Doors are Open for Culture Days

The Yukon is recognized for its rich cultural diversity, and you are invited to experience it during the seventh national Culture Days and Doors Open celebration, from Friday, September 30 through to Sunday, October 2.

“The best place to start your Culture Days experience is at The Old Fire Hall,” says Michele Emslie, co-ordinator and community programming director at the Yukon Arts Centre.

The Old Fire Hall is the hub of events throughout the weekend. Local arts groups and individuals will host demonstrations, and there will be cake, music and information about all other events.

For example, Yukon Books will be there, celebrating the variety of works published in the territory. Hosted by Yukon Writers Collective Ink, readers will have a chance to meet local authors, spill a little ink with writing prompts and learn about various writing groups in Whitehorse.

Katherine Munro is organizing the event. “It’s important to be part of Culture Days so people see we have a vibrant literary community,” she says. “Writing is a solitary act, without a lot of exposure. That’s why the literary arts need to be in the public eye.”

The ever-popular Mystery Tour in the Culture Cruiser is back. People can sign up to be driven to three undisclosed locations that are not usually associated with arts for unique cultural experiences. “This is a very popular event, with only 10 seats, so be at the Fire Hall at noon to sign up,” says Emslie.

Or, hop on the trolley, for free all weekend, to new events nearby, such as the Old Log Church interactive museum experience.

Or MacBride Museum, which offers groups of 20 “grown-ups” a chance to play like kids in Hands-On Murder. Usually grade five students are invited to solve a mystery at Goldbottom Creek using clues based on historical fact. This weekend it’s their parents’ turn.

“I’ve always thought that this program would be fun for adults to do,” says Leighann Chalykoff, manager of museum services.

Doors Open events include the Yukon’s archeology and paleontology offices where visitors can bring in old objects for identification.

“We’re very excited that their open house coincides with our event,” says Emslie.

The Whitehorse Public Library and the Yukon Game Preserve are also hosting behind-the-scenes tours.

Keep an eye out off the beaten path, too.

Papermaker Helen O’Connor has opened her studio, called Stovepipe Paper, at 606 Black Street for a hands-on demonstration.

“Participants can see specialized equipment such as a Hollander beater and Oriental fibre stamper in action as paper is made,” says O’Connor. She invites visitors to contribute to a “wishing paper” project of willow and handmade paper, inspired by her recent visit to several Shinto shrines in Japan.

At Teegatha’Oh Zheh, the little park at the end of Main Street, mosaic artist Laurence Petit is unveiling an art project she made in collaboration with members of the Yukon francophone community. It’s called “Captez le rêve” (Capture the Dream) and it has been in the making since March.

There will also be cultural events taking place in Carcross for the Culture Days and Doors Open festival.

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