Watson Lake

Canada Day parade

Celebrate Canada your way

This Canada Day, Yukoners will celebrate in communities across the territory with traditional activities. In Mayo, the day’s festivities coincide with the Mayo Arts Festival where local artists, craftspeople and musicians share their talents and creations with others. In Watson Lake, they’ll celebrate Canada Day with festivities at the Lucky Lake Park and water slide, …

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Creating a safer community through relationship-building

Building trust between a community and police is essential to addressing the extraordinarily high numbers of sexualized assaults and violence in the Yukon. Without this relationship, women at risk and women who have experienced violence are less likely to reach out to the police for support or to report crimes. When a breakdown of trust …

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We will remember them

It’s important to reflect each November 11th and remember those young men and women who gave their lives on behalf of their country.

‘Bigs’ and ‘Littles’ – spending time together

Forty years ago this December, Big Brothers started in the Yukon as a volunteer-run organization to help boys, who were needing a male role model in their lives, to be matched with a caring, safe and responsible adult. The organization was funded by local service clubs and became a registered charity in 1985. In 1991, …

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Living With Wildlife: Matt Cook

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] Living With Wildlife by Matt Cook This fox was hanging out on the road just outside of Watson Lake. Camera: iPhone 7

The Tintina Trench

There was a not-so-urban myth out there that you could see the Tintina Trench from the moon. That is not true, unless the person on the moon had a good telescope.

Lest we forget

Remembrance Day is now as much an opportunity to recognize all those men and women who have served and returned home. We owe them thanks. That’s why we wear our poppies and hold our ceremonies, to support and remember.

Hitching a Ride

Growing up, Kathy Jessup was always “the yakky little sister.” In Fort Nelson, where she was raised, she’s still known as “Kathy who likes to talk.” Her family still teases her about finding a way to turn her gift for gab into a career as a professional storyteller. When her current show starts in Canada …

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Watson Lake Generosity Supports Cystic Fibrosis Month

May is Cystic Fibrosis (CF) month. A drive through Watson Lake will give you an idea of just how important this month is to our town. Numerous businesses join in “painting the town purple” by decorating windows and doors in purple, the official CF colour. You may also see purple vehicles and one distinctly purple …

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When the Land Has a Character

Bestselling Canadian author Lawrence Hill pursues a lifelong interest in African diaspora narratives. As a part of the research for a book he’s writing about the contribution of African American soldiers to the construction of the Alaska Highway, Hill is travelling the Highway from northern B.C. through the Yukon. His first Yukon stop was in …

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Thank You, Grandma

Trekking around the vast wilderness behind my grandparents home, I remember my grandma taking me through the wilderness teaching me about traditional medicines. I loved learning what the medicines could be used for, when to use them, their benefits and the importance of respect and dignity for all life around me. She would discuss survival …

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Making her Own Trail

“It’s sort of like a straightforward country approach to old-school, ’30s vocal jazz,” she says. “I would say it’s got folk roots, a bit of blues and bluegrass, but jazz is sort of where I draw inspiration from and is probably the top of my influences.” Producer Bob Hamilton of Old Crow Recording Studio selected …

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Thoughtfully Thrifty

“To have local students take part in the project gives us something to be proud of,” he says. “Yukon College is always trying to meet the needs of the communities and having input from them is always helpful.” Five females and three males ranging from ages 18 to 61 participated in the project. “Having women …

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The Sourtoe celebrated as a “Hidden Wonder” of the World

Just a week or so ago the newly published Atlas Obscura, subtitled, “An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders,” arrived on my desk sporting an enthusiastic recommendation from fantasy and comic book writer, Neil Gaiman. That’s not true any more, there have been at least half a dozen substitute toes since that time. One was …

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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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On Simple Pleasures

There is a microwave placed awkwardly in front of the little, old fashioned split-glass window. The curtains are open and on the other side of the window freight ships move across the bay slowly, deliberately, as if the water was thick as muskeg and they had to work much harder than they expected to get …

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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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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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Running the Show

Props, actors, lighting, sound, marketing; these are some of the small but numerous little details which turn a “piece” into a “show.” These things need hands to make them happen and cost money – sometimes a lot of money. Many of the shows put on in the Yukon are created by home-grown production company run …

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Making A Choice to Think Positive Thoughts

As the days become shorter and colder, the desire to hibernate like a bear becomes stronger. Those dealing with stress, anxiety or depression may be more likely to succumb to this feeling. The Mental Health Association of Yukon is offering a course to teach people a different way of thinking. In the course, called Living …

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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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We Can Change

Whitehorse director and playwright Arlin McFarlane strives to captivate. She has developed a unique, one-actor play about our ability to change our lives around thanks to neuroplasticity. The play is about a young girl who is prone to self-destructive behaviour and seeks the help of a scientist. The scientist uses principles of neuroplasticity to help …

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Two Exciting Yukon Lives

“I was ready to live here permanently the day I got here – the land just drew (me) in,” says Velma Hull. The day she is speaking of was 57 years ago, when she and her husband –  well-known local handyman and one-time bike shop owner Red Hull – came up the Alaska Highway. Velma …

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Tastes of Home

Conquering exotic culinary worlds is exhilarating, but the dispiriting lack of some foods can make home feel very far away, indeed. For some people, a curious thing may happen once they relocate. They may develop a taste for things they wouldn’t have considered before. The local food will open myriad sensations. But for others, it’s …

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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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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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Staying out of the Trenches

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

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Happiness is a Warm Bird

It’s a season of traditions, and for thousands of Canadians this means taking part in the annual Christmas Bird Count. Called the “longest-running science project in the world” by the Audubon Society, this annual winter event — the 115th — can be fun, and it also has a purpose. This year the Yukon Bird Club …

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Northern Gifts

Some gifts take time sinking in; others stare you in the face. We, our family of four in a VW Beetle, arrived late in Watson Lake on October 1, 1957, and awoke in a strange house, beside the lake. Outside, in brilliant sun, and “a silence you most could hear,” as Robert Service described it, …

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There’s a party goin’ on!

Here’s a taste of how Yukon communities, from B to W, will be celebrating Canada Day on July 1: Beaver Creek festivities will kick off with a parade, then volleyball, children’s games and a community barbecue at the RCMP. Carcross festivities will include a community barbecue, as well as a petting zoo and horseback rides …

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June 2009 – Watson Lake turns 25

The Yukon’s Gateway, Watson Lake, turns 25 years old this weekend. And, to celebrate, the town’s residents will be throwing a carnival in Wye Lake Park. Terry Colebrooke, the town’s recreation director, says on Saturday, June 13, the park will be filled with families enjoying carnival-themed food and activities. There will be a clown creating …

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Mount Maichen Ski Hill: A Tradition of Kindness

I was disturbed to see a local writer publicly disapproving of how the Mount Maichen Ski Hill is operated. Her article depicts this hill as a poorly run, poor excuse for a ski hill. Strangely, this author is from the very community she defiles. It’s obvious you’re just trying to rattle the Chatty-Kathys, and I …

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A Lifetime of Caring

Marny Ryder seems to have her thoughts in order. The high-energy septuagenarian sits in her Riverdale dining room and recounts her life —in almost perfect chronological order. She starts in December 1959, when she first arrived in the Yukon as a newly minted nurse. She worked in Whitehorse for a little over a year before …

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Honest Talk Cafe

How can one person transform herself into many people? How can one location turn into several without changing a thing? Go and see Café Daughter and you’ll find out. Somehow, this one-woman show, based on a true story of an ethnically mixed young girl growing up in Saskatchewan, manages to pull it off. Dawson City had the …

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Writing from Watson

Tor Forsberg writes from Watson Lake. Her publishing credits include “Me Yukon”, which won the 2009 LUSH short story competition sponsored by subTerrain magazine, a story anthologized in Polar Express and numerous profiles and features for the Yukon News. In March 2010 her first book, North of Iskut, was published by Caitlin Press. Below is …

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Going Slightly Batty

My wariness of bats – I won’t say abject terror, that’s far too strong – dates back to the Eisenhower era. I can even trace it to a particular evening in 1952 (the year of the green Pontiac Pathfinder), when a bat suddenly swooped through the living room of our rented cottage in Quebec. I …

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Library Views

My first exposure to the Yukon came last December, when I arrived in Dawson City for a stint as writer-in-residence at Berton House. Like many previous visitors, I fell in love with the place, so when I was invited to return to take part in Live Words, the 2012 Yukon Writers’ Festival, I jumped at the …

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The Key of Cree

By the time Ed Peekeekoot arrives in Watson Lake for a house concert on November 24, he will have given nearly 50 performances since July. Those shows have ranged from the Calgary Stampede to the farmers’ market in Duncan, B.C., and from a powwow in Post Falls, Idaho to a three-day showcase in Parry Sound, …

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