Dee Bailey leads a relief clay modeling workshop in Tombstone, August 2017

Magic is coming to Tombstone this summer. “Art Magic in Tombstone” is a series of workshops hosted by the Friends of Dempster Country society, and Yukon Parks, and will take place in Tombstone Territorial Park/ Ddhäl Ch’èl Cha Nän, throughout the summer. The workshops will be held on Saturdays at 10 a.m., with a small fee for materials.

Friends of Dempster Country is a non-profit society that aims to encourage appreciation of the natural and cultural history of Dempster Country. It is the tenth year that Friends has collaborated with Yukon Parks.

“Yukon Parks acts as host, advertises and provides the space and resources, while Friends coordinates the call-out and expressions of interest for the workshops, and obtains funding,” said Molly MacDonald, a board member of Friends.

“The workshops are about the artist’s artistic process and connecting it to their experience with Tombstone or nature elsewhere,” said MacDonald.

“They try to tie in the workshops with what’s going on in the park already.”

Workshops will be comprised of half a day of hands-on activities and will appeal to a variety of ages, backgrounds and skill levels. They will most likely be tied in with one of Tombstone’s themed weekends, such as Weekend on the Wing, an annual celebration of the birds of Dempster Country, Weekend on the Rocks, or the Lichen and Fungi Weekend.

Past workshops have included birch bark basketry, beading, fish-scale art, willow weaving, drawing, bookbinding, creative writing and harmonica playing. Artists are offered an honorarium plus travel money within the Yukon, as well as accommodation in a wall tent for one night.

“Friends of Dempster Country,” said MacDonald, “feel that it is important to offer these opportunities where art and nature intertwine.

“Most programming is science-focused. We see art as a way to connect emotionally to a landscape the way facts might not. It raises awareness of the challenges of the land, its beauty and the specialness of a place that needs to be protected/conserved.”

For more information, contact [email protected].

This year’s workshops include:

  • Francoise La Roche – Rug Hooking (Weekend on the Wing, June 2)
  • Sierra Megas – Natural Wool Dyeing (Bioblitz Weekend, June 30)
  • Tamara Hudson – Felted Lichen Panels (Lichen and Fungi Weekend, Aug 3 and 4)
  • Patty Jackson – Soapstone Carving (Fall Colours, Sept 1).