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February is known as Black History Month, March is known as Women’s

History Month. In the Yukon, January could be known as Yukon History Month. The MacBride Museum in Whitehorse is launching a new event called Night at the Museum, set to start on Jan. 27.

Contrary to the name, this event is not screening the movie Night at the Museum. But with all the fascinating things that will take place, you may very well believe that the museum is “alive.” MacBride’s Night at the Museum aims to showcase Yukon and Canadian history in an entertaining and creative format.

The idea of night at the museum came from Selene Vakharia from SMRT Pop Ups.  You may have heard of SMRT Pop Ups, as they have been producing other events throughout the year in Whitehorse. This is the same company which introduced the infamous Drunken Lectures event. I think it’s safe to say that any event they deliver is equally educational as it is fun.  

Night at the Museum is no exception.

“Canadian culture is so quirky and charming that celebrating it just seems like a no brainer,” Vakharia says. “I’ve been dreaming about this event for about a year now and am quite excited that it’s happening.”

The inspiration for night at the museum came from the minute-long educational videos called Canadian Heritage Minutes. These were short segments showcased on Canadian TV channels during commercials telling the story of important events that took place in Canadian history, for example, why Laura Secord is a heroine, or how Newfoundland was discovered.

Night at the Museum will feature many different presentations of Yukon and Canadian history. Some of the highlights include three screenings of selected Canadian heritage minutes, storytellers (Max Fraser, Paul Gowdie, Keith Halliday, Chris Madden and Steph Webb) who will share some of their favourite moments in Yukon history, a poutine stand from the Gr8ful Spud, tours of MacBride Museum and music from DJ Dash. There will even be prizes given out for those who know a thing or two about Yukon history.     

Leighann Chalykoff, Manager of Museum Services at MacBride, is happy to be offering this event.

“Hosting this event at MacBride Museum is a perfect fit,” she says. “I love the way that this event ties into the Canadian Heritage Minutes, as cultural touchstones.” s

While Whitehorse does have a number of museums, MacBride was chosen by SMRT Pop Ups for its close ties to Yukon history. The museum is named after Bill MacBride, who spent most of his adult life in the Canadian north recording in detail the history of the Yukon through primary and secondary sources.

“MacBride Museum tells the stories of the people and events that built Canada’s Yukon from gold rush fever to the birth of Whitehorse,” says Chalykoff. “Many of the stories that we tell are from the past 125 years, so it is something that people still feel a strong connection to.”

Night at the Museum takes place on Jan. 27 at 7 p.m. For more information go to www.MacBrideMuseum.com.

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