Dawson City, Yukon Friday, June 6, 2003

Dawson City recently hosted its 17th International Gold Show. Photo by Dan Davidson

Feature Stories

Gold Show Weekend Suggests Hope for Miners
"It's been sink or swim," Says KPMA's Christie
Governments Agree to Work Together on Placer Mining Issue
Canoeists Saved by Their Breakfast
Ted and Lucy the Beemer
Review: "Bugz" Takes over the School
Find Fine Food Far from the Madding Crowd
Seven Months of Arts School Gives a New Perspective
New Show at the Tintina Bakery
About that Laser Printer

Welcome to the June 6, 2003 edition of the online Klondike Sun, which reproduces a selection of the 12 photographs and 17 articles that were in the 20 page June 3 hard copy edition. We haven't had a new issue online for a while as our webmaster has been on vacation. Unfortunately, he returns to duty the same week that our editor heads off for a month. The three missing issues from June and July will be online shortly, but the rest of July will have to wait until August.

The hard copy also contains Doug Urquhart's famous "Paws" cartoon strip, our homegrown crossword puzzle, 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. Since we went online in March 1996 our counter has crashed a number of times. The first counter logged about 25,000 visitors. The second one, which crashed recently, logged about 51,000. The current counter went online in April of this spring and is currently sitting at 5,700. Apparently people have been logging on and looking for a new issue.

Anybody Got a Loonie?

If every person who logged onto this website would send us a loonie, we'd be able to pay off the lease on our new laser printer in just a few issues. Seriously folks, since the beginning of this year there are more of you reading this digest edition of the Sun than there are reading the real thing on paper. So far, one person has responded to this plea for assistance. You can read all about it in the last item on this page.

Gold Show Weekend Suggests Hope for Miners

by Dan Davidson

An attentive and packed house assembled for breakfast on Friday morning to hear a number of optimistic speakers. Photo by Dan Davidson

Dawson City has exhibited a lot of grace under pressure, in the opinion of Yukon Mines Minister Archie Lang. He spoke to this theme at the press conference following the meeting of Northern Mining Ministers on May 15 and was not the last person to address it as that meeting blended into the 17th Dawson City International Gold Show weekend.

Lang had also indicated at that press conference that some resolution to the conflict between placer miners and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans was in the works, spurred on by a coalition of interests including the Yukon Government, the Klondike Placer Miners Association and the Council for Yukon First Nations.

Lang indicated that news on developments might be forthcoming in about 10 days.

The KPMA's Tara Christie affirmed that a deal seems to be in the works, but Christie was cautious, having already seen one completed deal, the Yukon Placer Authorization Review, fall apart due to unilateral action by the DFO.

Still, as the Gold Show weekend began on Friday morning, speech making was definitely swinging in positive directions. Following greetings and many thank-yous from Dawson City Chamber of Commerce president Jorn Meier, Stewart Schmidt, whose Schmidt Mining was one of the lead sponsors of the Gold Show, took the podium to describe how he was feeling after months of controversy.

"It's hard to not take it as a personal attack," Schmidt said, describing the impact of having his business pursued by a federal department, several conservation groups backed by southern money and some "well funded government boards and committees."

It was the discovery that those fighting the battle for mining here have strong support from such groups as the City of Dawson, the Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in and its elders, the Council for Yukon First Nations and the local chamber of commerce that helped Schmidt decide to continue his Yukon operations.

A public letter from the Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in elders restored his faith. He was in South America when he read it, thinking about closing operations in the Klondike, where he was feeling increasingly less welcome.

"I thought, no, I don't need to look down here any more. I'm going back to the Yukon.

"It's an amazing coalition of people right across this territory. I'm very proud and inspired by this community."

The KPMA's Tara Christie began by noting that lobbying was not the way she had intended to spend her winter once the YPA review hearings had come to an end. The DFO announcement was like the roof falling in, and it seemed at first that there was little or no hope. As time went on and the momentum of the anti-DFO protest increased, she began to see some light at the end of the tunnel.

"We've really seen our community and the Yukon, our first nations, all of our (political) parties, (come together) with the help of M.P. Larry Bagnell and Senator Ione Christiansen - we've come a very long way.

"The first time I went to Ottawa the reception wasn't that great. People basically said, 'The decision's made. Live with it.' That's not the message we're hearing now."

Sounding a determined note, Christie said, "We have no choice. We have to succeed." It was, however, still too soon to make any good news announcements.

Mayor Glen Everitt arrived at the podium wearing a "No DFO" logo on a T-shirt under his cardigan. He normally wears the gold studded mayor's chain of office to events such as this, but he felt the two items of apparel didn't go well together.

Echoing many of the other speakers, Everitt added an overview of what he sees as the problems with DFO, a branch of government which is impacting every level of government across the country" from water and sewer distribution in Dawson, to placer mining in the Klondike to fishing in New Brunswick and Newfoundland.

"The message that's going across the country is that there's definitely something wrong in the department of DFO."

Everitt said the Federation of Canadian Municipalities is expected to be calling for a royal commission to investigate the working of the department, a motion which came out of Dawson.

"At the time that it was tabled, I didn't think I'd be able to take the Yukon Placer Authorization and convince this (FCM) executive that it was a national issue, but it didn't take much."

As for the future, he was positive, "We can only go up from here."

MLA Peter Jenkins commented on what he called a "change of heart" on the part of the Honorable Robert Nault, Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs, as far as the Yukon is concerned. He felt that Nault had a much better understanding if the issues now than he did a few years ago and that the non-partisan character of the battle was a positive thing.

"We're where we're at today because of a lot of concerted effort by individuals on the federal political level, on the first nations level, on the Yukon government level, on the KPMA level."

YTG's Minister of Mines, Archie Lang, spoke at length about the steps his government has taken to encourage investment, streamline regulation and open up the territory's mining and oil potential. Speaking directly to the placer industry, he referred to it as "the family farm of the north (and) a major player in the Yukon's economy."

"Much of the industry's capital expenditures for equipment and operating expenses occur within the Yukon."

The actions of the DFO were, he said, "a devastating blow" to the industry, but he repeated his assurance that his government was moving towards an agreement with the federal department and CYFN "to move forward in addressing this issue."

All parties in the discussion, he said, "realize the importance of a sustainable placer industry to the Yukon, as well as the importance of conservation and protection of fish and fish habitat supporting fishers.

"All parties agree that we must ... establish a process that is fair and understandable to industry."

With regards to the placer industry, Senator Ione Christiansen referred to the DFO announcement of December 16 as a disastrous lapse of communication, and one which she learned of about two hours before it was made. Her vision of the solution to the problem is to step back to before that date and find a manageable, acceptable solution which will allow for improvement within a reasonable economic framework.

Christiansen has been asked to sit with the committee looking at the issue, which brings her full circle on this file. She chaired the placer mining hearings back in 1980 and has personal experience in the area going back to her childhood.

"I see my role as trying to keep the minister (referring to the Honorable Robert Thibault, Minister of Fisheries) onside and everybody working together, working forward in a very positive way."

One could only come away from that breakfast with the conclusion that an unusual thing was happening: most of the major political players in the Yukon were singing from the same song sheet for the first time in years.


"It's been sink or swim," Says KPMA's Christie

by Dan Davidson

KPMA president Tara Christie at the Gold Show in Dawson City. Photo by Dan Davidson

"Everyone in Ottawa knows who Tara Christie is now," Mayor Glen Everitt told the breakfast meeting at the opening of the recent Gold Show in Dawson City.

He went on to speak at some length about the 29 year old president of the Klondike Placer Miners' Association had managed to penetrate the relatively closed shop of Ottawa politics and get her organization's message across.

He wasn't the only one to praise Christie, who squirmed slightly through several spontaneous outbursts of applause as her name was mentioned by speaker after speaker that morning, Yukon Party ministers Archie Lang and Peter Jenkins, mining colleague and former KPMA president Stewart Schmidt were full of accolades, as was Senator Ione Christiansen, who put an almost prophetic spin on her references.

Christie often stays with the senator from the Yukon when she is in Ottawa, and Christiansen sang her praises with enthusiasm, telling how she had systematically worked the venues where the MPs gather after a long day in session, assisted by Yukon's MP, Larry Bagnell.

"She was sent to you for this time, I'm sure," said the Senator. "She's doing a fantastic job. I'm very impressed with her." Once again the applause broke out.

Christie didn't take on the KPMA leadership position in order to gain a public profile. The four month guerrilla war she's been waging against the Department of Fisheries and Oceans decision to scrap the Yukon Placer Authorization last December 16 was the last thing on her mind.

She had prepared herself to work on the Yukon Placer Committee though, and was quite confident of her ability to handle that chore.

She comes from a mining background. Her father, Jim Christie, has a PhD. in geology. The family has been mining in the Yukon since the early 1980s and Tara has been a partner in Gimlex Gold Mines since 1993.

She was raised on mines and has done every sort of mining work imaginable, in addition to gaining a BSc and a Masters in geological engineering, with a sub-specialty in environmental geochemistry.

She says she was happy to take on the revisions to the YPA because she felt she really understood both sides of the issue and should make a contribution.

"Placer mining and fisheries are both important," she says, "and we're going to keep on working to come up with a regime that works."

Of course, she thought they had that agreement in the fall of 2002 and then, on December 16, "the roof fell in."

What she would like to see, what seemed to be indicated at the Gold Show and in more recent announcements on the issue, is a negotiation process which turns the clock back to before the DFO announcement and keeps as much of the Yukon Placer Committee's work as possible intact.

"I did hear the minister (Hon. Robert Nault) say that we were going to keep what was good in the YPA... I know that the Council for Yukon First Nations and the Yukon territorial government and the KPMA are not interested in reinventing the wheel."

She was still very upset with the way things were handled by DFO, an exercise which she labels "an amazing waste of time and money."

Recovering from that has been expensive too.

"It cost us a lot of money to get where we are now - money and time and effort. We've all done this. Everyone in this community (Dawson), the association, government. We've gone over these same issues and topics at least three times."

Her perspective on the issues is in the middle of the road.

"I don't see this as mining versus the environment because I don't see any net environmental benefit that's going to come from what is being proposed. We've had mining on these same streams for 100 years. If there was an impact on the fishery we'd already know about it."

On the other hand, she's not in favour of the confrontational tactics that some people on both sides of the issue have been using or advocating. She sees Dawson and this area as her home. After 19 years in the region, she says it gives her spirits a lift when she drives into town.

As for the praises heaped upon her by others over her role in the current dispute, she's not terribly comfortable with them.

"You do things because you have to do things. It's not like I chose any of this or wanted to do any of this, but we have to solve it. I signed up because I've got a technical background and I wanted to fix the problems during the review. I actually understand the model, what the YPA's all about and the science. I thought that's what I was doing, was working on that and setting up a process to fix those things."

Up until December that was the role she tried to fill. After that, things changed.

"What do I know about politics?" she says. "I'm not a politician and don't particularly aspire to be one. I got thrown in this position and it's been sink or swim."

She has praise and thanks for those who have been her mentors in the process: MP Larry Bagnell, Senator Ione Christiansen, Mines Minister Archie Lang and Grand Chief Ed Schultz.


Governments Agree to Work Together on Placer Mining Issue

Whitehorse (May 27, 2003) - Recognizing the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans' decision to replace the Yukon Placer Authorization with a new regime to regulate placer mining in the Yukon, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Council of Yukon First Nations and the Government of Yukon have entered into an agreement to work cooperatively in developing a new regime.

"I am very pleased to be working cooperatively with the governments in the Yukon on this important initiative," Fisheries and Oceans Canada Minister Robert Thibault said. "A harmonized, nationally consistent and timely approach to the regulation of placer mining is very important."

A special Implementation Steering Committee supported by a Working Committee is being established to develop the new regime. The governments intend to develop a plan detailing the regime by April 2004. The regime itself will be implemented by 2007.

"I am very pleased with this agreement and the clear understanding that this regime must establish a process that is fair and understandable to industry," Energy, Mines and Resources Minister Archie Lang said. "To help achieve this, the Klondike Placer Miners' Association will be an active participant in these discussions."

All parties recognize the importance of a sustainable placer industry to the Yukon, as well as the importance of conservation and protection of fish and fish habitat supporting fisheries.

"The active involvement by First Nations in this work should lead to guidelines that are achievable and incorporate local experience and traditional knowledge," Council of Yukon First Nations Grand Chief Ed Schultz said.

An independent facilitator will be hired to assist the committees in their work.


Canoeists Saved by Their Breakfast

by Dan Davidson

Shown here are Ben LeHuray, from the Guernsey Islands, James Butler from London, Rob Bell from Luton. These three spent the winter at Whistler and decided to come north for a Yukon adventure, but they got more than they bargained for. Photo by Dan Davidson

Three British canoeists are crediting a hearty breakfast with saving their lives after their misadventure on the Yukon River on May 21.

Ben LeHuray, James Butler and Rob Bell had planned what they thought would be a simple trip down river from Dawson to Fortymile by canoe. They set off at 8:30 from the Yukon Rover Hostel where they had rented a 15 root canoe.

They weren't heavily laden - just three rucksacks and themselves in the canoe. The plan was to meet someone at Fortymile and get driven back.

The day was fairly warm and they were on the west side of the river so thy got the sun,. They had no problems for the first two hours, but shortly after 10:30 that changed.

"We approached what looked to be like a small island," LeHuray said. "Without realizing what was going on until too late we were sucked into something like a log jam."

The debris was under the water, but it funnelled them into an unexpected stretch of white water on the other side of the island from the main channel. This was odd, because there isn't really supposed to be any of that type of thing on that stretch of the river.

"That's what we're hearing," LeHuray said, "but somehow we found it."

Butler said that they went in straight on, but quickly found themselves taking on water, lots of water.

Bell estimated that they were swamped in about 20 seconds, certainly no more than 45, dumped into water that was scarcely warmer than the ice flows slowly melting on the banks every since breakup.

"Before you knew it," Butler said, "we had gone down. We were in the water, trying to swim."

They tried to stay with the canoe and use it as a flotation device to get to the shore some 40 yards away.

"As soon as we were in the water we all started hyperventilating right away. It sort of hits your chest and that's it," Butler said.

Amidst what they describe as fear a panic, they had to decide to abandon the canoe and strike for the shore. LeHuray and Bell made it first, followed by Butler, who was hampered by a pair of gloves he forgot he was wearing until the others yelled at him to take them off. As he saw them on the shore, he knew they weren't going to be able to help him and somehow found the reserves of strength to make the last effort and find gravel under his feet.

"My jaw didn't stop cracking itself against my teeth for the first hour," LeHuray said.

Bell recalled lying on the bank, listening his friend making strange animal like moans and other noises and thinking he was hearing a bear or some creature in the bushes.

The scary thing, Butler said, was the sense of having lost control of his body.

"You're shaking violently, you've never been in this situation before, and you don't know if you body is gonna stop - when or if."

There was sunshine, and it helped to dry their clothes a bit after they had wrung most of the water out. They salvaged one rucksack, but all they had for food was a few slices of ham, some cheese and three apples. They had no water, and you can't drink from the Yukon anywhere south of the White River.

All three swear that if not for the excellent breakfast they had consumed at Janice Rose's Bedside Manner B&B that morning they would never had had the energy to get them through what came next.

Would they walk down river to Fortymile where they were to have been picked up at around 6 o'clock, or were they nearer to Dawson? With just two hours on the river, they decided on the later course of action and began plodding back up the river bank.

Some of the going wasn't bad. The river is low just now, and the exposed gravel flats made for easy walking. But eventually they encountered cliff faces that ran right down to the river, and they had to climb around them or across them in order to continue their progress. They didn't want to strike off inland for fear of getting lost.

"We found ourselves really seriously high at some points," Bell said, "looking back down at the river, just to get over these rocks and get back down to the base again."

They were surprised to find metre high blocks of ice at many points along the bank, and while it looked solid, some of it would give way beneath their feet.

Much to their surprise they ran into a signpost warning that emus might be seen during the next five kilometres. Not far from there they found a house under construction. No one was there so they left a message scrawled on a board, and then moved on.

With four five minute breaks and no water they walked from about 11 a.m. until they finally reached the Yukon River Hostel at 9 that night.

"It was a humbling experience," LeHuray said. "We were surfing at Tofino just two weeks ago and thought that was cold, that we could never get colder."

Still, they came for adventure and they got one. They're planning to tell their friends to give the Yukon a try - but first to have breakfast at Rosie's.


Ted and Lucy the Beemer

by Dan Davidson

Ted Hellewell astride Lucy the Beemer. Photo by Dan Davidson

It takes a lot of determination just to drive across Canada, but retired mining engineer Ted Hellewell, who hails from Cardiff, Wales, seemed undaunted when I met him at the Dawson City Gold Show a couple of weeks back. He's doing the trip by motorcycle.

Ted, as Dr. Edward G. Hellewell prefers to be known, was pleased as punch to be in the Klondike, one of the few great mining regions of the world that he did not manage to visit while he was actively involved in the mining game.

"This is a place I've always wanted to come," he said. "For me, this is the epic. I take my hat off to these guys who made it here in the gold rush."

It's been a little easier for 67-year-old Ted, travelling as he is on a BMW R1150RT motorbike he calls Lucy the Beemer. While he'd encountered some snow in Prince George and on the higher parts of the Cassiar-Stewart Highway heading north, the biggest problem he'd had so far was actually getting permission to use Lucy for the trip. He'd sorted out a mess of red tape related to permitting and customs regulations by getting himself on City Pulse television in Vancouver and becoming a minor celebrity.

This, he says, is one of the two time honoured British methods of getting around red tape. The other one is staging a riot, and he didn't think that would work in Canada.

From there it was north to Dawson via one route and south to Calgary by the Alaska Highway before launching himself on the trek to Halifax, which he hopes to reach near the end of July.

Ted isn't touring the nation just for fun. He's raising money and awareness for the Marie Curie Cancer Centre at Holme Tower, near Penarth, Wales, where his wife, Dorothy, passed away about a year ago. A trip to Canada was one of the things they had always meant to do, and Ted decided to take it on in her memory and as a fund raiser.

In addition, he's carrying a digital camera, a laptop computer and a video camera on the trip, and filing back text and pictures to the BBC, for whom he has done a bit of freelance work over the years as a writer. You can see his photos and read his weblog at http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/southeast/sites/tedstravels, where he managed to file a story about meeting this reporter (though he mangled the last name) before this story could get written.

Anyone wishing to make a donation to his worthy cause can contact him through the "talkback" feature on his weblog and he'll tell you where to send the money.

In addition to his trade and academic credits, Ted was a jazz trombonist when he was younger and took up the double bass later on when he'd settled in Cardiff with Dorothy and had become a Lecturer in Minerals Surveying at Cardiff University. He still plays with the Cardiff Philharmonic and Welsh Philharmonic Orchestras when he isn't indulging his motorcycle habit.

As of May 28, Ted was just settling in with a friend in Calgary for a week's visit - and a new set of "tyres" (he's a Brit, after all) for Lucy.


Review: "Bugz" Takes over the School

by Dan Davidson

By the end of the evening a group of caterpillars were soaring as butterflies. Photo by Dan Davidson

For a few days during the third week in May the Robert Service School was infested with "Bugz". For a change, this was a good thing.

"Bugz", as it turned out, was the name of an amusing musical play by John Jacobson and John Higgins, acted, sung and danced by the music classes of Kindergarten through Grade 3 as directed by Betty Davidson.

The basic story line follows the musical adventures of a horde of bugs. They have discovered that there is a picnic near by and plan to pay it a visit, organized by the army ants. The biggest problem they seem to have is the presence of a foul smelling stink bug, which will offend their own senses and give them away.

Rather than exclude the poor stinker, the nicer bugs come up with a scheme to mask his scent and happiness for all wins the day.

The half hour production featured a number of catchy tunes, ranging from musical standard types through rap, a few dance routines and about 75 students in a variety of costumes.

Parents and other volunteers were kept busy devising clever costumes for the army ants, caterpillars, ladybugs, fireflies, spruce beetles, cockroaches, fruit flies, bumblebees and mosquitoes. Individual costumes included the stink bug, praying mantis, dragonfly, grubworm, horsefly, gypsy moth, boll weevil, yellow jacket, monarch butterfly, two mean bugs and a nice bug as well as the ever popular maggot.

Show stoppers included the black light dance of the fireflies, the lady bugs strutting their stuff, the army ants in formation and the caterpillars transforming into butterflies.

The school gymnasium was absolutely packed for this one night performance and the show was actually held up while helpers scrounged more chairs from elsewhere in the school.

The performance could not have been carried out without the help of all the primary teachers, many parents, student volunteers from some of the upper grades and various people in the community who simply pitched in or contributed to make the evening a success.


Find Fine Food Far from the Madding Crowd

by Chris Beacom
Courtesy of Yukon News

Bensen Creek. Photo from website

Hungarian rhubarb shortcake is now available on the Dempster Highway.

And it's not served at Eagle Plains or at Dempster corner. The shortcake, and other high-end dishes, are on the dinner menu at Bensen Creek Wilderness Adventure, a new bed and breakfast located 29 kilometres up the Dempster Highway. The business is nestled along the shores of Bensen Creek, just before it meets the Klondike River. Before last March, the idea of discovering restaurant food other than burgers and fries in the northern Yukon was remote. But business operators Gerard Cruchon and Patricia Greer have changed this.

The pair have developed a rustic, secluded lodge on an old mining claim that Cruchon purchased from the Yukon government in 1986 under the territorial government's squatter's act. He lived on the spot for four years after moving to the Klondike from France. Cruchon inherited one cabin, then built another on top of a dance floor he put in for his wedding, held on the spot in 1983. He built the new lodge, with the help of volunteer labor, shortly after purchasing the land. In return for teaching people how to scribe logs, Cruchon fed the workers. It was a good trade, he said. "I offered a free course in scribing and building log cabins," he said. "In compensation, I got my cabin built.

"It was great. It took about three weeks to put the logs together and, the year after, we put the roof on." Today, Greer and Cruchon stay in the old mining cabin while guests sleep in the new building. With highway access and plenty of area to explore, Cruchon said the property is large enough to develop the business. He plans to build another cabin and add a sauna and shower later this year. "I don't want to build a city here, so one acre is good," he said. As far as Cruchon knows, Bensen Creek is the only business of its type on the Dempster Highway. His closest neighbor is the nearly-abandoned Viceroy gold mine on North Fork road. Bensen Creek is surrounded by Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in claimed land, so

Cruchon is not concerned with future development in the area. "It's going to take years and years before they (the Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in) do something. They have so much land selection and many better spots than here." And the spot is perfect for a wilderness business, he added. "Having a land claim around me, nobody can come and stake a claim, buy land or whatever." Cruchon dreamed of starting a wilderness business "years and years ago," but needed a partner to share the financial and work responsibilities. Although some people showed interest, nobody was willing to put money up front.

Then he met Greer through a mutual friend. Greer arrived in the Klondike from Ucluelet, BC, in 1998 and chased a dream of starting a wilderness cooking business called Back Country Cuisine. She signed up with Dana Naye Ventures and put together a five-year business plan. "My goal was to have a business on the Dempster in three-to-five years," she said. Greer was on a canoe trip and a guide told her she should contact Jose Jansen, the co-owner and chef at Tin Cup Lodge. She did, and worked for free at the lodge in the summer of 2001. With Jansen's instruction, Greer learned how to create the international dishes she now serves at Bensen Creek. "Jose was a great role model," she said. "She was the most amazing hostess and very positive. She shared her recipes and her knowledge and was extremely open." Greer met Cruchon just before she started at Tin Cup Lodge.

She visited Cruchon's property and liked what she saw. Last winter, she decided to partner with him, complimenting her new cooking and hosting skills with his property and carpentry skills. And both have a love for life's comforts, as made available in a rustic setting. Greer wants to develop her own place, not a copy Tin Cup Lodge.

"I'd like to emulate Tin Cup's excellence in the service and the food, and Jose's ability to make people feel at home," Greer said. But without the high cost, she noted. "They are definitely a more high-end place. My personality is not that. Our main market is Alaskans and Yukoners, while Jose is international." Last summer, Bensen Creek opened its doors and attracted 18 guests through advertising they placed on rack cards at the visitor reception centres in Dawson City and Whitehorse. Not a large crowd, Cruchon admits, but he wants to develop the business properly. "I would say (the summer) was a success. We didn't get many people, but we got enough to get a feeling. So far, people seem satisfied with what we provide." For around $100, Cruchon and Greer offer a cozy room in the wood-heated lodge and serve a large breakfast in the morning. At an added price, Greer will cook a four-course meal. It's a standard business recipe followed by many bed and breakfasts, but it's the quality of food that sets them apart from local competition, said Cruchon. "You can not get food like this at a restaurant in the Yukon," he said.

He may be right. After a mid-afternoon shortcake snack, Greer took five hours to prepare four courses, starting with Bensen sun-dried tomato dip and homemade focaccia bread.

This was followed with poached mussels prepared in a white wine, tomato and leek broth soup, Greer then served roasted chicken cooked on a spit over the wood stove, tomatoes stuffed with garlic, cheese and bread crumbs, parmesan risotto, and spinach salad with homemade creamy garlic dressing. For dessert, Greer offered a brandied Yukon apple pie with crème fraiche, home-made ice cream and frozen chocolate truffles. The meal was washed down with a choice of cowboy coffee or a range of herbal teas. The food is prepared on site. After doing the dishes and cleaning up, Greer retired for the evening while Cruchon hosted his guests in the outdoor cedar hot tub. He summed up the last 20 years in developing the business in a simple sentence. "I know it's a lot of work, but it's worth it." Bensen Creek Wilderness Adventure can be found online at www.bensencreek.com


Seven Months of Arts School Gives a New Perspective

by Anne Tyrrell

So you want to be an artist do you? So you want to make a living at it? Well Yukon College and the Klondike Institute of Art and Culture has a program for you. Seven months of study with courses and workshops in:

File Management, Web Design, Art Foundations, Adobe Photoshop, Design and Composition, Film Making, Production Assistant Training, Adobe Illustrator, Computer Graphics, Quark Xpress, Sound and Lighting, Special Events Management, Photography, and Career Development will definitely help.

I just finished the program the Arts for Employment program in April and would like to share some of my new found wisdom with you.

  1. Even if you think you can't draw you can. After you have drawn for 3 hours a day for close to 2 months in class (not including homework) your pears will look like pears. Trust me on this!
  2. You will be doing life drawing. If I can do it anyone can!
  3. It is possible to hide behind an easel.
  4. Drink coffee
  5. Tell your friends and family that you love them and that you will spend time with them at Christmas and in the summer but for now you are going to be in school.
  6. Save your files often and learn how to burn a CD.
  7. The darkroom can get very, very warm and very crowded the day before projects are due. Do your work early!
  8. Drink coffee.
  9. The colors on your screen will never be the same as what comes out of the printer.
  10. 4:30 pm on Friday of a long weekend is when the printer will run out of ink.
  11. There will be things that you just don't get! No one expects you to be good at everything just to try it.
  12. Sometimes if you swear at the computer it works better.
  13. A three minute film can feel like fifteen minutes.
  14. If you arrive at school the day after you are finished don't be embarrassed you have been there for seven months, habits are hard to break.
  15. Last but not least, you will spend seven months with the same nine people; talk to them they will be your connections to the art world in the future. You never know who will be running a gallery in the future.


New Show at the Tintina Bakery

by Palma Berger

Jayne Fraser and Natalie. Photo by Palma Berger

A very large crowd gathered for the Spring opening of the Tintina Bakery. It was partly the attraction of sitting outside in such an open environment, or tasting the snacks, or welcoming back the good baked items there, or a strong possibility of seeing the new art show.

Every Spring proprietress Jayne Fraser makes sure she has something interesting to show at the opening of her Tintina Bakery at Henderson Corner. This year it is the work of Lia Thomas. Thomas and family moved to Dawson City a year ago. She 'spent most of her youth on the coast of British Columbia. Her father was a forest ranger, so she spent most of her childhood living in isolated areas.' She is now a permanent resident of Dawson City. She comes from a long line of artists. That is to say there has always been an artist in her family. On loan to Tintina Bakery for the duration of the art show is a painting done by her grandmother in 1874.

Her colours are sure, subtle and can show much depth. They are done in oils, but a water colour technique is clearly noticeable. The subjects of the paintings can range from an old wooden door with lacy curtains showing through the window, to deep woods, to snow scenes, to moss encrusted trees, to still life as in wooden furniture. The showing has proven popular as several have sold.

Now is the time to view them as the crowd has gone.

Fraser also has many cards which are reproductions of the work of many local artists. Some have been framed and may be seen on the walls as well. These also have proven most popular.

Her next endeavor is to have for sale limited edition prints of the works of Halin DeRepentigny. So watch for them, they will be coming soon.

In June there will be a new art show for another local artist. It is a most pleasant way to buy your fresh baked goods, as more than one of one's senses is catered to at the Tintina Bakery.


About that Laser Printer

We've been appealing for donations on this site to help us cover some of our capital costs. During the preparation time for this particular issue, we received the following communications from Torfinn Djukastein. The first letter asks a question. After we had answered it, we received the second letter.

Dear Editor!

I am continually amazed at the high quality work that you bring forward! On a razor thin budget, dedicated volunteers and consistent perseverance to provide your readership, I for one am extremely thankful! Keep up the fantastic work! How much is left owing on the laser printer!!

Best regards,
Torfinn Djukastein

To the Klondike Sun and Dawsonites,

As time goes by and our lives take new direction, I am always warmed by the knowledge that the Klondike Sun continues to be pumped out thru thick and thin. Please accept my donation of $1000.00 to be applied against the outstanding balance of your laser printer. The outstanding dedication of all involved will be forever a part of Dawson's' rich heritage. Thank you so much for making the Klondike Sun available online! To have the back issues, from 1996 forward, is a real treat! May you all have a good read!!

Torfinn Djukastein


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