Planes, Trains and Automobiles

The history of how we move is full of wild and wondrous stories about survival, romance, perseverance and everyday life. It’s also a great lens through which we can explore science and technology.

Two new summer programs at the Yukon Transportation Museum will explore stories and science with kids and seniors to celebrate Canada 150 and the Alaska Highway 75th Anniversary. “Yukon transportation stories give us a very special window into our past,” says Janna Swales, executive director of the Yukon Transportation Museum. “We get to know ourselves through the stories of others. Whether it’s making your way up the Alaska Highway on a whim and never leaving, or growing up on dog sleds and snowmobiles (somebody always keeps an eye on the baby in the sled!) – there is such a rich history to our experiences and this is our chance to share and learn.”

The Packing Our Stories Over New Trails program will highlight some of the lesser-known stories of our territory and bring to light those of long-lived Yukoners. Every week on Tuesdays from 2 to 4 p.m. seniors and families will gather for bannock and tea, live music and two featured storytellers. Participants can add their tall tales to the mix at the open mic or share in the song huddle as Arlin McFarlane of WIT (Whitehorse Independent Theatre) leads the group to write a song about stories on that week’s theme.

On Tuesday, June 20 Frank Turner will tell the story of how a humble man from Toronto tossed a coin and landed himself in the Yukon (instead of Mexico) and how his canine friend Cheeko’s unexpected pregnancy became the start of 24 Yukon Quest races. To this day, he is still the only Canadian-born musher to ever win the race. Frank is also an avid traveler with trips to Siberia and to the Arctic Ocean under his belt.

Bonnie Dalziel will share her Yukon misadventures July 25 and Aug 1. Bonnie moved to Telegraph Creek when she was one month old and started her adventuring early. She befriended an old trapper at age six, stowed away on a steamboat at age eight, and piloted a plane at age 11, just for starters.

Also at the museum this summer kids aged three to five years old can explore the science and fun of dog sleds, boats, trains, motorcycles, cars of the future and much more at the weekly Wee Moves program.

The Yukon Transportation Museum has teamed up with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Yukon and l’Association franco yukonnaise to offer story time, interactive crafts and exuberant play in English and en français. Participants will build egg carton trains, learn bike safety, experiment with the science of floatation and much more.

“Drop the kids off, run errands or take some much needed me-time,” says Swales. “Parents can also stay and get your hands dirty, too.”

Details for both programs can be found at or on the Yukon Transportation Museum Facebook page.

The summer storytelling program is made possible by the New Horizons for Seniors Program.

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