The first Youth Art Enrichment (YAC) week in Dawson City was inspired in the early years of the Klondike Institute of Art and Culture (KIAC) by the long-running Youth Authors’ Conference that takes place in Whitehorse.

It’s so successful in its own write – so to speak – that now it seems it’s just the right way to spend part of the first week of November.

YAC involves the arrival of students from all over the territory in Dawson, here to take advantage of our excellent venues and spend four straight days working on a variety of art projects under the watchful eyes of four artist-mentors.

Emma Tius is KIAC’s coordinator for this year’s event and says that as of October 21 there were 44 students confirmed out of 50 who have expressed an interest.

They were scheduled to be bussed to Dawson on November 2 and begin their day-long workshop sessions that day.

Breakfast and lunch will be provided daily at St. Mary’s Catholic Church by a host of volunteers. Sessions run in the morning and afternoon, along with lectures on art topics and special events each evening.

Sessions will take place in the ballroom and classroom at KIAC’s Odd Fellows Hall, as well as the student gallery at the Yukon School of Visual Arts (SOVA) and, for the first time, one of the classrooms in the new Yukon College campus.

Students will stay (with chaperones) at the Downtown Hotel while the instructors will be at the Eldorado Hotel.

Saturday’s schedule will conclude with a banquet followed by a walking tour of all four venues. The tour is always well attended by locals as well as giving each of the student groups a chance to show the others what they have been up to.

Over the past 10 years, YAC workshops have included drawing, animation, fibre arts, mural painting, mixed media collage, sculpture, tool making, carving, photography, video game design and even improv theatre. Each year the mix is a little different.

This year Dawson’s Dan Sokolowski will be leading a workshop in video production. He will be working on very short live productions, and the course will involve story boarding, directing and filming.

The other mentors are from Whitehorse.

Helen O’Connor will teach hand papermaking using a variety of natural fibres and old jeans. The paper created will then be ready to be used in a number of different ways.

Bud Young will teach the basics of soapstone carving, which has not been done here for a few years. Beginning with a sketch, students will try to realize their visions in stone.

Perennial tutor Meshell Melvin will return to work with students on various types of printmaking – everything from potato prints to linocuts will be explored.

The program is financed by the Youth Investment Fund, the Yukon’s Arts Fund, the Department of Education, the City of Dawson by donations such as the use of space, and a great deal of volunteer help in the wings.