Palace Grand Theatre

The Palace Grand Theatre opened in gala style in July 1899. The theatre was a combination of a luxurious European opera house and boomtown dance hall. It was built by “Arizona Charlie Meadows”; a Wild West showman who came to Dawson City during the Klondike Gold Rush.

The present-day Palace Grand Theatre is an elegant three-storey wood structure with an impressive false front façade. It was re-constructed in 1962 as a nearly exact replica, with the exception of some interior elements and life safety improvements, of the original 1899 Palace Grand Theatre (deemed ‘not restorable’ due to shifting foundations). The rebuild was inspired by Stratford, Ontario, guru Tom Patterson, to be the base for a northern annual theatre festival, and was launched with a money-losing run of Foxy (a Klondike remodelled version of Ben Jonson’s Volpone). Once reality set in, it became the home of the less ambitious Gaslight Follies—a mixture of vaudeville and melodrama, for many years.

Friends of the Palace Grand plan 21 shows this summer

A scene from the 2018 production of the Cabin of Curiosities. Canoers meet The Collector at his cabin – Faith (Joey O’Neil) and Keeton (Sam Connolly) meet The Collector (Robin Sharp) The Friends of the Palace Grand (FotPG) has existed for a number of years. Originally under the umbrella of the Dawson City Arts Society …

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A spooky pre-Halloween evening

Dawson City’s Old Court House on Front Street will be the site for this year’s Haunted House event, a yearly offering to the community sponsored by Parks Canada. For many years the RCMP took the lead in providing this Halloween celebration, but four years ago they needed to step down. Janice Cliff, with Klondike National …

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Community Theatre at its Finest

On June 24 and 25 The Friends of the Palace Grand Theatre will be presenting A Klondike Cabin Companion, a live radio performance, written, produced, and performed by Dawsonites. Producer Justine Hobbs is excited to develop this project and bring community theatre to Dawson City. “It takes a community to put on community theatre,” Hobbs …

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Frolic for Foodies

At the end of July, foodies from across the country will travel north to take part in the 2015 Yukon Culinary Festival. Now in its third year, the festival will showcase and celebrate the Yukon’s local food movement to visitors and locals alike. Taking place over four days, from Thursday, July 30 to Sunday, August …

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Twice A Day the Whistle Blows

It’s 5:00 and I’m sitting at the table in my summer office which, whenever possible, is our veranda. Seven blocks west and about two north the whistle mounted on the S.S. Keno lets loose with a blast that I can hear very clearly from here. It’s a tourist season feature, which Parks Canada arranges to …

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The Break-Up Comedy Festival

Breaking up is no laughing matter. But the Break-Up Comedy Festival, taking place in Dawson City on May 16, definitely is. The idea for the festival came about when, a few years ago, the Dawson City Museum wanted to combine fundraising with a celebration of the Yukon River. “The river today, as in the past, …

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Grand Times at the Palace

The second full revival season has been launched at the Palace Grand theatre. Marveling at the theatre is past due; It’s time to celebrate that the theatre is hosting more than daytime Parks Canada programming. There’s nothing wrong with showing off our treasure, or staging the Greatest Klondiker in the afternoons, but the Palace Grand …

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Front Street’s Elegant Showcase

The Commissioner’s Residence sits on Front Street, just past St. Paul’s Anglican Church, in Dawson City.  It is one of six buildings in town designed by Thomas Fuller II, who eventually followed in his father’s footsteps to become the Chief Dominion Architect of Canada.  Five of these buildings — the Old Post Office, the Court …

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Klondike Korner: Life Returns to the Palace Grand Theatre

When “Arizona” Charlie Meadows built his Palace Grand Theatre in 1899 in Dawson City, it probably never occurred to him that some version of the place would still exist in 2013. The current building is not exactly the original, though it does contain some of the original wood. The original was torn down, numbered, and …

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What’s the ‘Rush’?

“I have a lot of fun with Dot,” says Trish Barclay, her eyes squinting into a voice that sounds like it belongs to a pirate. That needs an explanation. Barclay says her character and that of “Bert”, played by Marc Desormeaux, in the upcoming presentation of Fiddle Rush at the Old Fire Hall, July 3 …

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Afternoon and Evening Delight on Commissioner’s Day

At the last of the Transients’ Weekly Suppers this year, one of the special speakers at the event made reference to the Commissioner’s Residence and the upcoming Tea and Ball, which take place there. At the word “commissioner”, blank looks passed over the faces of those summerdoughs who were here from Outside for the first …

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Film Time

As we close in on Easter Weekend, otherwise known locally as the Dawson City International Short Film Festival (DCISFF), I have to wonder if Dawson’s obsession with amateur video doesn’t have something to do with the fact that the town has no theatre. Newcomers wouldn’t even know that there used to be one across the …

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Picking the Greatest Klondiker

It has, unfortunately, been a number of years since a really top-notch piece of stagecraft graced the boards at the Palace Grand Theatre on a regular basis. Since the demise of the Gaslight Follies Parks Canada has been trying to find ways to bring people into this exciting old building and has sponsored a number …

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Dawson Dresses Up

Breakup is usually followed by a week of damp chilliness as the cool air moving off the exposed river hits the town, but this year we got six to eight inches of snow as well during the first week of May. I can’t recall this happening before during my time here. With the river breakup …

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How Others See Us PDF

It’s always interesting to learn how other people see us. Three creative spirits passed our way a couple of weeks ago and left us with some thoughts connected to our sense of place. Iain Baxter& said he thought the drive to Dawson was like living in a Monet painting. I would have picked one of …

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