Virtual Stampeders

So, you are not the type to visit a museum … or your latest trip to a museum has left you wanting to learn more.

Luckily, museums are now available at the click of a mouse. The days of only enjoying museums on site are long gone. Museums have come alive in the virtual world thanks to the Virtual Museum Canada.

Museums from around Canada have researched, compiled and created over 500 online exhibits that include pictures, artefacts, stories and games that help tell Canada’s story.

The Yukon boasts nine virtual museum exhibits that touch on a variety of topics and areas of interest.

The MacBride Museum, Old Log Church Museum, Dawson City Museum and the Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre staff have spent years creating exhibits that are sure to please the young and old and everyone in between. All of which are available in the official language of your choice.

While exploring the numerous virtual exhibits on the Yukon, I came across Klondike: The Rush for Gold, developed by the Dawson City Museum. Eagerly, upon entering the site I joined in the “choose your own adventure” type game and set off from Seattle en route to the Klondike.

Having the benefit of hindsight and history, I thought I would successfully make it all the way to the Klondike and maybe even strike it rich. I am embarrassed to say I did not even make it past Soapy Smith. Tricked, beaten and robbed of my outfit, my adventure was over before it really began.

Luckily, I was allowed a second chance and, with the help of Gold Rush videos from the museums collection, diary entries from real Stampeders and a plethora of helpful information, I was able to avoid a second failure (even though it took me four tries to shoot the Whitehorse Rapids).

Happy to have made it to Dawson City, I found work in town and shared a dance with a dance hall girl. Sadly, I did not strike it rich, but such was the case of most who ventured into the unforgiving territory before me.

Next, I think I might learn about climbing Mount Logan or explore Herschel Island on the Yukon’s most northern tip all from the comfort of my … desk. Perhaps I should continue my adventure from home when I have the time to really explore the Yukon’s Virtual Museums.

For your chance to explore Canada’s museums or to try your luck at striking it rich, visit It is the perfect complement to your trip to the Yukon’s museums or a good alternative for those of you that cannot make it in person.

This column is provided by the Yukon Historical & Museums Association.

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