Dawson Tinder Report

Hello, dear readers. The Annual Territorial September Scramble is on in full force. Up the Klondike Highway where the winters are darker and colder than in Whitehorse, the stakes of the dating game are stacked even higher.

I went to Dawson for five days, and swiped and liked and Tindered away. In the efforts of research, I expanded my age range up to 20-50 years old and practiced being an unusually generous liker. I even Tindered right at the Miner’s BBQ, which surely has the highest concentration of loaded 20-something gold miners (in both senses) in Canada.

I swiped right on a lot of Dawson boys I already knew, as well, so I figured I’d have several fun matches at the very least.

But… I only got one match. One lowly match. He was an Alaskan lawyer who left town before we could meet. I had swiped right on so many men and the growing sense of inadequacy in my heart left me wondering, am I even qualified to be the What’s Up Yukon Tinder correspondant? Because one Tinder match in the sexual Montreal of the Yukon is not a good story. That’s a sad story.

To be honest, all was not lonesome in Dawson. I did have two different hobo men propose to me when I wore a pretty white dress out on the town one night. (I declined both offers.)

I lamented to a friend over dinner about the situation, and she told me someone had made a short documentary about Tinder in the winter in Dawson. Chris Healey to be exact. Saved by the film! I had a story again.

I chatted with Chris, met his son, James Healey the co-producer and composer, and was lucky enough to see a preview of A Spark in The Dark: Tinder Users in the North.

The film was inspired by an evening of hanging out with friends having excellent conversation that got around to some amazing Tinder stories – although Chris has never used Tinder himself.

By using the common and popular topic of Tinder that people around the world can relate to, Chris says, it’s a way to show how very different things are in the North, especially in the winter.

The film has a gritty aesthetic, is shot in black in white, and is about 20 minutes long. It is a self-funded project. It follows three Dawsonites sharing their experiences with Tinder, a dating app designed for the big, dismissive and endless city.

Tinder in Dawson, it turns out, is more of an intimate social network than a dating app. You are incredibly likely to match with your friends. And there’s more peer pressure to swipe right, because you know these people, you know all these people on Tinder.

“There’s a very nice social message that comes out of this: you really have to treat people gently, because you are gonna see them. And that’s what turns Tinder into something else here,” Chris says.

A Spark In The Dark is coming this fall. In October 2016 the film will start being submitted to festivals. Hopefully we’ll see it screened locally, soon.

Next week will be my last article in this series about online dating in the Yukon. I’m sad to for it to end, it’s been great to finally get paid to be single!

Swipingly Yours, Amelia.

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