a highway restaurant, even in a nice place like the Skky Hotel in Whitehorse. Instead, at the Hue Oasis Asian Fusion Restaurant and Bar, they find a passionate dedication to South Asian cuisine in an elegant and warm atmosphere. Heavy cherry-wood chairs sit upon …

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Don’t Panic!

My dog, Herman, once stepped between myself and a charging two-thousand-pound black Angus bull. He turned the animal back by sheer virtue of his own ferocity and unwillingness to be moved. On another occasion, he chased off a young male grizzly bear that was stalking myself and my girlfriend as we picked morels in northern …

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In praise of Whistle Bend

As I turn from Mountain View Drive and toward our Whistle Bend home, I am yet again gobsmacked by the sudden and looming sight of the mountains on the far side of the Yukon River. Blue in the mornings, pink at night and otherwise brilliantly lit against a vivid indigo background of so much sky, …

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A Very Literate Year (Part 2)

July: The Ballad of the Sad Cafe by Carson McCullers (American, 1951)  Hopefully hopeless, Anna Karenina details the rise and fall of a Russian beauty who is ultimately destroyed by the strength of her desires and her willingness to seek out her own sexual and romantic happiness. While it has been interpreted as a morality …

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An Evening of Romance

Bring family, friends, or even a date, because the All-City Band Society is hosting the 16th annual Dessert and Dance. The evening will start off with some sensational tunes provided by All-City Jazz Band, with the lights dim and the jazzy sounds of saxophones alongside the trumpets and trombones, controlled by the beat and rhythm …

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Hone Your Craft

This year marks the 14th anniversary of the Available Light Film Festival. Each year, the festival seems to grow and attract greater talent from a variety of places. This year also has a substantial amount of filmmaking workshops, some free and others requiring tickets. The festival’s keynote address will be from Dylan Marchetti, chief creative …

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A New Theatre Company in Town

As winter carries on, theatre lovers will have the opportunity to warm their cold bodies with laughter in a brand new black box theatre when long time Yukon Arts mainstay Katherine McCallum unveils her new production company Larrikin Entertainment with the black comedy Often I find Myself Naked by Australian playwright Fiona Sprott. McCallum, a …

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Cinema for Lunch

The Available Light Film Festival running Feb. 6–14 there will be showing films during the daytime, right in the middle of your lunch hour. So pack a sandwich or a smoothie and head over to either the Yukon Arts Centre or the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre for some truly fascinating cinema. Here is a rundown …

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Get Ready to Twist and Shout

Haines Junction may never be the same again following the Beatles tribute shows being planned by Junction Arts and Music (JAM). JAM is hosting Britain’s Finest, a Beatles tribute band, for two rousing concerts in Haines Junction on Jan. 22 and 23, at St. Elias Convention Centre. Britain’s Finest is hailed as one of the …

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Awesome Canadian Films

For years Canadian cinema was referred to as invisible cinema for its lack of global impact and struggle to compete with Hollywood’s massive export of blockbuster films. Each year film festivals around Canada aim to disprove this notion and push the potential and visibility of Canadian cinema to other parts of the world – and …

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Chicken and Egg

Smooth and brown, the eggs slip through the machine where they are held up one at a time to the light. The light shines through the shells and illuminates the interior of the egg and then the machine moves the egg down the light so the next egg can be inspected. This process, called candling, …

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Available Light Film Fest shines on Canada’s North

This year’s Available Light Film Festival (ALFF) features a series of films draw audiences’ attention to the experiences of life in the Canadian Arctic and sub-Arctic regions. The North on Screen series comprises a third of the Yukon Film Society’s 14th Annual film festival, which runs Feb. 7 to 14 in Whitehorse. Nunavut Inuk filmmaker Zacharias Kunuk (Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner) returns …

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Hostel Hostility, Part 2

Before coming to Nicaragua’s beach mecca of San Juan del Sur, I had undergone  a hostel scare in Granada – a polite-seeming colonial city with awe-inspiring architecture, nouveau cuisine and two sports bars. I had returned from dinner and was enjoying a rare private moment in my empty eight-person hostel room. Before long, an athletic …

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A Very Literate Year (Part 1)

Dark satire about one of the most hopeful and ultimately oppressive revolutions in history, Animal Farm cuts deep into the heart of Soviet communism while simultaneously exposing disturbing parallels to our own fragmenting culture. Plus, at a slim XX pages, the book fits right into your pocket and can easily be read, say, in an …

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Gift of Giving

If you’re searching for a little inspiration this holiday season, then perhaps this story is for you.  Many of us give to charity and volunteer our time here and there, but for Sarah Ott, it’s a way of life. At only 17 years of age, Sarah has given countless hours back to her community and …

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Barbershop and Hockey Talk

She is far more important to me than a friend. She is my trusted, longtime barber at Barber’s II. She has a remarkable ability to make me feel sexy and confident during the most vulnerable times: job interviews, break-ups, first dates and gender transitioning. Your everyday life stuff. Tucked in beside the bustling Baked Café …

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A Northern Cabaret

Craving a dose of good old fashioned Vaudeville fun? Yukoners looking for something new and adult to do this holiday season have the opportunity to find it at Furlesque: A Northern Cabaret. The variety show will feature, among other things, belly dancing, old-style song and dance numbers, burlesque, gymnastics, actors, musicians and comedians. Each evening …

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All for One

They stayed in the game … They’re the most-famous musicians you’ve never heard of. Merry Clayton’s performance in the Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter” is the exemplar of the memorable riff by the unknown singer at the back of the band – it’s their parts you hum. From manufactured girl groups, to David Bowie; and from the …

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Hypnosis is a serious business

The office is spacious, warm, comforting. An oh-so-welcoming leather sofa and recliner are along the far wall under a soft pool of light. One wall is painted a deep blue; another, a deep purple. “Those are my favourite colours,” says Lee Ann Thomson in a profoundly soothing voice. Then she admits, “And, yes, blue and …

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Here I Am

I ran away from Toronto like a rabbit from a wolf. Moving to the country’s largest city from my smaller Ontario hometown had been like poking my head above ground and entering the wide and open field. It only took two years of exposure and uncertainty before I gathered my courage to bolt – across …

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Hostel Hostility, Part 1

Early in my trip to Nicaragua last spring, I lost my bank card. I had a large sum of money in the bank, but no access. After frantic calls from a phone booth as claustrophobic as a confessional, I got through to the bank. As I waited anxiously UPS to deliver a new card, two …

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48 Hour Film Festival

Last week, I took place in the YFS 48 Hour Film Challenge. Along with five friends, we created a music video to a Michael Feuerstack song called “Out of Season.” Our team was myself, Bailey Staffen, Graham Lang, Tara McCarthy, Andrew Stratis and Brett Elliot. Our combined film experience is roughly equivalent to our combined …

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A – Antoinette’s Restaurant “A is for Awesome”

Where to go for dinner? I couldn’t decide but I knew there are many restaurants in Whitehorse from which to choose. But how to choose?  Being the well-ordered, disciplined person that I am (read perfectionist), it made perfect sense to me to begin at, well, the beginning and make my way through our city’s eating …

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Berry Picking in Old Crow

In the past two years the herd of Porcupine Caribou in Old Crow herd has gradually changed its natural migration route.

A natural way to look good (and feel good)

Standing in the hallway of the Horwood’s Mall, looking into Climate Clothing, you don’t immediately see the First Nation influence in the neat rows of clothing. You see earth tones, trending toward the dark due to the season, and little surprises here and there in a comfortable store. But First Nation teachings lives in the …

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‘Tis the season: Christmas 2015

Jessica Vellenga will offer antique lace pendants and cowls created from old sweaters. A graduate of McMaster University with study abroad experience at University of Leeds, England, Vellenga brings a wonderful fine arts sensibility to her work. There will be at least 10 vendors with incredible products participating in re:design. A personal favourite is the …

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Forbidden Love

Montreal filmmaker Maxime Grioux’s 2014 film, called Félix et Meria, is a forbidden love story – and it has been earning wide acclaim. It has been nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Foreign Language Film category, and it has already won Best Canadian Feature Film at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. It …

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Global response to climate change

The systems of the Earth are inextricably interwoven – be they environmental, social, or economic. Naomi Klein, bestselling author of This Changes Everything, The Shock Doctrine, and No Logo, believes that the capitalist model of economics is at odds with the healthy functioning of all other systems on Earth. Klein says that capitalism is a …

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Holding Images in Our Mind

In his most recent show, Jesse Devost investigates how we gather and hold images in our mind. Optic Nerve, showing at Arts Underground until Nov. 28, explores how the optic nerve continuously captures images and transmits them to the brain, regardless of whether the brain can handle them. His art employs a variety of mediums, …

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Getting into the Game

Audrey McLaughlin moved to the Yukon in the 1970’s with “no man, no job” because she thought it would be an interesting place to live. As she became the first woman to lead a major Canadian political party in 1989 and the first female federal party leader to represent a portion of the territories in …

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Folks Rocking the Blues with Soul

Whitehorse-resident Selina Heyligers-Hare, or as she’s billed in the upcoming Blue Feather Music Festival, Selina H., is only 18 years old. She just graduated from high school. However, she has 13 years of experience making music and can hold her own on a big stage. When Heyligers-Hare was five years old she started playing the …

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Blue Feather Turns 15

Gary Bailie has taken a personal tragedy and turned it into the fuel that powers him to produce the popular Blue Feather Music Festival. Now in its 15th year the annual music event was never meant to be the large-scale music festival it has become. It initially began as a celebration of life for Bailie’s …

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Living with wildlife: 2015-11-05

Hello Everybody,  We invite you to share your photos of Yukon wildlife. Email your high-resolution images with a description of what’s going on and what camera equipment you used to [email protected] This is what happens when you put fish heads on a lake shore cabin roof. Camera: FinePix S8000 set on continuous mode.

A goldmine of history

I have an idea that would really put the Yukon on the world map: let’s build a True North Queen School. Tourists and Yukon students could spend few weeks at the Queen School, named after the wealth of history Rendezvous Queens study in order to be ambassadors to the Yukon. If we built a True …

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Chance of a Ghost

Claude Turcotte was the father of my two younger kids, Josh and Sophie Turcotte, also Dad to then-toddlers Geordie MacInnis and Lee Robitaille. He was my partner, lover and frenemy from 1979 to 1988, when his shenanigans became too much for me. Claude came to Yukon in 1973 to work in Clinton Creek, and stayed …

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Old Crow Haloween

An Old Crow Halloween

I looked out our window in Old Crow Halloween Day, 2014. It was -10ºC outside. Trees were shaking as the wind howled making it much colder.

Dancing for Doggies

On Oct 31st Whitehorse residents will have a chance to work up a sweat to some sweet electronica tunes at the second annual Masq dance party. There will be a full bar, photo booth, catering, music and a costume contest with prizes from Air North, Earl’s and Yukon Brewing. The event is a fundraiser for …

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Freestyle Beading in Dawson

Dawson City resident Debbie Winston has a love of making art with beads – including antique glass and china chickens. A child of the sixties, Debbie first arrived in Whitehorse on July 1, 1967. She was traveling with her boyfriend. His father had paid her way – traveling in style on CP Air,  Debbie remembers …

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Beyond Thought

walking trails. We live not close to nature, but in nature. What is great is that so many of us are out there daily on the walking trails enjoying it. But we are also busy folks. We go to our jobs, get the kids to school and back, volunteer, coach and generally spend time being …

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Telling stories

Sharon Shorty and I first met back in 2005 when I worked at the Yukon College Library with her awesome husband, Derek Yap. Sharon was born and raised in Whitehorse and is a member of the Teslin Tlingit First Nation. She is a storyteller, beader, regalia maker, wife, playwright, mom, and actor. But what I …

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Crazy ’bout a Mercury

Local musician Ryan McNally really does have himself a Mercury, which he definitely does cruise up and down the road.

Deep Ecology

The year was 1971. Three Dog Nights’ “Joy to the World” became RPM’s top chart hit alongside The Stampeders’ “Sweet City Woman”. Pierre Trudeau was Prime Minister and James Smith was Commissioner of the Yukon. Smith was instrumental in creating the Kluane National Park and Reserves and designating the Chilkoot Trail as a National Historic …

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Bowling is back

In the popular bowling movie Kingpin the term “munsoned” is coined by the film’s writers Peter and Bobby Farrelly to describe being up a creek without a paddle, essentially being left for dead. For the Mad Trapper Alleys in Riverdale that seemed to be its fate after closing its doors in May. But now the …

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Building Intuition

“I don’t really believe in that stuff,” a coworker says, when I ask if he’s ever had his tarot read. A year ago I might have said something similar. I wouldn’t have been telling the whole truth, though, because at that point I had neither figured out how to be truthful about my spiritual beliefs, …

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Double knots on a thread

My sister Marion Dale and I share many wonderful childhood memories.  One of our favourites is the summers we spent with our Great Auntie Kate. In her 70’s when we visited she raised sheep on a family farm near Renfrew, Ontario. No inside plumbing, no electricity, our days were spent exploring the sheep pasture and …

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Homegrown Business

Proud Yukoners want to shop Yukon – but sometimes it feels hard to do that. With so many of our goods and services being provided by companies on the Outside, it often feels like we’ve got no choice but to shell out to the big boys. For those who prefer to shop in their own backyard, however, …

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How did Charlie Brown and his friends make out?

On October 1st The Guild Hall Society will kick off its  2015/16 season with Bert V. Royal’s dark comedy Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead. The play is considered an unauthorized parody of the iconic Peanuts characters created by Charles M. Schulz. The story imagines the gang as teenagers with all the ups, …

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Homegrown Hip Hop

Jonathan Steel, known by his nom-de-rap MC TurMoiL, has released his first CD, Black and Green. He’s also released a video for the album’s hit track, “Mr. Myagi.” I must approach this review with caution, since despite Steel being a friend of mine, his brand of music isn’t. This is entirely my fault: I suffer …

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Bring a blanket and popcorn

Between September 25th and 27th the Whitehorse arts and cultural community will present a diverse array of activities to celebrate Culture Days. Launched in 2009, Culture Days is an annual call out to arts and culture organizations across Canada to open their doors, curate an exhibition, develop workshops, or otherwise showcase their contributions to Canadian …

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Folk Art in the Forest

A chance meeting a long time ago started a friendship and a quilting group that has been meeting now for three decades.   As it happened, Yukoners Dorothy Smith and Karen McIver enrolled in an embroidery class at the public library in the early 1980’s. Upon leaving they began to chat. The course was great, …

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YuKonstruct hacks its way to the top

YuKonstruct’s computer lab is electric with creativity and camaraderie. Okay, it usually is, but more so tonight. It is six days from the deadline of the Hackathon, a contest from www.instructables.com, which is an online community of people making stuff and sharing their creations. If the members of YuKkonstruct win, they will collect the prizes …

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History is being re-written

Over the last few months, I have been sharing how I became involved in this queen title and what I have been doing. And while doing more research to better educate myself on the Yukon and its history, I have found some great information that I hope will also interest and educate you! During my …

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Down Highway 61

Near the end of his memoir, Chronicles, Volume I, Bob Dylan recalls the seismic effect of hearing Robert Johnson’s album, King of the Delta Blues Singers, for the first time, in the early 1960s. “From the first note, the vibrations from the loudspeaker made my hair stand up. The stabbing sounds from the guitar could …

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Cave In

Sid van der Meer’s stories as dictated to his granddaughter Teresa. The tree leaves are rapidly changing and the temperature is beginning to drop. Autumn is about to arrive in Beaver Creek, Yukon and the tourism season is nearly complete. Like many residents of the small border town, Sid van der Meer is starting to …

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Folk Art in the Forest

From the northwest to the farthest eastern point, I have seen Canada. Last month, Roger and I travelled to Newfoundland. We left our cozy forest home and set off for St. John’s on July 14. On the northernmost tip of the province’s Northern Peninsula we visited the historic village of L’Anse aux Meadows, a tiny …

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Book of Truths

A few years back, Craig Cardiff noticed he was only going through the motions at his shows. The folk musician from Waterloo, Ontario says he was on autopilot. He thought to himself, ‘This isn’t how it should be going.’ He says no one should be on autopilot, and a musician performing live, especially, should be …

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From East to North

“Never heard of it!” That was my first thought when my aunt said Yukon Territory. Other than knowing it was part of Canada and that I had family there, I was clueless about my possible new address. So I did my homework; I Googled. Since then, “more or less two hours away from Alaska” has …

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Dressing Up

Yukoners have a hidden talent. Last August, over 800 people flocked to the territory’s first-ever comic convention, and many of them came in elaborate costumes they made themselves. Vickybunnangel, professional cosplayer and judge of YukomiCon 2014’s cosplay contests, remarked on the diversity and talent of our local cosplayers. So what exactly is cosplay? It stands …

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Dancing in Denmark

Destiny Clennett, 13, was one of eight students from Northern Lights School of Dance (NLSD) to attend the 13th World Congress of Dance and the Child International (daCi) in Copenhagen, Denmark in July. I was five when I started dancing, and ballet was my first dance class. It was fun and exciting. When I was …

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Hardest Year Yet

On the first day of kindergarten I didn’t know what to expect; playtime was now scheduled between certain hours and, in order to sit in the circle with the other kids, you needed to pass the test of finding your name. These were hard times in the eyes of a five-year-old. However, I got used …

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A Northern Diary

Carolyn Vincent taught in the Yukon in the 1970s and also cooked for an outfitter for a few months in 1976. She typed out a diary of what her life was like during that time. We are reprinting it here with minimal editorial tampering. Last time we left her, hunting season was just starting. Here …

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Celebrating stewardship

When Shea Newnham goes to Wolf Creek Campground, he can still see the trail that he helped build as a Yukon Youth Conservation Corps (Y2C2) member. Ryan Drummond sees his stint as “the beginning of my understanding of the real meanings of natural resources and conservation”. Today, he is a fish and wildlife technician with …

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Claire the Bartender

If you’ve ever been to Lizards Lounge in the Town and Mountain Hotel on a Friday or Saturday night, you’ve seen Claire Mechan. She’s been behind the bar making your drinks for the last fiveand-a-half years. “It’s my identifier in Whitehorse,” Mechan says. “I go into Walmart and people say, ‘It’s Claire the bartender!’” But …

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An old wooden mantelpiece helps tell the story of the Northwest Staging Route

The airport in Beaver Creek, Yukon is small and if you don’t know what you’re looking for, there’s a good chance you will miss it. Many who know Sid van der Meer may recall him owning and operating a small aircraft in the 1970s. “I used to own a J-3 Cub. It was a ’45 …

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Boulder On!

Do you like climbing rocks? Do you enjoy hiking in a gorgeous valley? What about making friends? Walking a tightrope suspended between two giant boulders? Do you like having fun and being happy? If you answered yes to any of these, you’re in luck. This Saturday, the local climbing community will host a revival of …

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Goals and dreams

Thirteen-year-old Piper Allen, of Watson Lake, and Mike Smith, Olympic-gold-medal-winning goalie and bonafide NHLer with the Arizona Coyotes, have two things in common: they love the game of hockey and they can’t wait to meet each other. And they will. Soon. On August 1 and 2, Smith and other NHL players and alumni will be …

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Discounting Trash

What would you consider to be valuable about Whitehorse? The nearby mountains? The vibrant community? Being able to fish and hunt close to town? Having the cleanest air in the world? How about the landfill? As weird as it seems, the Whitehorse landfill actually is a valuable resource that we need to think about more …

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General Store

Sid van der Meer’s Bordertown Garage & Museum is composed up of numerous themed rooms. One room is themed as an old general store and post office. “I made the General Store because I had all this stuff pertaining to an old store. Those stores had everything, canned goods, tobacco products, lamps, shot gun shells …

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Doing the Squirrel-paddle

I couldn’t sleep the night before. Was it the roughly 10 night-shifts in a row I had pulled just prior to leaving, or was it the excitement to get on that river? I’m not a river paddler. I grew up in Ontario (which I realize has rivers) and am at home on lakes and nasty …

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Head in the Clouds

The motto on the Montana licence plate is Big Sky Country. I went to Montana before I knew the true meaning of ‘big sky’ — I was raised on the slope of a mountain in the narrow-valleyed interior of British Columbia. I had a déja vu-like inkling of the meaning, though. The Pacific Ocean gave …

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Hotdog Destiny

On July 4 my family headed to Skagway for the Independence Day celebration. Since I was about to write a piece for the WUY Hot Dog Issue, I thought, “What a great way to sample the Americana hot dog culture and stuff myself with delicious mystery meat.” We arrived just in time to catch the …

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How working dogs keep cool

Frank Turner knows how to care for dogs on the bitterly cold trail of the Yukon Quest, having run it 24 times. Indeed, he had the honour (his word) of winning the Vet’s Choice Award twice. And he knows how to care for dogs in the heat of summer, too. “Really, each person has to …

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Yukon’s Own Kitten Puppy Delivers the DIY Goods

Type Thing — available on the Bandcamp website — is a full length, home-recorded, independent rock n’ roll record by the artist known as Kitten Puppy, who I believe to be Whitehorse mailman Tom Pritchard. It is the sophomore release for this one-man band and improves upon his first album, Good, You?, with surprising lyrical …

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Are You Ready?

Hunting season is right around the corner; I started to go over my equipment this weekend. There are a lot of things that can be done to make a hunting trip more enjoyable; it can also be a headache when you get home if you didn’t make the right arrangements before you left. I use …

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kiteboarder

Carcross: Hiking, biking and … Kiteboarding

Carcross has always been known for hiking. Lately, with Montana Mountain right next door, it has become a favoured destination for biking, too. Now, word is filtering out to the world that Lake Bennett is offering up some world-class opportunities for kiting. You’ve seen it before: whenever a soft-drink company wants a commercial to show …

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“When You See Vinyl, You Talk About It”

Playing a show to open for a musician is a first for Whitehorse bornand-raised Patrick Hamilton. Hamilton says, “I’ve been a professional musician since I was 18,” and he means that he’s been very involved in multiple music projects since that time. He’s a member of the band Soda Pony, and he co-owns Hamilton Guitars …

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Faro Calling

The Town of Faro fascinates me because I’ve never been there, but I’ve heard stories. That is was a mining boomtown starting in 1969, and now it’s a bit of a bust town. That it’s very well groomed — in my head (and in writing, now) I call it the Pleasantville of the Yukon. It’s …

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A Place to Rest Your Laptop

In some dream world, working from home is easy. Get up early in the morning, park on the sofa, sip cup of coffee after cup of coffee, pound stories into the faithful laptop, wear wool socks and an afghan. The sun pours in the window so that it’s appreciated but not a hindrance to vision. …

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Folk art in the forest

The forest is my palette. The flora, the fauna — they inspire me. I am so lucky to have an acreage at my disposal. I’ve created walking paths and gardens. Over the last few years I’ve enjoyed yarn bombing the forest paths I’ve created. It is a great way to create pattern swatches and use …

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Henry Ford’s Lady

Parked in front of Sid’s museum in Beaver Creek, Yukon sits a 1928 Ford Model A. “I bought it at a swap meet in Lethbridge about three or four years ago,” he says. “I put a new roof on it with new wood, canvas, and chicken wire.” I ask Sid what he meant by chicken …

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Bonding in the Ballpark

This past summer I had the unique opportunity to meet former New York Times columnist Richard Kinzer in Leon, Nicaragua. During my time there I inhaled his account of the slings and arrows of the Sandinista revolution and made sure I was within handshaking distance when I attended one of his speaking events. Flanked by …

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Dreams and Hopes

The great Klondike Gold Rush brought people to the Yukon in the pursuit of their dreams and hopes. To this day, many individuals continue to come to the Yukon like their predecessors over a hundred years ago. I’m the same; I am here to pursue my dream job and hope for a thriving community. It …

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Freddie Osson

If you haven’t met Saxophone Freddie up in Dawson City, you should. He is, after all, the first face you see when you fly into Whitehorse — if you enter through the new side of the airport. There is a huge photo of him playing… you’ve got it, the saxophone. When Fred was in Grade …

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“Domingo! Domingo!” Baseball in Nicaragua

In his classic account of Sandinista era Nicaragua, Blood of Brothers, Richard Kinzer notes, “With the sole exception of Roman Catholicism, no institution is as deeply rooted in Nicaragua as baseball. More than simply a pastime, it has for generations been a way for Nicaraguans to define themselves and hold themselves together as a nation. …

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Bus, stop!

They come for a pee, a snack, and a knick-knack. After spending 45 minutes in the first Canadian community that many will ever experience, cruise ship passengers are back on the buses to see Emerald Lake or have a chicken dinner at Caribou Crossing Trading Post. Such are the challenges, and opportunities, for shopkeepers in …

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Alexander Supertramp Was Here

In the North, peril can strike anyone in the summer, or the winter. But when Christopher McCandless died at the age of 24 in August, in an abandoned bus near Denali Park in Alaska, apparently of starvation, the response was intensely mixed: bewilderment, contempt, and for some, awe. Many people have known someone bright, charismatic, …

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Grief Writing in Dawson

Jacob Scheier wrote his first collection of poems about the loss of his mother; he was 20. She had gotten sick when he was in high school. It was part of his shift from writing as a hobby to writing because it felt very necessary. And, ultimately, writing about his loss was an important part …

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A Northern Diary

About 11:00 p.m. I finally got a glimpse of McClure when our trail passed near the deep ravine the river made. I had been vainly looking for it for the last few hours, but it was hidden in the canyon. The lake is about three miles long and is a skinny one. It’s sort of …

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A Biker at 30

Amelia Merher, also known as the ukulele-slinging songwriter Big Mama Lele, has ambitious plans for her 30th birthday. “I’m putting a new spin on fatbiking,” she says. On May 26, her birthday, Merher kicks off a 16-gig bicycle tour of the Yukon and B.C., including stops in Atlin, Carcross, Haines Junction, and then Vancouver, Surrey, …

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Carpenters can be a ‘certified’ success

“When I was coming up through the trade, journeymen carpenters were these grey-haired ninjas … Yodas,” says Bill Johnstone, a Whitehorse carpenter. “But I’ve worked with journeymen who are 26. Some of the younger guys have the schooling, but not the workplace smarts, so there is some give and take.” More and more it is …

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Exploring the Bittersweet Beauty of the Juneau Ice Cave

The Zhange Danxia landform in Gansu, China; The Great Blue Hole in Belize; Tulip Fields in the Netherlands; Mount Roraima in Venezuela, Brazil, and Guana, and 23 more places make up a Buzzfeed list of “27 Surreal Places to Visit Before You Die”. Most of the time these placesto-see-before-you-die are oceans away in remote and …

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Girls Rock Camp

The closest I’ve come to being in a band was brought about through my love of the Spice Girls. When I was eleven, my friends and I entered a big impersonation contest at the mall, practicing our dance moves and lip-syncing for weeks beforehand. As we grew older and our tastes evolved, we began visiting …

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How To Cancer

My first idea was to write about women building for Habitat for Humanity. That fell through; no one got back to me. Then, I tried to get in touch with the Victoria Faulkner’s Women Centre to talk to about May being sexualized assault awareness month, but I was too last minute about it. I was …

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Grand Canyon

Whitehorse-based, Swedish-Canadian songwriter Sarah MacDougall has a new album, Grand Canyon, with some dark, intense lyrics, mixed against pop-inspired folk music. It’s not a departure from her previous music, so much as a progression. MacDougall says, “I think the last album [the West Coast Music Award-winning The Greatest Ones Alive] was on its way to …

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Brave Old Words

Compared to what I did last time (playing my banjo and singing in front of a rowdy bar crowd) the prospect of reading poetry to a calm, literary audience does not feel very scary. And yet, though I’ve been writing poetry for most of my life and attending occasional reading events for years, I have …

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Cranes Fly High Up in the Sky

The thermals above the town of Faro may account for the “tens of thousands” of sand hill cranes that fly above it each spring. Or so Rose Fulton speculates. Fulton works for the town, and is the Faro Crane and Sheep Viewing Festival coordinator. She says she’d be the event coordinator, but there aren’t enough …

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Finding your way in the woods

Who runs through the woods with a map and compass, searching for small orange and white flags? That would be a person who is orienteering. This popular Yukon sport combines running or walking and navigation using a map. It is suitable for all ages and fitness levels. It can be enjoyed as a leisurely walk …

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A Friend For Schwartz

Schwartz has been our only dog for the past few years. For the most part he seems to be okay, although he does enjoy playing with other dogs when he gets the chance. But being the only dog can be lonely for an animal that would normally belong to a pack. I guess Al and …

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Hiking the West Coast Trail

Gruelling. Gruelling is the word used to describe the West Coast Trail in the official online guidebook. The trail is a 75-kilometre backpacking trek, situated on the southwestern edge of Vancouver Island. It boasts equal parts beautiful, dense green rainforest sections, ocean cliffside views, mud bogs, old growth trees, waterfalls, and scenic ocean beach sections. …

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Diner Lights

Sid van der Meer recently travelled from the gold rush fields of Arizona back to Canada’s most westerly community — Beaver Creek, Yukon. Sid has strong family ties to the White River First Nation, on whose lands he resides. He built his own home and museum behind Beaver Creek’s baseball diamond. His museum has become …

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Flowers in the Concrete

Rich Hill, playing at the Yukon Arts Centre on Sunday, is a poignant observational snapshot of three boys on separate, but similar, journeys through the early days of youth, as spent in America’s povertystricken heartland. Poverty is crushing. But it’s always amazing to see that the human spirit, especially in children, is remarkably diffi cult …

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Destination B.C. and Destination Tennessee!

Two teams of Yukon students will travel outside the territory this spring after strong performances at the Destination Imagination Yukon tournament on February 28. Destination Imagination (DI) is an extracurricular program where teams of students solve openended challenges and present the solutions at tournaments. Alex Gray is in Grade 5 at Hidden Valley Elementary School. …

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Fun with math

Emil Imrith laughs easily when he is asked about the stereotype we have for physicists: nerdy types in lab coats standing in front of a blackboard full of numbers and equations. “Nowadays, we have computers that help us to model and simulate,” he says. “But we do need a whiteboard 50 per cent of the …

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April Ain’t Cruel

In The Debt to Pleasure John Lancaster wonders if T.S. Eliot invented the link between April and suicides, just as painter Joseph Mallord William Turner invented sunsets (Google it. I did). But, Lancaster goes on. Before talking about the glory of roast lamb in April (The Debt to Pleasure is a dark, twisted, informative read that …

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A Northern Diary

I have been in the wilderness of the Mackenzie Mountains for six weeks, and have decided to begin a diary. It’s maybe not the right time to start one, but now that I’m not quite as busy and not nearly as tired at the end of the day, I’ll begin one anyway so that I …

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If it’s Tuesday, it must be … Thailand?

From the modern glass and metal outer door, to the wooden old-timey inner door, The Wheelhouse Restaurant’s guests are instantly transported back to the Whitehorse of the 1930s. If they take the tour, those guests aren’t sure if they are smiling at Art Webster’s enthusiasm, or at the sheer cleverness of the coat rack and …

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Brave New Works

Nostalgia: sometimes it’s bitter, sometimes it’s sweet, and sometimes…it’s bagpipes. Brave New Works (BNW), the annual Whitehorse-based multidisciplinary performing arts collective, is back with a new theme. This year, the variety show is wistfully looking to the past with dance, photography, spoken word & mixed media, rap, poi, ukulele, and — you guessed it — …

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Farmers Need Funds, Too

If you ate today, thank a farmer. If you know where your food comes from, thank them even more. Knowing where your food comes from can be a challenge, especially in the North. Why should a person support a local farmer when the food they sell is often more expensive than what can be found …

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Burn Away the Dark Times

The Yukon winter is so long that Dawson City-based filmmaker Suzanne Crocker once said winter has its own seasons. Most Yukoners I know divide their very existence between their “winter” and “summer” selves. More often than not, winter versions mirror the still, silent, and slow environment outside our frosty windows. Unfailingly, I spend each spring …

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Gearing up for Cannibal

Am I excited. In April I’ll be acting in the Guild Society’s newest play, Cannibal the Musical written by Trey Parker of South Park fame. The show is based on the true story of American prospector, Alferd Packer and his ill-fated expedition into the Colorado mountains in 1873. I recommend it to anyone who wants …

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Home Truths and Other Stories

The inherent drama of buying, selling, or renovating homes is tailor-made for reality television. You don’t need to own a house to be captivated by the minutiae of managing the large and small choices these programs painstakingly document. Still, it’s common to feel somewhat suspicious of the heightened “reality” on display. In recent years, in …

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A Different Type of Rendezvous

You can keep your fishnets and feathers stored for this Rendez-vous. But you don’t have to. If you can’t help but whip them out for an encore, who is to judge? Les Rendez-Vous de la Francophonie is a two-week celebration of the French language in Canada. “Everyone is encouraged to take part, Francophones and Anglophones,” …

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Yukon Toy Story

My three-year-old daughter Emily has a new BFF in our home. Her and I used to have tea parties, play dates with dolls, and trains moving down a track to a farm that was ruled by the Potato Head People. But now she prefers her new buddy to daddy, and it wouldn’t bother me that …

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The Wild & Scenic Film Festival Makes a Whitehorse Debut

The Wild & Scenic Film Festival (WSFF), screening at the Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre on March 5, aims to create a space “where activism gets inspired”; it is the largest environmental film festival in North America. The group behind this festival, the South Yuba River Citizen’s League (SYRCL, pronounced “circle”), is California based organization that …

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Artists Disguised as Carpenters

Ogilvie General Contracting is a small company; Graydon Keenan is it. And he and his long time friend Jona Barr took his first big project together. It wasn’t just any job. This was for their friend Elijah Stick’s mom, Jan. “I knew I wanted to make it special for Jan,” he says. “She’s like family …

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Bailey’s

It may not be a bar where everybody knows your name, but they sure as heck have seen you shoveling your driveway. It’s a neighbourhood pub. Its busiest nights are between Monday and Friday as Porter Creek welcomes home its residents after a long day of work. And Bailey’s Pub and Grill may not be …

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February Seedlings

Anything can happen in February, weather-wise. It can be -30°C one day and 5°C a few days later. The sun can be very warm and the spring starts diminishing the snow and icing up the roads. January is a month of hibernation and rest. But February is a month of cabin fever; hence Rendezvous. February, the …

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How to Sam

Early in 2008 my mother saw me on the cover of the Whitehorse Star wearing nothing but a straw skirt and a bottle of our local beer. That is how she found out I was running for Sourdough Sam. I don’t think she was shocked to see me in women’s wear, though — she knew …

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Fun Fair tips by Nash and Thayer

What are those? “Whiffle balls.” What are they for? “Tic-Tac-Toe.” Five-year-old Nash Battersby is about to school me in the art of winning prizes at the Fun Fair at Whitehorse Elementary School, this Friday and Saturday. The whiffle balls are thrown into the nine-hole grid and, well, everyone knows what needs to be done. Nash …

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A Host Mom’s Story

The city bus stops right in front of our home in the Whitehorse. I still watch every day for “my boys” to get off and come home, even though they’ve been gone for weeks. I was privileged to be a host mom for the Canada World Youth program from October 2014 to January 2015. We …

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Yukon Wildlife Preserve

The Yukon Wildlife Preserve has been helping injured, orphaned, and sick animals for over ten years. Located 25 minutes from downtown Whitehorse on the Hot Springs Road, It is a very important place in Whitehorse because if animals need a home they can take refuge there and be safe. Staff at the preserve’s rehabilitation centre …

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East Coasters Come North

When I reach Jon Mckiel he’s in the middle of a New Brunswick snowstorm. I’m in the Yukon, where the temperature has dipped below -30°C. We talk about what to expect when he arrives in Whitehorse to perform at the Available Light Film Festival on February 13. He’s never been here, and I’ve never been …

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A Handler’s Tale

When I showcased my subpar dog handling skills in a race for the first time, it was the 2006 Yukon Quest. But I was no stranger to the Quest, because I had covered it five times before that as a reporter for the Yukon News. I figured I knew a thing or two (or three, …

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Bring it to the People With Lasers

“Ice climbing is a cold, miserable activity to do; these days technology makes it more comfortable, but still, you’re climbing up a frozen piece of water.” Chris Grishler is doing everything he can to make ice-climbing appeal to the masses in Whitehorse. Grishler is the owner of Equinox Adventures, the company that erected six ice towers …

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From handler to racer

After almost a decade of being a Yukon Quest handler, partner, sponsor, and anything else required, Tamra Reynolds is embarking on her very own Yukon Quest. Her journey to the Quest start-line started in 2003. While living in Vancouver, Reynolds ventured up the Dalton Highway in Alaska to the Arctic Circle. On that trip, she …

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Finding our Faces

Melissa Carlick learned about residential schools in a class, First Nations 100, during her first year at UNBC in Prince George. Afterward she asked her dad, and found out that he went to Lower Post when he was a child. “It made sense when I found out,” she says. “That’s why I don’t know my …

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Dan Mangan is Back in Town

Dan Mangan is almost as excited to see the Yukon again as Yukoners are to see him. In 2010, Mangan played both the Frostbite and Dawson City Music Festivals and was impressed by the local cultural scene. He says, “it seems to me like there’s a really good music community up there, a really strong arts …

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Imagination and pain on display in Newfoundland yarn

Joel Thomas Hynes’s blackly tinted, yet poignantly observant perspective, brings you his best film yet. Cast No Shadow, playing at the Yukon Arts Centre on February 10, is a beautifully filmed narrative about the most terrifying demon of all: the one within. Set in the ever-shadowy outport Newfoundland, a world of dilapidated musty kitchens and …

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Yukonstruct

If you build a better mousetrap, the world will beat a path to your door. And you will make a million dollars. But first, you need to create a schematic, apply for a patent, build a prototype, find a way to commercialize it, contract a manufacturer, devise a marketing plan, build a sales force and …

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Claus for the Cause

Sometimes you experience things that you never would have expected.  I never thought I would be living above the Arctic Circle in Old Crow dressed as Santa while sitting in a sleigh with mush dogs towing me down the street.  Indeed, it wasn’t some bizarre dream; this year I was Saint Nick at the Parents …

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Coffee and a Conversation

It’s a sight you don’t expect to see: on most weekends and occasional weekday evenings, a lone woman with long blonde hair and a very strange looking backpack can be found walking the streets of downtown Whitehorse. Barbara Quilty starts the evening on her own, but it doesn’t take long before she has a small …

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Film: Boyhood

The Yukon Film Society is very excited to present a film that is currently at the top of many “Best Films of 2014” lists, as well as the award season buzz (5 Golden Globe nominations): Boyhood, by Austin-based filmmaker Richard Linklater, plays on Sunday January 11, at the Yukon Arts Centre.  Starring Ethan Hawke and …

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Gunalchéesh for your Love and Support

Marilyn Jensen was inspired to start a dance group after finishing her master’s degree at the University of Victoria. She studied Indigenous governance, and said she was surrounded bypeople who were connecting with their culture, language, traditions, and old ways of life; this propelled her. She returned to her hometown of Carcross, and in the …

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Beautiful Designs, Tools of Destruction

Hayao Miyazaki, of Japan’s Studio Ghibli, has declared that The Wind Rises, playing at the Yukon Arts Centre on December 28, will be his last film. It is a truly beautiful piece of animation, complete with painterly landscapes and a remarkably textured soundscape. Listen for strange human voices that imitate the sound of an airplane …

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Getting Ready for Christmas

It was December sometime in the mid-1950s. I was in the Baptist Mission School here in Whitehorse. Behind the fenced-in grounds of the school were several long buildings that were once used by the army. There also was the Army Theatre where we would perform our annual Christmas concert. We would practice in the long …

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Living with wildlife: Maggie Leary

The baby peregrine falcon was photographed on the Stewart River.  There is actually another baby crouched in the background. I used the Nikon D80 with a 18-135 mm lens. Photo Maggie Leary

How About a Winter Road Trip?

Winterize the camper, stash the emergency parkas and boots, pack all the necessary clothing for three seasons (fall, winter, and spring), get coffee to go, and we are off. When you work in the construction industry as my guy does, you don’t always get to pick your vacation season. Unfortunately, slow times are rare when …

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Felix and Astrid

I’ve been living in a cabin downtown this past week, near the Pioneer Cemetery. It’s a little one-room shack with hot water and electricity. Not exactly the bush life, but still. This cabin belongs to a Swiss couple, Felix and Astrid Vogt, who have been living in the Yukon for more than 20 years. Thanks …

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Fish on Porcupine River

Sitting at a fish hole in the dark on the Porcupine River, in the Yukon at Old Crow in the fall, is not unusual. Excitement stirs when the ice begins to freeze on the Porcupine River. My friends and I begin to prepare ice augers, fishing lines, favourite fish hooks, and all-time baits. We do …

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Breaking Bread and Serving Tea

Most nights, I go somewhere in the hills behind Riverdale, buried in all my warm clothes, and there, standing still, I look at the sky for long hours, until the cold air makes its way through my layers. Sometimes, if I’m lucky, an opening in the clouds reveals dim lights over the northern horizon. Or, …

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Bigger is Not Always Better

In the 1970s farmers in the United States were told to “get big or get out” as a way to promote larger, corporately owned farms. Since that time, the population of people living on farms dropped from 25 percent to 2 percent, with those who work full time on a farm dropping to .1 percent. …

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Big House Red

I was in the Yukon Liquor Corporation about six weeks ago, when I was delighted to make the acquaintance of an old friend. Looking for an interesting red, I saw a familiar label on an unfamiliar carton. On the bottom shelf of the American wines aisle, there stood an octagonal, blue and brown cardboard carton, …

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A New Normal

No one gets out of paradise unscathed. That’s what Matt King says as The Descendants, a drama set in Hawaii, begins. Matt (George Clooney), a lawyer and descendant of a mixed marriage between a missionary and Hawaiian royalty, knows what he’s talking about. His wife, Elizabeth, lies in a coma in the hospital. He’s not …

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Death of the American Dream

Dr. Hunter Stockton Thompson was a champion of fun. If he is remembered at all, it is through exaggerated shades of his personality. Bill Murray in Where the Buffalo Roam, and Johnny Depp in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas are examples of this. Although these are hilarious depictions of the man himself, he was …

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Face Us

There are currently two mammoths at the Yukon Arts Centre. But they don’t interact; they are on different schedules. The one hanging out in the Public Art Gallery belongs to the Ice Age Mammals exhibit. The other mammoth — the one of current interest — is symbolic. He lives in the Community Gallery as part …

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Dining on Ramen and Talking to the Dead

On November 23,The Old Fire Hall will once again host a free mini-festival of Japanese films, hosted by the Japanese Canadian Association of Yukon (JCAY). This time it’s a double bill, with one film extolling the virtues of a noted Japanese food staple and its creator, and the other exploring communication with the dead. God …

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Home Grown

The phrase “food security” is becoming common, and it can be interpreted in several different ways. Whether it is a lack of food due to environmental conditions, the inability to access nutritious food because of financial restraints, or the lack of food due to remote location — these are all are considered examples of “food …

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Living With Wildlife: Maggie Leary

This fox was photographed in Keno City.  He was curious about what we were doing and obliged me by coming fairly close. I took this photo with a Nikon D80, using a 18 – 135mm lens.

1920s Silent Film Night

Halloween is over, but don’t stop dressing up . On Saturday November 8, Open Pit theatre is giving you another chance; it’s hosting a 1920s-themed silent film night, and the directors of the company want guests sporting their Sunday best. It’s an art night true to the theatre company’s multidisciplinary mandate — to create space …

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A Moose at Last

It’s been the toughest year to get motivated for hunting season. I’ve spent about 80 days over the last three years hunting moose and we’ve broken the Rhino, the truck, and the boat several times , trying to fill the freezer. The dull grey sky loomed over us like a curse as we loaded the …

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Get Moving

A glance at the credits of a film reveals that it’s a collaborative art form involving a lot of people over a lot of time. Now imagine that there is only 48 hours to assemble a film, from start to finish. That’s the operating premise for the Yukon 48 Challenge, an event held by the …

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Carli and Julie’s Yukon Adventure

On a cool Monday evening at the Old Crow Community Hall, up-and-coming country musicians Carli and Julie Kennedy played the last show of their first Yukon tour. The twin sisters were here courtesy of Home Routes, a Winnipeg-based company that arranges tours for folk-based musicians to venues and homes around Canada. Having spent nearly two …

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Get Some Witnesses Up in Here

Handwritten, unwitnessed wills — also called holographic wills — are valid in the Yukon as well as some of the provinces. One of the more famous examples of a holographic will comes from Saskatchewan, where in 1948 , Cecil George Harris became trapped under his tractor and, near death, carved the following words into its …

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Catholic Guilt and Teenage Dreams

New Waterford Girl, playing at the Yukon Arts Centre on October 24, is a film about juggling tradition and modernity. Living in a small and extremely tight-knit community, being normal is the only way to have any privacy; anything out-of-the-ordinary is scrutinized in a giant game of Chinese whispers. All Mooney Pottie’s (Liane Balaban) parents …

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Bargain Hunting: The Sport

The Whitehorse Cross-Country Ski Club (WCCS) will open its doors for the annual Winter Sports Swap and Fair this October 18 at 9:00 a.m. This swap is really a winter gear sale, and a wide range of secondhand winter equipment will be available. The yearly tradition is affectionately referred to as the ski swap, and …

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Being Caribou

Being Caribou kicks off Yukon Film Society’s (YFS) Kitchen Party on October 24 at the Yukon Arts Centre. The Kitchen Party is a month-long celebration of Canadian cinema and media art for YFS’s 30th anniversary. The film exemplifies the struggle environmentalists face against the interests of oil companies. Karsten Heuer and Leanne Allison, wildlife biologist …

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Human Interaction at the Library

It’s not a dating service, or a counselling session. It’s a conversation. It might lead to other things, who knows? It’s the second time the Friends of the Whitehorse Library have hosted a Human Library at the Whitehorse Public Library. The first time was in March; there wasn’t a theme but it was very popular. …

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Green Burial in the Yukon

What happens when a person dies? We don’t truly know the answer, but death does hold one certainty: a once animated body stills. We do know what happens to the bodies of the dead. The standard North American options are casket burial in a cemetery, or cremation. In most jurisdictions they are the only options …

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Dancing’s his thing

struck his family, and Vig started drinking heavily to cope. Then he got a job with an oil company, and hightailed to Inuvik to work on a rig. “I was trying to get away from myself, but myself came along.” But Vig didn’t have a drink the entire time he was in the Arctic, and …

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Boiling Water

Waking up to a layer of snow on the ground, Sid van der Meer ventures out to his museum. He is getting ready for winter when he will be in sunny Arizona and his museum will be covered in snow. As he walks along the museum’s boardwalk he comes across a unique object. It’s large, …

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Firewood: Then and Now

Firewood was a least-loved childhood chore, everything to do with firewood, but especially the process of getting it from the forest into the woodshed. The weather was either too hot or dark and grey-snow-cold. Woodchips got everywhere — in eyes, hair, and under clothes. The first part of the day was spent under the constant …

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Fuelling Up

The beginning of September brings snow to Beaver Creek, home of Sid van der Meer’s Bordertown Garage & Museum. On a chilly September morning, van der Meer takes time to remember the past and retell the stories about the building of the Alaska Highway. He wanders through his museum to a room dedicated to the …

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