While scanning the winsome collection of posters and photographs submitted for the Heritage Places Poster and Photo Contest, it was apparent that our suspicions were correct in assuming Yukoners share our passion for the Yukon’s heritage.
The contests allowed Yukoners an opportunity to delve further into their histories and to express themselves creatively, a challenge taken on wholeheartedly by many of the contestants.
Judges included Bruce Barrett, Historic Sites Unit, Government of Yukon; Missy Follwell, Yukon Heritage Resources Board member; and Darrell Hookey, editor of What’s Up Yukon.
Together, the group was tasked with evaluating how well submissions portrayed a heritage site and explained the significance of the site through the photograph and statements of significance.
Some chose a more technical approach to portraying the sites historical past while others included a more poetic approach to defining heritage, but it was the submissions that fused history with an obvious passion that shone through and truly impressed the judges.
Also, the “wow” factor could not be ignored as you looked upon many of the photos and, when melded with a great summation of why the site was important, it made judging the photographs at least a tiny bit easier.
First place in the professional category was Robert Postma’s breathtaking photograph of an army dump that brings out powerful feelings about the region.
Postma writes: “A trip up the highway is like a trip back in time. You can almost feel the hardships the men and machines faced, being the first to punch a route through the wilderness.”
His photograph elaborates on these points by featuring the abandoned vehicles on the Canol Highway fading into the colourful mountain backdrop of the now mostly abandoned route.
Sara Bergquist, amateur category winner, chose the Yukon Theatre as the subject of her photograph for its architectural, cultural and social features.
While the photograph prominently displays the early modernist façade and Art Deco influenced signage, Bergquist elaborates the significance by stating, “The Yukon Theatre connects us to the past in a tangible way even today, we still walk through the same doorway, buy our snacks at the same snack bar and we are entertained in the same space that Yukoners were on opening night, on December 4, 1954.”
The contests also prove that you do not need to be old to appreciate and understand heritage places. Nine-year-old Shadunjen Van Kampen took top prize in the youth category with her photograph of the graveyard at Steamboat Landing.
She chose the site because it represents a part of her heritage, a place where members of her family are buried and close to where her family and ancestors have been living for thousands of years.
Similarly, the elementary school winner of the poster contest, Victoria Holmes, a Grade 6 student from Robert Service School, chose St. Andrews Church in Dawson City.
The fact that the site has been boarded up and closed as long as she can remember, it has not hindered her curiosity and the importance of the building has played in the community for the past 107 years.
To truly appreciate the artistry of this year’s submissions, they must be seen in person and considered with the accompanying artist’s statement of significance.
Winning entries and a selection of runners up will be featured in a temporary exhibit at the Yukon Historical & Museums Association which will formally open during the week-long International Museums Day celebrations on May 20 at 5:30 p.m.
For more information please contact Rebecca Jansen at 667-4704.
A special thank you goes out to Canada’s Historic Places and the Historic Sites Unit for sponsoring the contest and Mac’s Fireweed Books for donating prizes.
This column is provided by the Yukon Historical & Museums Association.
Professional 1st–Robert Postma, 2nd–Mark Prins, 3rd–Sonja Ahlers
Amateur 1st–Sara Bergquist, 2nd–Krystal Feres, 3rd–Audrey Levesque
Youth 1st–Shadunjen van Kampen, 2nd–Teneil Caron, 3rd–Yataya van Kampen
Primary 1st–Pascale Dubois, 2nd–Caroline, 3rd–Nathan Easterson-Moore
Elementary 1st–Victoria Holmes, 2nd–Keiron, 3rd–Joe Wallingham
1 st Prize, Professional—Robert Postma
2 nd Prize, Professional—Mark Prins
1 st Prize, Amateur— Sara Bergquist
2nd Prize, Amateur— Krystal Feres
1 st Prize, Youth— Shadunjen van Kampen
2nd Prize, Youth— Teneil Caron
1 st Prize, Poster, Primary— Pascale Dubois
1 st Prize, Poster, Elementary— Victoria Holmes