Pardon My Latitude

Over the Rainbow

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

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Gone Fishing

Many Yukoners live here because they enjoy the active lifestyle, interaction with wilderness, and distance from ties and pencil skirts. A visiting author from the Toronto area pointed out to me the other day that he found it interesting how manyYukoners, however removed, still seek ways to remove themselves even further. I’d have to agree. …

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An Art of Their Own

On December 15, the Yukon School of Visual Art Dawson City campus will open its doors to the public for its annual Christmas open house and mid-year student Exhibition. In September, 16 students from across Canada, and one international student from Beijing, China, charged into the foundational one-year study at the college. The open house …

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Horror Picture Show

As a child, storyteller and projection artist Daniel Barrow shielded his eyes from glimpsing the jackets of horror films in the video store. With puberty, his fear of the horrific and obscene became an obsession with the genre. I interrupted Barrow at home in Montreal last week, watching the 1993 comedy-fantasy-horror film Leprechaun before heading …

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Alive with Music

For seven years, Digging Roots’ lead guitarist, Raven Kanatakta could not pick up an instrument. “My arms and hands weren’t working,” he says. “I was worried.” In 1996, halfway through his degree in jazz composition and performance at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Kanatakta developed arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome in his hands. He …

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A Lesson in Taking Shots

I play ping pong every Thursday evening at 6:15 p.m. The Dawson table tennis club has generated attention from the media over past year. One name in particular: Laurie Sokolowski. In November 2010, Laurie went to Ottawa for the Canadian Para Table Tennis Championships. (A great article about that trip, “Talk to the Hand: Dawson’s …

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Tasting Dawson’s High Society

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

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Visitors Countdown

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

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Transparency Theory

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

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Tracing Figure Eights

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

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Fiddle

Jigging In

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

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Adventure starts here

It was novelist Lawrence Hill who told me while we sipped tea in the Downtown Hotel dining room in Dawson in March that his early career as a journalist taught him to embrace the adventure of his stories. The beauty of living in the North is the adventure that is innate to every story. Pursuing …

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Google Gardeners

I made my first real gardening faux pas this week. I cut down the rhubarb. All of it. Sawing through the base of the stalks with a kitchen knife, the adrenaline rush was intense as the stalks fell, one by one, their huge leaves making satisfying crashes. I got really into it, hacking the leaves …

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