Dawson City, Yukon Friday, December 6, 2002

People have been seen walking and ski-dooing the traditional ice-bridge route across the Yukon River. Photo by Dan Davidson

Feature Stories

Riverwalking Anyone?
Everitt Faces the People on City of Dawson Business
New Quest President Sees a Need for Year-Round Staff
Koerner Foundation Grant to Dawson Museum
The Coffee House
Youth Art Enrichment Programme
Vivien Bowers: Author on a Whirlwind Tour
Ven Begamudré: Ideas Come by Chance
A Director's Diatribe

Welcome to the December 6, 2002 edition of the online Klondike Sun, which reproduces a selection of the 35 photographs and 28 articles that were in the 28 page December 3 hard copy edition.

The hard copy also contains Doug Urquhart's famous "Paws" cartoon strip, our homegrown crossword puzzle, Diane O'Brien's "Camp Life" cartoon, the Fraser's Edge and obviously, all the other material you won't find here.

We encourage viewers of this website to consider subscribing to the Sun. It would help us financially and you would get to see everything closer to when it's actually news. About 918 people read the last online issue of this paper (that's 43,109 hits since July 2000 and about 25,000 on the original counter before that), and we'd love to be sending out that many more papers. See our home page for subscription information."

An Appeal to Our Readers

A donation (we do give receipts) would help us to keep this website alive and also assist in the purchase of new equipment for our office. The address is on our home page. In case you hadn't noticed, we are a not-for-profit organization running on a shoestring with a part time employee and advertising revenue which has been hurt by the territory's sluggish economy.

Riverwalking Anyone?

by Dan Davidson

In spite of record warm temperatures, unseasonable rain and melting snow, the Yukon River has actually filled in between the ferry landings the way it used to this year, after missing the last three or four winters.

People have been observed hugging the shoreline to and from Moosehide, as well as walking and ski-dooing across the traditional ice-bridge route.

As proof, we offer two shots of this adventurous soul, caught in the act of tight-rope walking the river path on the afternoon of November 27.

First seen from the windows of the City Office building on Front Street, it was not immediately clear what he was holding across his arms. As he moved closer to the east bank of the river (see inset) a photo taken from the dyke revealed that he was walking with a length of tree about twice his height.

Books on northern travel do speak of this trick, carrying something wider than the hole you might fall into just in case you need to lever yourself out of a bad situation. It still seems like a dicey proposition on new ice in +7?C temperatures.


Everitt Faces the People on City of Dawson Business

by Dan Davidson

There were 85 chairs set out for the audience, but there were still a number of people leaning against the walls. Attendance did thin out after the initial presentation, but most stayed for the question period. Photo by Dan Davidson

A meeting that could have resulted in a lot of shouting ended with a round of polite applause on Tuesday night as Mayor Glen Everitt faced about 90 members of the community and held forth for close to three hours on matters related to City of Dawson business.

There were five main topics on the presentation agenda for the evening and Everitt spoke to those for close to 90 minutes before taking a break and then coming back to answer questions for about an hour.

The topics on the agenda were the recreation centre, the water and sewer project, the town's finances, and its legal cases. In response to a petition currently on display at two businesses in town, Everitt also presented an outline of two ways in which petitions can be organized.

At the end of the evening one local was heard to say to him, "Well, I guess your assassins did you a favour."

Everitt, who clearly had come off well during the evening, was far from gloating.

"I really didn't see any assassins. People vented a little bit, but they've wanted to do it for some time.

"I'm glad there were a lot of people who turned out, and I know that there were a lot watching at home. I'm just hoping that it (the meeting) grounds them a little bit, and they go back and take a look at it (the package)."

The package was a 25 page handout that was given out at the door. Staff had underestimated the number needed and had prepared only 50 or so copies, but anyone who wants a set can pick it up at the city office.

"It should really clear up a lot of the rumours and the misinformation, because there's just so much and it's been circulating for so long."

Some of the miscues were his own fault, he said.

"I was always on the defensive, rather than providing the answer. Sometimes I couldn't (for legal reasons). Or I'd say, 'We've been making it available. Come to the public meetings.'

"Obviously having a public council meeting every two weeks ... people don't come out. There have to be other avenues. I don't know if this is it, if once every six months we have this happen."

Since it came off so well, Everitt could be optimistic.

"I'm happy we finally did it."

Essentially the audience listened politely for 90 minutes while Everitt took them through the package page by page.

The Recreation Centre will have ice this winter, if anything does, he said. It was +5?C outside and the snow was melting in a gentle drizzle as he spoke. If this is what winter is going to be in Dawson this year, then there won't be ice in the arena, since it is a natural ice surface.

The entire recreation centre project budget was presented on a spreadsheet, showing that the only unpaid bills are for deficiencies or work not done.

The town has, he said, already paid out its portion of any sewer and water plant that will be constructed. If the rest of the money does not come from a senior level of government, there will never be a plant. Utility rates will be going up, though, because the town now has to heat the water that courses through its pipes to keep it from freezing, a $100,000 annual bill that is a spin-off of shutting down the Yukon Electric diesel generator. Its waste heat used to bring the water temperature up to where it would not freeze in the system.

The town's finances are just fine, thanks, the mayor said, and showed off a 7 year projected budget that showed a surplus and reserves of over $1.5 million at the end of that time. Taxes have not gone up, except in a few cases, and these have usually been caused by changes in territorial assessments (over which the town has no control), which the town has balanced by lowering its rates. In 1996 the residential rate was 1.56; this year it is 1.46.

The various departments in the town are not spending more money than ever, because they don't have more to spend, if for no other reason. Dawson's transfer payments from YTG, its largest single source of income, have dropped from $1,338.335.00 to $1,171,067.00 since 1996. It gets less than either Faro or Watson Lake.

It is true that the town owes money to the YTG as part of debenture, but debentures have been part of fiscal life in Dawson for over 20 years, and part of the $4.4 million borrowed in 2000 was used to refinance $888,000 remaining from a previous loan, one of two that were used to finance sewer and water projects in the 1980s. Of the $3,489,000 borrowed for the recreation centre project, $930,000 has not yet been drawn down and will not be until it is needed.

The town is involved in four outstanding legal cases and a few assorted regulatory challenges, including the TSL (contractor on the rec. centre project) arbitration case, the FSC (architect on three city projects that have problems) case. In addition, John Turnbull's Yukon Riverboat Family has been in constant litigation with the town since 1999 over his plans to build a massive docking facility and chalet on the waterfront. Finally, the town is waiting on the outcome of the Yukon Housing Corporation's plans to appeal the decision in Dawson's favour over its right to give homeowner's grants for sewer and water charges.

The challenge is over Northwestel's handling of bandwidth on the internet, and has been handled for the city at no cost by an electronic access committee of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.


New Quest President Sees a Need for Year-Round Staff

by Dan Davidson

Yukon Quest photo

If the Yukon Quest is to survive, then it must manage to run itself like a business while still retaining the small town flavour of its roots.

That's the message newly mined president Claire Festel brought to Dawson City on November 22.

"The Quest is one of those events that is quintessentially Yukon," she said over coffee at the Downtown Hotel.

She feels that a lot of people have taken the Quest for granted. There was a lot of awareness that it was in trouble organizationally and financially, but there didn't seem to be a willingness to consider a business style of structure.

Former president Stacy Mitchell's decision to go public, to say the Quest was in trouble and that it needed help, was a signal to Festel and some others that there was an opportunity for change. When Mitchell said the Quest needed help and the old board resigned en masse, Festel was at the meeting.

"You could see," she said, "that they were at the point where they were willing to change. They know that they have to."

Festel's view, shared by the other new members of the board, is simple.

"We have to look at the Quest as what it is. It's a US$750,000 a year business.

"The core of it is that it's a race and that it's a community event, and that's what makes it so special. We can't lose sight of that. That's what it has to be. But it can also be run as a business.

"I think it can stay true to its Yukon and Alaska roots. The race itself is one of the last few public things that we have that captures the mythology ... the spirit ... and reality of what it is to be out on the land in the winter."

"That is such a precious thing," said Festel, herself a former trapper, "that if we ever lose sight of that we're lost."

Festel says that the Yukon Quest International (Canada) Ltd. needs to take a more professional stance, borrowing some ideas from its Alaska cousin.

"For the last four years, they've had people in the office and we haven't. They've had a steady source of income.

"On the Yukon side what you've had is that you get people volunteering. They get involved in the board, do anything and everything to survive another year. Then the race comes and goes and they're burnt out."

After that, she reflected, not much happens. The other volunteers don't get thanked properly, the follow-up from the race doesn't happen, the sponsors don't get the recognition that they need, the books sometimes don't get done. Festel says that having a professional person in the office would be one way to deal with all of these problems, to keep the organization moving between events.

That's not to say that the Quest would suddenly become financially flush. The Alaska experience is that the organization there always runs at a deficit, is always catching up, in a sense, simply because the main event requires a huge amount of cash all at once. Alaska has staff, though, so fund raising events are organized throughout the year, decreasing the sense of panic which seems to have overtaken the Yukon board annually.

There's also the advantage of maintaining momentum and stability, versus the burst-of-energy-followed-by-burnout model.

There's more than just the dogsled race itself now. There's the Quest 250, the opening banquet, the Yukon River Quest, a series of huge undertakings that have become more than someone can do in their spare time.

On top of that, the Quest involves every community along the route, with a need to recruit and retain the volunteers there, and the complexities of an international border crossing that is becoming infinitely more complicated the further we get from September 11, 2001.

While in Dawson, Festel met with locals who have a long history with the Quest.

"There's no question that the Quest has a history in Dawson City of poor communication, poor coordination and lack of recognition for the people on the ground here."

None of this has been intentional, she said. It's just a natural consequence of the way things have been run, volunteers doing the best that they could do.

Dawson volunteers did vent a bit when they met with Festel, but she felt that they also gave her some solid suggestions as to how the race could improve its operations.

"Since I took this on there are people who have called me a fool, have said I needed counselling, and others who have said I'm very brave. That may all be true. But there are many people in Yukon who feel the same way I do. If we lose the Quest we lose something major. We need to get it to a level where it's not going to be in a survival situation all the time. It's got to get over that hump."

There are people willing to volunteer. Stacy Mitchell's public appeal made people realize there was a serious problem, and Festel has received lots of calls since then.

"The amount of people who are coming out of the woodwork everywhere is phenomenal. So it's do-able," she said.

Right now, however, the Canadian side of the Quest is still in trouble. They have some commitments in terms of a purse, but the race is just two months away.

They have a new slate of directors, facing a steep learning curve.

The Quest, Festel said, can be the cornerstone for winter tourism in the Yukon. It has major appeal and is a major draw, says the former executive director of the Tourism Association of the Yukon. It is a marketable Northern Experience, but it needs shaping.

The new Canadian Quest board is listening, she said. She came to Dawson fresh from meetings in Alaska and the International Quest Council, trying to plan for the future. After four years with staff, the Alaskans are ready to start planning for the long term. The Yukon board needs to catch up to that.


Koerner Foundation Grant to Dawson Museum

The Leon and Thea Koerner Foundation of Vancouver has recently awarded a $1,500 grant to the Dawson City Museum & Historical Society. These funds are to be used by the Museum to assist in the transfer of a popular Museum presentation titled "Dawson at 40 Below" from slide/tape into video format.

The slide/tape programme was produced by Barb Hogan several years ago and Museum visitors continue to ask to see the beauty of our community during the winter months. Transfer to video format will allow the Museum to much more easily meet visitor demand using an LCD projector now that we have fewer summer staff available to run the slide show equipment. The Museum also will be producing copies of "Dawson at 40 Below" for sale in our Gift Shop. Many of our summer visitors ask us about what Dawson is like in the winter.

The letter enclosing the cheque from the foundation stated that its selection committee considered more than one hundred applications. "We would like to congratulate you on your successful application. The Governors were impressed by the commitment of your organization and by your project."

The Leon and Thea Koerner Foundation was established in 1955 for the purpose of fostering higher education, cultural activities, and public welfare. The Foundation intends to stimulate and invigorate cultural and educational life by enabling institutions to undertake activities that would not be possible without special assistance.

The Dawson City Museum Board, staff, and more than one hundred and sixty-five members wish to express our sincere appreciation for the financial support received from The Leon and Thea Koerner Foundation that will help us to accomplish our goal to preserve and interpret the human and natural heritage of the Dawson City and Klondike region.


The Coffee House

by Palma Berger

Coffee House. Photo by Palma Berger

Part of the Arts for Employment Course offered at KIAC is the Sound and Lighting section. For this Don Armitage from the Yukon Arts center came to Dawson to teach. One can only take in so much when one is being instructed into what switches to press and when and why; but when one is actually doing this before a live audience one really sees why those particular switches mean so much, and what is the effect on the audience.

So the students should actually put to use what they were learning. What better way than to have a "Coffee House". The event was preceded by a crammed course in event planning under the experienced hand of Dominic Lloyd.

It was a Coffee House as there were no alcoholic beverages, no smoking, no gambling and every age could come. And they did. One parent said she loved it that kids of all ages were there, and got up to dance and participate. There were no problems. It was a lovely atmosphere. One adult dropped in later on a whim, but stayed as there was so much fun. All kids whether grown up or not came. It was family night.

The entertainment consisted of three local groups performing The Dawson Jammers, Fred on the banjo, Laurel on the guitar. The Open Mike produced 5 acts from the audience; a newly formed group of five who called themselves the "KIACS", the new teacher Tony Kaytor, Laurel from the Daycare, Alison who sang a cappella, and Gwen Bell on the piano. Then followed more performances by a Rock 'n Roll group with Dominic Lloyd, and Sandy Silver's group, UNNO.

The tables were covered with discarded maps, and crayons were provided. The maps became covered in drawings on both sides. Great decorations and personal.

Gerties was the venue, and this was made possible by KVA donating the use of the hall.

The event was a resounding success with over 100 people attending. The door took in 200.00 in donations and the concession raised 200.00. The monies from these were donated to the "Food for Learning" programme at school.

Door prizes consisted of photo frames, photo album, assorted coffees and other items, moon face sculptured out of soapstone by Ken Andersen, from artist Janet Moore a mixed media painting, two coffee mugs, a college campus t-shirt, free dog vaccination, Odd Gallery cap, Christmas decorations, and for the lucky starving student cans of tuna, and much more. The local businesses gave great support in this field.

What did the students who organized this learn? Firstly that the Fear Factor is a great motivator to get things done, work long hours, and come up with creative ideas. It just had to work. They were amazed at how the word got out in only four days of advertising that the Coffee House was going to take place. Plus, "This town is great. This town really comes through to support an event like this." It also showed how closely they had all bonded and could support each other in the tense moments of risking their inexperience and getting the event off the ground.


Youth Art Enrichment Programme

by Palma Berger

Ashley Bowers shows off her mixed media work. Photo by Palma Berger

The second Youth Art Enrichment Programme was held in Dawson for a packed four days. This is for young people from all over the Territory. As well as local youth, others came from as far away as Haines Junction in the Territory and as far away as Japan, Germany and Norway as represented by three young people who happened to be on a student exchange programme in the Yukon.

The various courses were spread over many venues in town. The soapstone carving under carver Ken Andersen was held in the Heritage Centre on Front street. The mixed media class under Whitehorse artist Janet Moore was in the Pioneer Hall. The video making under instructor Paul Gowdie with assistant Paul Henderson, was in the ball room of KIAC. The drawing class under David Curtis was downstairs in KIAC.

The chaperones for the students were all art teachers from various high schools and participated as enthusiastically as the students.

Meals for the students were provided by volunteers working at St. Mary's. It was here one could see the enthusiasm still showing on the faces of the gathered students. The instructors did not look tired or exhausted at the end of the time. They said they felt so buoyed up as they were such a great bunch of students. Ken Andersen on showing off the carving accomplishments of his class, joked that he is taking his soapstone out of Dawson, as there is too much competition here.

In the drawing class the students as well as the visitors were amazed at how far they had progressed in those crammed days. The mixed media class room was a mess of creativity during instruction, but organized into an appealing display of each student's work for the final viewing.

Everyone was invited to a Saturday night dinner in the Ball room at KIAC. Here they were treated to a showing of videos as made by the students. The videos were a hoot. The one created as an ad for the Short Film Festival would really blow your socks away.

All students had bonded so well over the period that they were sad to have it come to an end. The exchange students were particularly sad at leaving and had many questions about Dawson, and some on the last day vowed they would come back another time.

This Youth Art Enrichment programme as organized by KIAC has proven to be most popular throughout the Territory.


Vivien Bowers: Author on a Whirlwind Tour

by Dan Davidson

Vivien Bowers proves she was in Dawson, however briefly. Photo by Dan Davidson

If Vivien Bowers hadn't already spent some time in Dawson she might have been a little upset at the whirlwind visit she got on November 7. The former classroom teacher was in and out of the town in just a few hours, spending most of her time talking to a couple of groups of elementary school children at the Robert Service School before lunching at the Downtown Hotel and reconnecting with Air North on her way back to the capital city on the same day.

The visit was all part of her schedule for TD Canadian Children's Book Week. This year there were 27 authors and illustrators on tour in various parts of the country, funded by the bank and the Canada Council as well as local government agencies such as Library Services Branch.

Bowers writes non-fiction books for elementary school children. This is sort of a spin-off from her days as a teacher, when she says she used to love coming up with novel ways to present information. When she left teaching she moved to freelance journalism and also to writing material for several textbooks which have been used nationally as well as distance education courses for BC's Department of Education.

Most recently she has had great success with three non-fiction books from Owl Books. The first was Crime Science, which teaches science concepts through the medium of forensic anthropology and crime casebooks. This takes advantage of the upswing in interest in such applications of science as indicated by the popularity of crime novels by Kathy Reichs and Patricia Cornwall, as well as television programs like CSI.

WOW Canada follows the adventures of a fictional family as they travelled across the country from east to west and south to north. The viewpoint character is a blasé 12 year old but there are also passages from his parents, questions from his younger sister and the cartoon adventures of Bucko Beaver to enliven the text, along with lots of illustrations.

Her most recent book is Only in Canada! From the Colossal to the Kooky. The first chapter title, "Amazing Facts About How Canada was Bashed, Pummelled, Scrunched and Scraped Into the Shape It's In Today", does reveal that the chapter is about physical geography, but it also says something about the approach she has taken to the subject.

Bowers is about to branch out into adult non-fiction, having just finished a book about avalanches in BC. It's dues out from Greystone Books next fall. Writing this was a refreshing change for her, but she says she's looking forward to the next children's project. The avalanche book was a bit dark in tone..

"With the children's work I try to make it upbeat, using a lot of cartoon characters and silliness and that kind of thing, whereas dealing with a fatal avalanche was a little heavy."

She moved to children's non-fiction after years of writing for textbooks partly as a way to get beyond the restrictions of that format. On the other hand, she wrote with an awareness of the educational market, and it shows in the popularity her books have found in schools.

The delight of doing public presentations is, for her, the pleasure you get from presenting a well constructed lesson many times over without having to be interrupted by the daily routines of record keeping and classroom management. Her enjoyment was evident at the school as she captivated a group of grade 4 to 6 students, brought up volunteers and put them through their paces to make a point.

"That's the delight of having a presentation that you do on your book. Put it together and then put it on - hundreds of times."

Is it like having all of the fun and none of the responsibility?

"That's true, " she said with a laugh, "You also have the teachers around nabbing anyone who isn't behaving."

But you do have to be "on" for this sort of thing and three or four presentations a day can be exhausting.

"But it's fun. When you spend most of your time in front a computer in your office all by yourself - and then you come out, it's fun."

At the Whitehorse Public Library on the previous Sunday she recalls being so involved in her presentation that it took her awhile to notice there was an earthquake in progress.

In addition to Dawson, Bowers also got to visit Haines Junction, but most of her time was in Whitehorse. She was anticipating doing a workshop for adults as well, all about the writing process and putting a book together.

"I find that interesting myself," said the 22 year veteran scribe. "I almost write things instinctively, so afterwards, when you have to tell people about it you go back and say, 'what was it that I did here?'

So much of the planning is now part of an unconscious process, but some is deliberate.

When she was in the Yukon the summer before last, it was to begin research for a book she'd like to write about the Klondike. She has a plan to do a series of kids' books that are more regionally focussed that the larger Wow Canada.

"I've got one that's about canoeing on the Churchill River, dealing with voyageurs and the fur trade and so on.

"The second is supposed to be about the Klondike, so I hiked the Chilkoot and drove up here from Whitehorse."

Reams of information are sitting in file folders at home outside of Nelson, B.C., waiting for her to find room in her busy schedule to turn them into a book.

Given her sense of what's entertaining, it will probably be a lot of fun as well as informative.


Ven Begamudré: Ideas Come by Chance

by Dan Davidson

The Yukon's writer in residence visits the Dawson Community Library. Photo by Dan Davidson

"Ideas come by chance, " said the Yukon's Writer-in-residence, Ven Begamudré, who spent a day in Dawson on November 19, making himself available to local writers and presenting a public reading at the Dawson Community Library that evening.

Begamudré is soft-spoken and self-deprecating as a public reader, but this is not to say that he is at all boring.

His audience of half a dozen was treated to a selection for a article, "How Very Practical the Indian" that he had cobbled together from Indian proverbs. He is fascinated by proverbs and found a way to string them together into a very amusing piece, containing aphorisms such as "Call on God but do row away from the rocks."

"Bad writers imitate," he said, by way of introduction. "Good writers steal."

Begamudré is a self-confessed "slow" writer. Among his many projects in various stages of completion, he selected portions of a family history he is creating. Some of the material is autobiographical, some is a matter of family history and other parts, he frankly noted, are fantastical, existing in several versions and variations, depending on who in the family told him the tale.

This seems, he thinks, to be a normal part of the human condition. He has experienced in his own life the phenomenon of having vivid recollections which disagree with journal entries and notes he made at the time of the events he now recalls so clearly and so differently.

As an example of his leisurely pace, he offered up the story of how he came to write The Phantom Queen. At a workshop in 1978 a young woman asked him if he would write a magical story about music. She was 14 at the time. He was finally able to provide her with the finished novel when she was 38.

In the meantime the story had gone around the world and settled in an imaginary Slavic state, one born of Begamudré's interest in things Russian, an interest nurtured by a youthful ambition to be on the international staff at the United Nations.

He's not quite sure how university studies in international administration in Paris and Public Administration at Carleton University ended in a writing career, but he was active in creative writing from the late 1970s on and published his first novel, Sacrifices, in 1986. Five other books have followed that, and he eventually completed a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing in 1999.

His final reading of the evening was from a somewhat controversial biography of Sir Isaac Brock, which he prepared as part of a series on notable Canadian figures. The controversy arose from his decision to highlight the role the women in Brock's life might have played in forming his character. The portion he read was from the viewpoint of Brock's fiancée, a reflection on her understanding of what her beau had gone into the army in the first place. The details, he said, were factual, but the event itself was fictionalize, since very little is actually known about the woman.

Begamudré is on duty Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at the Whitehorse Public Library with both afternoon and evening hours. Appointments should be booked in advance through the front desk. Details of his services as writer-in-residence are available at all public libraries in the territory. His residency began in September and will conclude on December 27.


A Director's Diatribe

by Jennifer Keller, Klondike Sun Director

Every once in a while this ghost of a Sun Director gets her chains a rattlin. My name is Jennifer Keller, I work at your school with your kids and I know what's going on. Why are my chains rattlin', my feet stamping, my lips flapping and my pen slashing? Its you, you parents who sing "There's nothing for my kids to do in this town."

What in Heavens name are you talking about? Nothing for your children to do? If you feel that there is nothing for your young people to get involved in, you better start opening your mail box, reading the back page of the paper, go into your school, your Arts building, cultural centers, your church and youth center. All of these places can help you to discover just how busy your child can be.

Keeping consistent levels of physical, mental and creative stimulation in your child's life is of the utmost importance. Yes, you may have to get off your duff to start your vehicle if you live out of town, but if you reside this side of the bridge you only need rouse yourself long enough to shout Time for soccer, Johnny, wear a hat. How hard is that? Please, feel free to fall back on the couch if you must. Don't worry there will be plenty of other parents attending to help cheer on your child, helping him or her to develop self-esteem, confidence, self respect, general and overall feelings of satisfaction, perhaps even full out happiness. Guess what? Your child might come home so content and tired out from some stimulation, they may go straight to bed. How lucky for you, a night off from parenting...

Seriously, there are so many things going on in our community most of them wont cost you a cent. You are VERY lucky to live in a town that offers as many programs as yours. Please make an effort to find out what your child might be interested in and enroll them. Barring actually coming to your house and hitting you over the head, the people running these programs do their very best to be sure you know what's going on.

The following list is for you. You parents who sing There is nothing for my kids to do in this town. This list is also for the rest of us. We can quote it to you so that you'll stop complaining that there is nothing for your kids to do.


First of all, if your kids are bored and say that none of the following things are of interest to him, tell him to go walk a dog, hang out at the Humane Society. How about reading to someone at MacDonald Lodge? There are lots of volunteer positions for young people. We would love to see them here at the Sun. They would be welcome at the Library, daycares, Fire Department, Dawson City Radio and TV, Ambulance and The Women's Shelter. Everyone needs volunteers, take a look around.


KIAC, as always, came through this fall with a variety of visual and performing arts.

Currently being offered are piano lessons for both beginners and intermediates, flute and drum lessons are also being offered.

Kids n' Crafts is for kids aged 4-9. They learn to make magnets, picture frames and holiday crafts.

There is a Young Picasso Painting Class just for kids. They will be featuring a grand finale kids art exhibition at the finish.

Jen Shelest at KIAC reminds us that some of the adult Christmas programs coming up are appropriate for younger students as well. She lists, as an example of this, a stained glass Christmas ornament class. Jen thinks it would be a great opportunity for parents and kids to spend some creative time together

KIAC's winter calendar will be out mid December for registration in January. They will aim to offer a selection of children's programming. Calendars will be found at KIAC (Odd Fellows Hall), the post office, library and other selected venues around town. If you would like to know more, just call Jen at 993-5005.

Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in

Janet Bell and Charles Eshelman are running great youth programs over at TH. Don't, please don't, ever let me hear anyone say Oh, TH programs are only for first nation kids. Let me just quote Janet for you, All programs with the exception of youth council are open to all community members, first nation or non-first nations. Some of the following are run in conjunction with the Dawson City Rec. Dept. Phone Janet at 993-5383.

At TH you can find:

Games Nights
Movie Nights
Girl's Nights
Girl Guides of Canada
Kid's Karate
Kick Boxing
Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in Youth Council
Christmas break Programs
A "Youth Plan to Take Over the World"
Snowboard trips
March Break Programs
First Hunt Culture Programs
First Fish Culture Camp
Girl Power Weekend Retreats
Many different Summer Programs
Junior Canadian; Rangers

Dawson City Recreation Dept.

Our man Jason Flegel recently gave me a pretty extensive list of youth programs available. He also tells me that some of the programs are run, organized and coached by volunteers, like Wayne Rachel, Irwin Gaw and many others. How cool is that? Jason and Andrea can be reached at 993-2353.

Minor Soccer
Minor Hockey
Free drop-in Gym
Floor Hockey
Sun Catchers Figure Skating Club
Preschooler Story Time
Kids' Times
Youth Minds
Drop-in Floor Hockey
Youth Weight Lifting
Drop-in Volleyball
Drop-in Basketball
Run Dawson

Just in case that's not enough for you, maybe your child would like to join a club at school. How about the Literary Club or a Computer Club or Choir, its easily done. Talk to your child's teacher for club information.

The Gospel Church has Friday night Youth programming for grades 7-12. They also run a kids club on Tuesday afternoons for kids ages 6-12.

Did I mention the Snowmobile Association?

What about the SKI HILL? Enough said.

So, there you have it. There are many amazing activities for kids here in Dawson City. Remember, from Jean Piaget to Dr. Spock, Dr. K Bell-Irving to Oprah Winfrey, "A busy child is a happy child." ( And far less likely to end up a serial killer.)

Sorry, but I did say diatribe.

Thank you for your time, your kids will thank you, too.


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