A Yukoner chooses to live on “the inside”, everyone else lives on “the outside”.  Yukoners don’t fear remote living conditions, they support their neighbours, they welcome guests, they are free spirits, artists, miners, entrepreneurs,

An open field covered in snow

Why Wait Till Spring?

The first official day of spring is right around the corner (though in the North, it usually feels more like a seemingly random date…

A baby in a wash tub

Don’t throw Out The Baby …

For some odd reason, this idiom has popped into my head several times in the past weeks: “Don’t throw out the ‘baby’ with the bathwater.”

A dog musher in a race

Dog Song Rising

Over the holidays I had the opportunity to interview Jess Sears, a dog musher based in the Whitehorse area.

Soap Maker, Joella Hogan

Yukon Soaps

It has been a big year for Joella Hogan. Hogan has owned The Yukon Soaps Company, in Mayo (the heart of the Yukon)…

A New Year’s display

My 2023 Parenting Resolution

I have a question for all you parents out there: When does worrying about your child getting hurt become a self-fulfilling prophecy?

A man standing outside a hotel

The Yukon’s Basketball Star

Dikran Zabunyan is all about teamwork. Whether it’s a basketball team or the staff at a hotel he manages that he’s talking about…

didee didoo

Didee Didoo: Underground

Allan Benjamin is a poet, a cartoonist, a fiddle player and a snowshoe racer from Old Crow, Yukon.

Honouring and remembering sacrifice

The Battle of Vimy Ridge was a great victory for Canada, but it came at a price. In this battle, there were more than 10,500 casualties and about 3,600 killed. To our knowledge, Herbert Lawless was the only known Yukoner to fall in this battle.

For those who answered the call …

“Yukon soldiers are buried in more than 50 cemeteries on four continents.” –Michael Gates Lest we forget … This is why Michael Gates (Yukon historian and Yukon News columnist) and D. Blair Neatby (military historian, Yellowknife) have co-authored the memorial book, Yukon Fallen of World War I, a collection of more than 100 biographies that …

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Busting up in the communities

Open Pit Theatre is excited to be taking their play, Busted Up: A Yukon Story, on the road. They’ll be coming to Dawson City on September 29, Carcross on October 2 and will be back in Whitehorse for a show on October 3. The play already premiered in 2017, as part of Canada 150, playing …

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Making cooperative space a community place

Long-time Yukoners have watched with interest as the “old Food Fair” building has undergone extensive renovations on Second Avenue. The building has long sat vacant and curious viewers have watched with interest, wondering who the new residents might be. That wait is now over as the new YuKonstruct space has opened for members and the …

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Dancing with the stars

The 2nd annual Yukon Star Party will take place from Friday, August 24 to Saturday, August 25.

“I’m gonna live forever”

I don’t recall how long ago or what time, exactly, that I met Cor Guimond, but the moment I met him I knew he was going to be a lifelong friend.

Yukon census missing centenarians

The Yukon’s Lost Centenarian

I was astonished to learn that the Yukon Territory currently is without a card-carrying centenarian, male or female, according to the most recent age data on record which is the 2016 census.

Yukon See It Here: George Dimsdale

Three generations of Yukon yogis: Darlene Dimsdale, daughter Sarah Gau and granddaughter Emma Gau, at St. Elias Lake last summer.

Welcome 2018, farewell Commissioner Phillips

According to the Yukon Commissioner’s office, the New Year’s Levee is an old tradition that dates back to King Louis XIV of France and was first introduced in Canada when fur traders would pay respect to their government representatives on New Year’s Day. The annual event has evolved from these beginnings and the levee this …

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A new craft beer in town

There’s a new brewery opening in the Mount Sima area. Deep Dark Wood Brewing is hoping to be open and available to the public around Christmas.

Yukon built entrepreneurs

Third generation, born-and-raised Yukoners, brothers Myles, 26 and Tanner Hougen, 24 have begun their own journey into the Yukon entrepreneurial market.

Kids and parents can play in the big sandbox

The 45th annual Geoscience Forum is organized by the Yukon Chamber of Mines as an opportunity for everyone to learn more about mining, aviation, the environmental sciences and other aspects of the mineral exploration industry.

Émeraude Photography and Design

When Yukon born-and-raised photographer and graphic design artist Émeraude Dallaire-Robert was 14-years-old, her dad gave her a camera, and not just any old hand-me-down camera. The camera was given to her dad in exchange for rent by a tenant who occupied a room in their family home. Dallaire-Robert was told by her dad that the …

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Interview with Anonymous

Got a juicy story that you’re just aching to tell the world, but you don’t want your fellow Yukoners knowing who leaked it? You’re in luck. Because there’s a Facebook page for that. The salacious Whitehorse Confessions page is a never ending source of entertainment for your editor. Journalists by their very nature love a …

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Filling the Gaps in Our History

“Everyone talks about the Goldrush. I’m interested in the gaps in history. The points in between,” says Yukon writer Michael Gates, author of From the Klondike to Berlin. Published last month, this book is, perhaps surprisingly, the first to offer an in depth account of the Yukon’s contribution to World War I. Gates says that …

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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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My Cup Runneth Over

In 2012 I came up to volunteer at the Yukon Quest Dog Sled Race and fell in love with the land. As I was approaching retirement, I decided that I would find a way to relocate my hobby dog team, consisting of mostly rescued dogs, and myself and four cats to the Yukon. It was …

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Nicole Grove at the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous’ Madam Trapper competition

Yukon Tough

A graduate of the Porter Creek Secondary School in the Class of 2009, Nicole Grove, 26, has always been physically strong. Back in 2003, in the days of Hidden Valley Elementary School, Nicole was a gold medalist in the Annual Yukon Wrestling Tournament. In training, she competed with the boys and in a game of …

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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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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.

Mighty Neighbourly

After living in Vancouver for three years I’d become accustomed to people giving me strange looks if I smiled at them in the elevator or while waiting in line for a coffee. When I returned home to the Yukon it was a pleasure to rediscover its camaraderie and community. People band together to help one …

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Yukon Chic

It’s a long time before a fashion designer will stage a runway down a catwalk of the snow-laden Millennium Trail, yet the Yukon does uphold a clothing culture. Our style parallels our environment. This leads Yukoners to a distinctive style. If there were fashion police upholding the laws of Yukon style, any Yukoner without an …

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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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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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Finding Herself

In 2009, Ayla Sanders graduated from Vanier Catholic Secondary School and got a summer job in Paradise Alley on Main Street in Whitehorse. She did not have plans to pursue a post-secondary education, so she wrote an essay to apply for the Rosemary Burns Grant. This was the first year of the award. Since then …

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Another Field, Another Festival

Claire Ness wasn’t even born in 1969, when the most famous rock festival in history took place. It’s possible her then-20ish parents, Roy and Penelope, have regrets about not joining the throngs of music-loving hippies who flocked to Max Yasgur’s dairy farm near Bethel, N.Y., for three days of musical magic known affectionately as Woodstock. …

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On The Benefits of Hot Pools, Mostly

Spring in Iceland is a mostly cold, grey affair, strikingly suited to the harsh, rugged landscape. The road into the capital city, Reykjavik, from the airport in Keflavik, cuts through rocky, volcanic terrain, reminiscent of Martian landscape in its arid, reddish desolation. Tall, snowy mountains rise behind the city, which itself is an organic sprawl, emanating …

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Summer Birding: It’s All About the Kids

In summer, birding is all about the kids. Or, chicks. After the spring blitz of migration and mating, many birds are rearing offspring and staying closer to their nests. It’s a time when many Yukoners stop birding. “Our forests are usually more silent and less colourful as males no longer have to advertise for mates or rivals,” …

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You Are What You Wrote When You Were a Child

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

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More than Just Coffee

I catch Heike Graf between the lunch rush hour at the Caribou Crossing Coffee and picking up her five year old daughter from school. “It was busy today,” Graf, the owner of the coffee shop in Carcross, says while wiping the counter and putting a tray of fresh pizza on the display. The smell of …

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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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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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Internet Fame

Today the internet is an active place with crazy things going viral all the time. From cat videos to fail compilations, to the latest greatest talent, the internet world holds all the weird and wonderful sides of life within it. One such example of a strange thing to go viral happened last week. A young …

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Thinking Like a Global Citizen

Many Yukoners are involved in global issues and a series of talks at the Kwanlin Dϋn Cultural Centre brings their international experiences home. The Yukon Development Education Centre is hosting the free lectures in Whitehorse called the Sustainable Global Development Speaker Series. Presented on Thursdays from 7 to 9 p.m., themes include climate change, gender …

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Three Books for Adventurous Souls

It’s the fall season, which means two things: the slow-creep of cold weather and a near-existential dread of the aforementioned. It also means, for thousands of Yukoners, a frantic dash to enjoy those last, fleeting moments of liveable outdoor weather in the form of fishing, hunting, hiking, mountain biking, kayaking or whatever your outdoor poison …

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Here’s a tip: spruce makes for a great cocktail

Like so many Yukoners during this crazy low-bush cranberry season, I’m clearing out the freezer to make room for berries. In the process I’ve unearthed several treasures: 10 kilos of pork bones, 3 duck carcasses, 2 whole Taku River sockeye, undated, and best of all, 3 bags of spruce tips, harvested in 2014, that I’d …

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This place is in my blood

It’s a dark and rainy night, when Kate Williams finds an injured stranger on the Highway. She pulls over to help him, not knowing that she will be soon in danger. That’s how Marcelle Dubé’s short story Night Shift starts. Dubé has recently published her short story collection Night Shift (Falcon Ridge Publishing). Readers who …

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Apocalypse When?

Call me a skeptic, a cynic, I don’t care. Heck, go the distance and call me a heretic, if you wish. Truth is, I don’t believe in the Zombie Apocalypse. Or the Four Horsemen variety, for that matter. It’s not that I harbour illusions about mankind’s lease on this planet having no expiry date, or …

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Mine, All Mine!

The next time you travel north on the Alaska Highway between the Fish Lake Road and the Porter Creek Super A, ask yourself why the canyon there is called Rabbit Foot Canyon. Why not Anaconda? In 1899, the White Pass Railway was wondering whether it would be worthwhile extending its track all the way to …

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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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Pop-up Fashion

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

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Soccer Squad heads to Sweden

On July 12, a group of young Yukoners will step on the pitch in Sweden to represent the Yukon at an international soccer tournament. The Strikers, an under-16 men’s squad, will get their first taste of international competition at the Gothia Cup — the World Youth Cup. “The boys are heading to the Western Canadian …

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Writing Across the Borders

An ambitious pan-Northern ensemble of seasoned musicians from all three territories will make its debut in Whitehorse next week as one of the performance highlights of the fifth annual Adäka Cultural Festival. The New North Collective will bring together the songwriting and performing talents of four Yukoners, two residents of the Northwest Territories, and a …

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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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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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Overcoming Emotional Collapse Through Creation

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

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An Epic Ski Day

My first day on Mount Sima — Sunday, January 12 — was so epic. The beautiful landscape, all dressed up in snow, looked like a postcard. It was so fun to hear all the laughter from people coming down as I rode up the mountain on the ski lift. The sky is there for those …

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Emily Nishikawa Makes Tracks for Sochi

I’m certain I’ll never speak to a more grounded Olympian than Whitehorse born-and-raised Emily Nishikawa. I caught Nishikawa on the phone the day before her flight to Toblach, Italy. There, she will train at high altitude and compete in a World Cup on February 1 and 2. It’s Nishikawa’s last stop before Sochi, Russia, where …

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Harbingers of a New Era

Perhaps citizens of every tourism-oriented economy reserve the right to gently mock the very visitors that employ them. In the Yukon, for example, tourism contributes more than $100-million to our Gross Domestic Product and helps to generate a quarter of our jobs. Nonetheless, these figures don’t prevent us from gathering amongst ourselves to coyly chuckle …

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She’s the boss

There is a commercial on television that implores people to “fire your boss” and become self employed. Catchy line. In many ways, it sums up the feelings of many. In Ammanda Partridge’s case, however, she didn’t so much “fire her boss” when she bought KB’s Esthetics from her own boss, Kathleen Burke, as she did …

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The Times They are a-Changin’

I held out as long as I could. Until last week I had one of the Yukon’s craft-project driver’s licenses. You know the type — scorned by south-of-60 bouncers, passed around and mocked as an example of territorial hickishness, easily forged on a retrograde computer and slickly laminated for protection. These were the IDs of …

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The Hurt Clocker

Perhaps Whitehorse’s most stately landmark is the S.S. Klondike, perched on the shore of the Yukon River. But for sheer bizarreness you can’t beat my favourite capital city attraction — on the corner of 4th and Strickland, in front of the blue and yellow Workers Compensation Board (WCB) building. I am speaking of the large …

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Faro’s sheep and cranes ready for their closeup

Faro’s Crane and Sheep Viewing Festival has attracted international attention before as it grows yet again in its fifth year, but this time the International Crane Foundation will help attract even more attention. The Wisconsin-based organization has a crane preserve that protects representatives of all 15 known species. It has a global mandate and has …

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Ich Bin Ein Yukoner

Happy Birthday, Canada! You have come into your own these past 141 years, warmly regarded as a place of strong values, freedom and a sense of community taking care of community. Canada, you have never forgotten that you were born of the world. You have shed blood in wars that beat back that, which we …

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Coming In From the Outside

I find the term “Outside” very strange. At first, when I had arrived in the territory, people would use the term, almost as if they were talking about someone being committed. “Oh, he’s going Outside,” they would say, sagely nodding their heads. Once I caught the drift of the term, I wondered how long it …

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Walks into her life, tips hat, sweeps her off to the Yukon

Vanessa takes me to the Millennium Trail on a sunny afternoon. We smell the heavy aroma of flowers, somewhere, and find the top of a tree covered in buzzing insects and butterflies. A small yellow bird darts through the branches. It’s her favourite place to walk now. “I try to come here daily, and when …

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Yukoners Are Different

“There are strange things done in the land of the midnight sun…”  -Robert Service Truer words may have never been written by that famous Bard of the North. There were plenty of strange things done back in the days of the Gold Rush and there are plenty more still being done today in the Yukon. …

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More than a devotional (book is insight into community)

Northern Reflections, Desmond Carroll, paintings by Ted Harrison, The cover of Northern Reflections shows an inukshuk and a blazing sun over ice. One of Ted Harrison’s favourite paintings, it was also selected by Marion Carroll, the wife of the late author, Desmond Carroll. She had reason to choose that cover. “It’s about guidance. Inukshuks were …

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The Yukon flag

The Yukon is Not Just a Place

Naturally, I miss the Yukon. To be specific, it certainly wouldn’t be the weather (heh … sorry), but far more importantly, the people.

Play Makers: Growing squash

Talk to Yukon Squash Pro Marie Desmarais and you quickly get the sense that a perfect world for her would be one that has every Yukoner playing squash. Her eyes widen with excitement as we chat in her office, which is littered with squash racquets, autographed photos of the world’s best players and pictures of …

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Roy, The Kindred Spirit

“How’d you get here? Why’d you stay?” Ubiquitous phrases heard in the Yukon indeed. With the sheer number of transients coming through the territory, it’s a natural inclination to pose these questions to the ever-increasing population of the North. The getting there. Some people have long stories, grand tales of wanderlust adventuring, where they suddenly, …

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Extreme Christmas Shopping

Let me begin by saying happy holidays to each and every one of you.  I know that gets said a lot this time of year but I wholeheartedly mean it. Not in the way that “jelly of the month club” voucher from the boss you’ve never seen does, but truly from the very bottom of …

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The many faces of a Yukoner

The first Yukoner I ever met was Rodger Thorlakson. It was 19 years ago and I was two days “Inside”. Sure, I met other people in that time, but between the hotel room and work it wasn’t a lot. Those I formed relationships with were just like me: recently transplanted. Rodger, however, had that hat …

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A Sanctuary of Sorts

The top of Grey Mountain is one of my favourite places in the world. In a territory that features nine of the 10 highest peaks in Canada, it doesn’t amount to anything more than a nub, and yet for me it is a magical place. Every summer that I have spent in the Yukon has …

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The Feeling of Home

Cher Yukon: Comment ca va? I am in a pensive mood today. For the past four months, I’ve been feeling like a fish out of water here in the big city. Lately, though, I can’t help but think about all the changes our children experience when they leave their Yukon homes to face the great …

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The ‘Crazy Uncle’ of CKRW

When Keith Ellert graduated from the Cinema, Television, Stage and Radio program at SAIT, in Calgary, he had dreams of being a “shock jock”. “I wanted to be Canada’s answer to Howard Stern,” says Ellert. “I didn’t just want to push the envelope; I wanted to put enough postage on it to send it around …

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Everything Old is New Again (or, ‘Pump It Up’)

Brace yourself, Yukon. There are strange things coming to the North this summer, and I am not just speaking of the various transients descending shortly. I guess it is not a for sure, but if Toronto and Montréal (the so-called meccas of Canadian fashion) are any indication, the Klondike will soon be under the same …

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Faro fetes its 40th

When you’re a mining town with no mine, every anniversary is special. But this one is more so because Faro turns 40 on July 1. The town that lives on its good looks and personality will be feted by Faroites and anyone else who wants to visit. “There are a lot of free barbecues,” says …

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World of Words: Poetry Festival reached for the stars

When local poet Michael Reynolds reads at the 2009 Whitehorse Poetry Festival, he’ll join a closely connected group of guests that includes Michael Ondaatje, Don McKay, CD Wright, Adam Sol and Erin Mouré. “It’s exciting that we will all meet in Whitehorse!” said Mouré from Montréal. Organizer Clea Roberts said the June 19-21 festival attracts …

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World of Words: Helping children explore the past in the present

“Yukoners are definitely hitting above their weight,” polar scientist David Hik told Claire Eamer after the Canadian Science Writers’ Association (CSWA) presented her with the Science in Society Youth Book Award, in May. Locals may be familiar with Eamer’s contributions to the Northern Research Institute’s column Your Yukon or may have read her near-future fiction …

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The Dempster adventure

In 2002, I embarked, with the love of my life, on a Yukon adventure I never experienced in the 29 years I lived here. Here, I confess, we were sort of living together without a “shack-up permit.” Wonder what happened to that great old tradition … progress? We decided to go to Dawson City. Right; …

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Places That Are ‘Found’

My favourite places in the Yukon are obscure … they are not found in guidebooks, websites, during tours or by pestering a long-time local long enough to spill the beans. They are found by chance and not while actively seeking them out. For example, during a recent commute between distant Yukon communities, I was forced …

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I’m a 20-year man

Last month marked a very important event in my life: I’ve been a Yukoner for 20 years. Of course, we all understand that I didn’t become a Sourdough until eight months later, when I saw the Yukon River break up. As a side note, I have never subscribed to this definition. Instead, I consider anyone …

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The ‘Grid Siphon’

A robust breed that turns their backs on running (hot) water, limitless electricity, indoor plumbing, & mechanical laundry. Not Gridless Sid.

World of Words: Adventures in YA territory

Young Adult (YA) readers love adventure, and a look at work by Northern authors Joanne Bell, Keith Halliday and Anita Daher shows why. YA stories can teach life skills and bush skills, as Dawson writer Joanne Bell demonstrates. Her first book, Breaking Trail (Groundwood Press), is the story of a young girl mushing her own …

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Thailand on the Yukon River

From my seat, I could see a toboggan hill, trees, mountains and blue sky. Not such a bad view for my lunch in the middle of a busy day. All the more incredible is that this place is just two minutes from downtown and two minutes from Wal-Mart, Canadian Tire, et al. It is the …

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Fast and Friendly

Small towns are different than cities in many ways, which includes how one interacts with fellow community members. People get nestled into their relatively small social world, know everyone, and become small-town yokels. I’m not talking about the big things, like Chatty-Cathys with an infatuation with everyone else’s dirty laundry, but rather the minor and …

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Our Olympic contribution

The Yukon’s cultural contribution to the Vancouver Winter Olympics is all coming together. On Tuesday, Feb. 16, at the Yukon Arts Centre, audiences will see what the world will see later that week from B.C. Place. One Word: The Yukon Experience, pulls together select performances from The Yukon Experience and What the Land Remembers. It …

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From the publisher’s desk

Time flies when you’re having fun! Our goal at What’s Up Yukon has always been to be a true reflection of Yukon’s living culture. Before we started this little magazine, our family knew there was way more happening here than we could keep track of. It almost seemed as though the Yukon kept its entertainment, …

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Avalanche warnings: What you think you know, can kill you

“You can’t read the Avalanche Conditions Report and make it apply to backcountry skiing,” Jennifer Magnuson warns me. She’s the communication analyst for the Department of Highways and Public Works. She’s talking about the frequent reports they make on highway conditions, specifically avalanches in about four areas of highways known for frequent avalanches. She’s seen …

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Northern Migrants

Spring is near, with a sure indication being the en route and soon-to-depart migrants of the North. The first to arrive are the fair-weather Northerns, returning from southern winter retreats. These people are the envy of town, blessed with living the dream of eternal summer, bouncing between the southern Canada/USA or Caribbean and the Yukon’s …

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The soul of the city

Michelangelo said of the city, “I have never felt salvation in nature. I love cities above all.” I was listening to CBC Radio’s Tapestry a few weeks ago. Mary Hynes was speaking with architects, pub-goers and psychologists about the city and its spirituality. The guests spoke about public art and its effect on the populace. …

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The low of coming home

I don’t like to admit it, but I hate the feeling I get coming back home after a long motorcycle trip. There is so much stuff everywhere, routines become bad things instead of good things, and all I can think of is setting in place plans to get away again. Stuff is probably the biggest …

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World of Words: On assignment with Luke Dittrich

If you’ve flipped through a copy of Esquire Magazine in the past four years, there’s a 50 percent chance you’ve read a story by Whitehorse writer Luke Dittrich. And there’s a 40 percent chance you’re a woman. Although Equire is primarily a men’s interest magazine, Dittrich says, “Pretty much everything I write for them is …

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Getting the Message

Editor’s Note: Amber Church’s assignment was to gather some impressions of Yukon Educational Theatre’s latest production from a few young audience members who saw it before it travelled to Yukon communities. Dean Eyre’s new play, Wake and Bake, takes an in-depth look at the lives of two sisters and their experiences with drug use. Opening …

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A Literary Study

When Bob Hayes was in grade school, he was nearly accused of plagiarism for his story “The Flickering Flame.” The author Hayes emulated? Jack London. Readers of Hayes’ first book, Wolves of the Yukon, will spot the influence of Jack London, Robert Service and Pierre Berton. And like Alaska author James Michener, Wolves starts at …

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The Skijorer’s Lament

Spring is a time of confusion for skijorers. The words “yes, but” are used more and more often as the days progress. “Isn’t the heat just wonderful?” gushes a spring enthusiast. “Yes, but,” answers the skijorer, “it’s too warm for the dogs.” “Doesn’t the sun feel so good?” enthuses another. “Yes, but,” says the skijorer …

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The Cobbler’s Tale

Retirement isn’t exactly Terry Coventry’s thing. Although it’s been almost a decade since the Whitehorse shoemaker closed his Ogilvie Street shop nearly a decade ago, he continues to operate on a scaled-down basis from his Crestview home. And he doesn’t intend to stop anytime soon. Mind you, that’s not what he thought 10 years ago. …

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CanCon in CanLit

Much attention has been paid recently to the topic of Canadian content and national pride in literature. It seems we’re writing about everywhere except Canada. Granted, 2011 marked the first time crime fiction was considered by Scotiabank Giller Prize jurors, which may have contributed to the phenomenon. But, as local writer Tina Brobby says, “It …

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Living Life Deliberately

Editor’s Note: The following essay recently appeared in a slightly different version in the Globe and Mail. The author is busy preparing for a trip to Italy as Foreign Correspondent for What’s Up Yukon. A while ago, we were at a bar mitzvah in Toronto. Meeting and greeting relatives we have not seen for the …

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A debut Yukon novel

Enthusiasts of outdoor stories, adventure and romance will find all three at the preview of Roy Ness’s first novel, Rutting Season, at the Parking Lot Reading on Friday, July 27. The self-published book is a stand-alone adventure with a liberal dose of romance. In a September storm in the Selwyn Mountains grizzly bear eco-warrior Hannah …

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A life on the edge

Ione Christensen, Yukon writer, mother, pioneer and politician, is writing an autobiography spanning three generations. The daughter of RCMP corporal G. I. Cameron and lay nurse Martha, Ione was raised in Fort Selkirk, a once quiet riverside community transformed each summer into a bustling paddlewheel stop where the Pelly and Yukon rivers meet. Ione credits …

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Hero for a day

On a sunny, chilly Saturday this winter, local trapper and wildfire fighter Guy Couture didn’t realize he was about to become a hero. He was simply helping his friends offer a local dog musher an extraordinary birthday gift – a ride with the longest dog team in Dawson! The idea was this: bring together as …

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World of Words: Clea Roberts shows Yukoners the nature of ourselves

Clea Roberts’ first collection of poetry, Here Is Where We Disembark, features every Yukoner she’s ever met. Roberts, a nature poet, shows us the nature of ourselves. On dressing: “The boots were rated to -50 C/– you wore an extra pair of socks.” At Rendezvous: “I don’t need/a hairy-leg contest/to tell me it’s been a …

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Worked Hard, Still Working

Rodger Thorlakson cuts a unique figure amongst the early Christmas-season shoppers. He wears a hat that would look affected on a lot of people but, on him and Indiana Jones, it looks perfectly in place. His belt buckle is the shape of The United States — complete with red, white and blue background colouring — …

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This toughest race in the world is not for the dogs

“Sleep?” Jessica Simon asks incredulously. “Hardly ever!” This is, after all, the Yukon Arctic Ultra, a race that follows the trail of the world’s toughest sled dog race … without benefit of a dog team. Running as much as 300 miles in five to eight days, these competitors will spend about three to six hours …

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