Dawson City, Yukon Friday, May 11, 2001

This photo was not in the May 8 paper, but we just couldn't leave you river watchers in suspense. As you know, the river didn't completely freeze in front of town this year, so we could not hold as ice pool. There is no official break-up time. The ice began to shift on May 6 and had gone completely by May 9, leaving behind bergs as big as 8 or 9 Ford Explorers parked side by side. Photo by Dan Davidson

Feature Stories

Spring Day + Road Trip = HRH Prince Charles in Mayo
KVA OKs Budget
The Feds Lay a Charge against Dawson
Luck Played a Role in the Making of "Lost Cabin"
Berton House Program to Receive $100,000 from Canada Council
Beat Night at Peggy's
Berton House: The Writes of Spring
Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Benj Gallander
Migration, Mutation, Evolution

Welcome to the May 11, 2001 edition of the online Klondike Sun, which reproduces a selection of the 36 photographs and 26 articles which were in the 28-page May 8 hard copy edition. It seemed to be a very Literary issue, with a lot of Berton House material.

Our webmaster, Richard Lawrence, will be going on a much deserved vacation after posting this issue, so there won't be anything new here for about 5 weeks.

We encourage viewers of this website to consider subscribing to the Sun (details on the home page). It would help us financially and you would get to see everything closer to when it's actually news. Since July 19, 2000, there have been 12,854 visitors to this website. Prior to that there had been some 25,000.

Spring Day + Road Trip = HRH Prince Charles in Mayo

Story by Dominic Lloyd

Prince Charles meets Dawsonites in Mayo. Photo by Dominic Lloyd

Ah...spring in Dawson City. What to do? Wait for the river to go, complain about the mud, welcome back familiar summer faces. Or you could do as at least 2 dozen people did last Sunday, and head down to Mayo for a visit with His Royal Highness Prince Charles.

The Prince of Wales was in town to have a look at the new school, and to dedicate a section of the Trans Canada Trail.

When we arrived there were only a handful of people there who didn't have mustaches and those little wires sticking out of their ears, so we were able to get a good spot right at the front of the barricaded area. We waited for about half an hour before Charles arrived, and in that time we were able to hang out and see all of the other Dawson residents who had made the trek as well as talk with some of the locals down there.

People were visibly excited, and when the prince arrived the pomp and ceremony was quite spectacular. He worked his way down the crowd, stopping and talking to a few people along the way including a number of Dawsonites.

The highlight of the Dawson crowd, though, had to be Bonnie Nordling, Karen Dubois, and Glenda Bolt. Dawson's society ladies were each wearing hats that would have made Queen Elizabeth herself proud, and Glenda carrying a bouquet of pussy willows. Around the willows was a ribbon with the words "Dawson City" written upon it. The Prince stopped to speak with Glenda and she was able to give him the bouquet, which drove the English tabloid photographers into a frenzy!

Afterwards a guy from The Sun newspaper came over and asked what HRH had asked us about, and took detailed notes about skiing and cold weather. Way to go Glenda for always carrying the Dawson banner proudly!

Charles was escorted on a tour through the new Mayo school, and then unveiled a plaque. He was then whisked away to the Community Centre where he met the Mayo elders. He must have enjoyed the youth dancers and the carving demonstration, as he stayed an hour longer than scheduled. We waited at the Binet House where he was scheduled to dedicate the Prince of Wales Trail. After a long delay he finally arrived, and allowed us to watch him unveil a plaque.

He never actually made a speech anywhere, but as he was leaving the Binet House he turned to the crowd and said "I think I met you all before." He then left for a walk on the new trail. It was a private walk, just Himself, 12 Junior Rangers, and 40 or so security guards.

That, and a visit to the Chinese restaurant, pretty much concluded our day in Mayo.

There was a public reception at the Community Centre, while Charles himself went on to Whitehorse. A number of Dawsonites stuck around to watch the encore performance of the youth dancers and accept the hospitality offered by our Mayo neighbours. The event in Mayo was great. Even for those not interested in he monarchy, it was still a great day to go on a road trip, to see a big event in a little town, and for a lucky handful of people, to get to speak with someone who could one day become the King of England.


KVA OKs Budget

The Jack London Centre is one of the many projects supported by the Klondike Visitors Association. Photo by Dan Davidson

The Klondike Visitors Association approved a $2.5-million budget at its annual general meeting in Dawson City on April 24.

Sixty members attended and approved the audited financial statements that summarized a $2.6-million investment in the Klondike, the association said in a statement.

Highlights of the past year include the transfer of the Oddfellows Hall to the Dawson City Arts Society, completion of major foundation work to Diamond Tooth Gerties, and the restructuring of administrative positions within the association's offices.

The membership approved constitutional changes that will see the fiscal year-end change from Feb. 28 to Dec. 31, and were informed that research to prepare a five-year operating plan is in progress.

The membership elected a new board of directors. It consists of: Brenda Caley, Tim Coonen, Boyd Gillis, Steve Nordick, Walter Procyk, Steve Touchie and Carol Tyrrell.

They will join directors Peggy Amendola, René Jansen, Jorn Meier, Dick Van Nostrand and John Wierda, who are entering their second year of elected term.

The directors then met and elected an executive as follows:

The association operates Diamond Tooth Gerties, the Gaslight Follies at the Palace Grand Theatre, the Jack London Centre and markets the Klondike through the operation of special events, trade shows and other promotional activities.


The Feds Lay a Charge against Dawson

by Dan Davidson

The City of Dawson is facing one charge under the Fisheries Act and will have to appear in court sometimes in June to answer to the claim that "on or about the 16th day of August (it) did deposit a deleterious material" in to the Yukon River.

The Department of the Environment finally laid the charges on April 25, although city council has been sure they were coming for some time now.

"Right now," said Mayor Glen Everitt on Wednesday afternoon, "it sits with the Crown. It isn't in the courts yet."

He said the agency still has to prove the offense, but that this should be easy given the vagueness of the charge.

"Deleterious materials could even be dirt coming off gravel."

He believes that the crown will also want to consider whether pressing ahead with the charges is in the best interest of the public.

"I believe it's not, what with the work the city is doing to move ahead and rectify the situation."

In spite of its firm belief that Dawson's sewer discharge into the Yukon River each day is equal to a tiny percentage of the substances already carried in the river's natural sediments (with include wild animal waste from all along the river and the substantial dog population in the area) city council has committed to building the much clamored for secondary sewage plant.

Everitt is puzzled as to why any charges are being laid at this time. Granted that Dawson is operating without a water license, as it has been since January 2000, but that is only because the Minister of DIAND, Robert Nault, refused to sign the document which was approved by the Yukon Territory Water Board and there has been no move made to reopen that issue.

Everitt says the current charge doesn't seem to have anything to do with the licence, and doesn't mention it as far as he can see.

Meanwhile, talks towards the building of a secondary sewage plant have continued throughout the months since last August's raid on the Fifth Avenue Sewage Treatment Plant, and Everitt says that all federal agencies as well aware of how far advanced those plans are.

"It doesn't make sense to myself when the city has been trying very hard to have them (federal agencies) work and be part of the process with us. They know we're moving forward."

So why lay a charge now? Why raid city offices in such a harsh manner back in January?

"We don't know," Everitt said. "Someone should ask them because we don't know. Council was a little surprised, even though we were expecting it. We're still separating that issue, and we're going to continued to meet with them and have them as part of the team walking us through the application process."

Dawson has maintained for decades that it cannot afford to run a secondary sewage treatment system, since it cannot use the cheaper lagoon alternative used by most Yukon communities but must build an actual mechanical plant.

Until just over a year ago the city attempted to prove, by scientific means, that its screened discharge was not harmful to the river. The last council and this one still consider that point to have been proven, as there has been no study undertaken to invalidate the research, but council decided in 2000 to bite the bullet and build the plant, since it did not appear that the issue was going to go away.

The Yukon Territory Water Board did, in fact, issue a water license based in part on this understanding, and allowing the town a certain amount of time to finish its plans, but officials in Ottawa ruled that there were irregularities in the document and the minister, after months of sitting on it, finally refused to sign it just under a year ago.

An attempt was made to contact officials at the Department of the Environment in regards to this story, but it was near the end of the day and no one was available.


Luck Played a Role in the Making of "Lost Cabin"

by Dan Davidson

Rachel Grantham and Richard Lawrence won the MITY Award last month for their documentary video. Photo by Dan Davidson

Both Richard Lawrence and Rachel Grantham were a little surprised when their video, "Lost Cabin," was selected to win the fledgling MITY (Made in the Yukon) Award at last month's Dawson City International Short Film Festival.

"We find it surprising to hear ourselves called film makers," Lawrence said. "We don't shoot film; we shoot video. Secondly, we're just telling stories in a way that we find it easiest to tell them in. Some stories are better to be written. These stories, we find, lend themselves better to visuals."

"I don't want to be a film maker (just) to be a film maker," said Grantham. "I want to see Yukon stories told. That's the motivation."

Their choice of story this time was the tale of the finding of Jack London's Cabin in the mid-sixties, an adventure inspired by Dick North.

In hindsight, Lawrence felt that some relationship to London as a subject was a natural thing.

"London in the Yukon has been too much ignored. (He) is a great literary figure, known and translated around the world. It's a phenomenal rags to riches story and it bothers me that when you look at someone that influential that we're picking away at his flaws."

Oddly enough, however, they didn't start out there.

The original idea they had was to talk to Dick North about the Mad Trapper, but Dick suggested doing a video about the cabin instead, and gave them the rights to his little booklet on the subject. This was in 1999.

They wrote the proposal up quite quickly, burning the midnight oil on a project unlike anything they'd ever done and found themselves trapped into having to do it when they received a $4,000 grant from the Yukon Film Incentive program.

"So much of this project is based on luck," Lawrence said. "It really wasn't that we thought it all out and anybody could do the same thing if they followed our plan. It was at least 30% luck. And that's scary, because we want to do another project."

Now, one might wonder how Richard Lawrence, print reporter and computer geek, managed to team up with his partner, Rachel Grantham, best known for leading choirs.

Lawrence sees his computer skills as giving him access to a technological Swiss army knife that allows him to do things that used to be very expensive in a much cheaper way.

"If we were still at the stage where you had to go out and buy a 16 mm or 35 mm camera, or even rent one, and get a crew together and pay for all the developments I wouldn't be making a video now because it would be just too much of a risk."

Grantham sees her role in another way: " I have to say ... he's done the grunt work on this project. I drifted in and went 'No, no, no, do it this way' and would go back upstairs and let him work at it for three hours.

"We're a good balance. Richard didn't grow up on the t.v., but I've watched a LOT of t.v. Richard's got a very good artistic sensibility and I've got the t.v. sensibility of 'keep me interested, keep me interested.'

"Musically, it's not a stretch. Pacing is what you're working with when you're shaping something - a program, or the sounds and silences that are really important in film. I'm hearing the thing in kind of musical terms."

There's an improvisational element of shaping anything. Part of the magic of creation is the taming of chaos, making something look like it was always intended to be that way, when in fact, the material could take you in several different directions.

One of the frustrating things about trying to bring Dick North's book about Jack London's cabin to video was that Dick, while he writes well and holds an audience when he speaks at the Jack London Centre in Dawson, doesn't come across well for the camera. That meant that Grantham and Lawrence couldn't rely on long interview sequences with him. They had to pick his best moments and find other material to tell the rest of the story.

There isn't a lot. Historical documentaries rely a great deal on the use of extent multimedia materials. Most of the cabin story exists in still photographs.

"There isn't a single C.B.C. report left on the finding of the cabin," Lawrence said. "There isn't a single piece of footage anywhere on the face of the planet that I could find that records the event. There was - but it's gone. I spent a ten month InterNet search trying to find it."

That meant the video had to be paced to create some variety in the presentation. Interviews with a number of people had to be intercut with the use of photographs.

They had already decided not to use any voice over narration or script, to find a way to let the story tell itself in the manner of modern radio documentaries, so this placed a special weight on the need to get just the right people to talk to them.

Interviews outside of the Yukon were shot in Idaho, where Dick North currently winters; Oakland, the home of Jack London Square and the location of the top half of the recovered cabin; and Los Angeles, where actor Eddie Albert was interviewed.

The story started and ended in Dawson, though, beginning with the helicopter ride which frames the documentary and then, about five months after the other interviews, with a golden day on which everything worked out right just over a year ago.

Rachel Grantham said that the final set of interviews in March 2000 show just how much luck influenced the project.

The group of people that they wanted to interview were seldom in town at the same time. In fact, it wasn't certain that the reluctant Robin Burian, who was crucial to the story, would actually be here if they came.

They took a chance and grabbed a plane ride to the Klondike.

Lawrence remembered the day: "It was almost like an angel looked down on us and said, 'You guys have gone through too much shit. We're gonna give you a real break this time.'

"Sure enough, we got it. Robin was in town and gave us an interview. Joe Henry was lucid that day. Victor Henry was great, was available and gave us an hour of his time. John Semple was there. All of these people were there on exactly the same day."

Tragically, what had brought them all to town were the ceremonies surrounding a murder and a suicide which had recently taken place.

That day gave them the foundation. It was Victor's story which brought the whole thing together for them. Victor was the one who had actually found the cabin when North and his party had made their trek up the creek.

"I don't think we really had a film until we got Victor's interview," Lawrence said.

The video is bookended by scenes of a helicopter ride they took out to the site on the very first filming trip, in September, 1999. That flight itself was a piece of luck, for the weather had been dreadful just the day before.

Lawrence recalled the flight: "Adam Morrison, our helicopter pilot, gave us the line that was the tag for the film: 'Somewhere down below us, that's where it was supposed to be.'

"To me, that summed up the whole project, whether one sees futility in that or whether one sees great ambition that carries on. But to me, listening to Adam say that ... summed up our whole experience of the project."

"Lost Cabin" seemed an appropriate title to the partners. Was it found? Was the find important? Was splitting it up the right thing to do? You'd have to see the video, read some Jack London and decide for yourself.


Berton House Program to Receive $100,000 from Canada Council

by Dan Davidson

Berton House, at the corner of Hanson Street and Eighth Avenue, passed through many hands before Pierre Berton purchased it back in the early 1990s and asked the Yukon Arts Council if they had any ideas for it. He rejected the notion of a museum but loved the idea of a writers' retreat. Photo by Dan Davidson

The Canada Council for the Arts and the Berton House Writers' Retreat Society announced on April 26 a new partnership to fund four writers' residencies a year at the Berton House Writers' Retreat in Dawson City, Yukon. This retreat, in the boyhood home of Canadian literary legend Pierre Berton, will host four Canadian or international writers a year for three months each, and provide them with a monthly fellowship of $2,000 plus travel expenses to and around the north. The Canada Council's contribution to this initiative will total $100,000 over the next three years.

Berton House is the most northernmost writers' retreat in the world, and will give professional Canadian and international writers a unique Yukon and Northern experience to concentrate on their works of fiction, non-fiction, playwriting, poetry or journalism.

The writer's retreat began part time operation in the summer of 1996 and slowly increased to year round occupancy over the next several years. Writers have received free board and a minimal stipend, but as a result of the Canada Council's support, writers will now receive, starting in November 2001, a monthly fellowship of $2,000 plus air travel to the Yukon.

The writers live at the retreat at the corner of Hanson Street and 8th Avenue, just a across the street from the Robert Service Cabin and two blocks from the Jack London Centre. Aside from working on their projects. they give public readings or lectures in both Whitehorse and Dawson City.

Since the opening of the Klondike Institute of Art and Culture, several residents have also taught courses in art and writing.

The building is managed by the Klondike Visitors' Association, while the writers are looked after by the Dawson City Community Library Board and interested local writers who have taken the program to heart.

Writers who have already participated include Russell Smith, Andrew Pyper, Michael Kusugak, Audrey Thomas and Sally Clark, who returned to the Yukon this spring as a guest writer at the 2001 Young Authors' Conference.

Recent guest author Suzanne Harnois of Montreal indicated that her stay at the residence had been the first time she had been able to think of herself as a writer first. Luanne Armstrong of Vancouver gave thanks for the peace and quiet and the uncluttered time that allowed her to accomplish so much. Julie Lawson found the setting a gold mine and far exceeded the amount of work she had intended to accomplish. Even Carmine Starnino, the Montreal poet who professed to be nurtured by high rises, found that he was infected by Dawson's charm and took to writing pastoral poetry while he was here.

Books that owe their completion to a writer's stay at Berton House include Smith's Noise, Pyper's Lost Girls, Kusugak's Who Needs Rocks? and Julie Lawson's Destination Gold!

Writers still scheduled for 2001 include Kingston, Ontario, writer Steven Heighton; Governor General's Literary Award winner, Rachel Manley; and Toronto playwright Benj Gallander. Harnois, whose residency has just ended, was the first francophone resident.

The funding was officially announced by Canada Council Board member Nalini Stewart at a gala dinner hosted by Vicky Gabereau in Toronto to celebrate Pierre Berton's 50 years of writing.

"This residency provides the finest writing talent in the country with a real northern Canadian experience, that will enrich their knowledge of the country and the north," Stewart said. "Pierre has won the Canada Council's Governor General's Literary Award three times, and we are thrilled to work with him on providing an on going place for writers to create."

Added Pierre Berton, "The Berton House Retreat provides professional writers with the most precious of assets: uninterrupted time in which to work or contemplate their work. It also provides a unique opportunity to live with history and experience life in a remote northern community."

The selection of writers and the residency is co-ordinated by the Berton House Writer's Retreat Society, based in Whitehorse, and in partnership with the Klondike Visitors Association and the Dawson Community Library Board in Dawson City.

"The Yukon is a very special place to write from," said Berton House President Max Fraser. "Dawson is a city built on dreams; its spirit infects writers who experience this special place. The three-year agreement with Canada Council recognizes how uniquely the Berton House program contributes to our country's literary landscape. It also guarantees a home of inspiration for more great literature in the years ahead."


Beat Night at Peggy's

by Dan Davidson

Dawsonites dressed in "beat style" for an evening of alternative poetry. Photo by Suzanne Gagnon

"I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by
     madness, starving hysterical naked,
dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn
     looking for an angry fix,
angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly
     connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery
     of night"

- from "Howl" by Allan Ginsberg

"Depressed and beatific", beaten down and sanctified, these might be words to describe residents of the Yukon after a long, dark winter just now oozing muddily into spring, just as they were the words chosen to define the so-called "Beat Generation" of the 1950's.

Or maybe it's just that it's been nearly 50 years since Jack Kerouac used the term in print and National Poetry Month was a good time to remember that.

Or maybe all of the above was just an excuse for some lovers of poetry and music to get together for an evening.

Whatever the case, Bombay Peggy's was the setting on April 21 for an night of "beat poetry" and a bit of jazzy blues. Sponsored by the pub and the Dawson Community Library, the evening was a chance to celebrate a movement, play with the words and groove to the beat.

While there were a few bar patrons who didn't exactly dig the scene, most of the hep cats and kittens had found the vibe and were in the right head space to keep things cool and mellow.

These evenings are for participation, and public librarian Suzanne Gagnon warmed up the microphone with the opening lines from Ginsberg's "Howl". John Steins gave us lots more of it later on, while Dawn Mitchell shared some of the beat influenced work of Canadian poet bill (no capitals, please) bissett and Berton House writer-in-residence Suzanne Harnois read from the work of Jack Kerouac. Local contractor Jim Williams also contributed a poem.

Kim Marceau and Bill Kendricks read from their own work. Marceau, in particular, turned out to be a fine poet and an able performer.

On the musical side Barnacle Bob and Halin deRepentigny held down the piano and drums, while Lue Maxwell and Fred Horricks contributed their voices to the evening, which ran from 8 o'clock until well past midnight, by which time everyone was well and truly ...uhm ... beat.


Berton House: The Writes of Spring

by Dan Davidson

Suzanne Gagnon was one of the lucky ones to go home with an engraving by Berton House writer Suzanne Harnois. Photo by Dan Davidson

One of the traditions that has grown up around the Berton House Writers-in-Residence program is the seasonal "Writes of ..." readings at the house itself. While the guest authors will usually provide a community reading of their work at some more public venue, these evenings "at home" give the public a chance to get a look at the residence and share some of their own work as well as hearing that of the writer.

That was the agenda for the evening of April 22, which coincided nicely with the opening of National Book Week. It was also a time to mark Suzanne Harnois's last few days in the community.

Harnois read from her short story collection The Perfect Woman. Her choice was "The Lady and the Deer", a subversive little tale of a marriage which has gone wrong and has a few loose ends that need to be tied off.

Many of the others present were members of the loose association of Klondike scribblers which meets monthly except in the summer.

Barb Hanulik contributed a play which she had written some years ago for the now defunct Dawson Drama Festival. It concerned the humorous misadventures of a pair of rich American ladies, Mary Hitchcock and Edith Van Buren, an unlikely couple who could perhaps be seen as the vanguard of the hordes of tourists who have since "done the Klondike". In 1898 they were a rarity.

Jack Fraser related a tale he called "The Black Velvet Dream," a hunting story prompted by the writing exercise at one of the recent scribblers' meetings, based on his own boyhood in Alberta, and rich in description.

Dawn Mitchell brought a musical contribution, a song called "Tagish Feeling" which she had written some years ago when she was working in the woods.

Helen Winton appears to be working on her memoirs, since her tale of an incident from the spring flood of 1979 follows hard on the heels of the last story she read at one of these gatherings. This will be quite a book when it finally appears.

Dan Davidson contributed a selection of verses, rhymed and otherwise, dealing with the mud, puddles and confusing weather which marks every Klondike spring.

Suzanne Harnois had decided earlier to give parting gifts to those who came to the reading. As a graphic artist, she had brought along a number of her engravings to give away. But she'd underestimated the number of pieces she would need, so the evening ended with a draw to see who the lucky recipients would be.


Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Benj Gallander

from the Writers' Union of Canada Website

Our latest Berton House Writer in Residence is Benj Gallander, who comes to us from all over the place, according to the caption that he wrote for himself on the WUOC website. Take a d-e-e-e-e-p breath and get a load of this:

"Benj Gallander ran away to work in the Middle East, France and Czechoslovakia, but amidst betwixt and between, wrote a best-seller and six plays and a poetry book which is a left-right hemisphere link-up and started the SummerWorks Theatre Festival and his works sold in Austria, Denmark, England, Germany and Hawaii (not a country, but a nice place to sell something) and the United States and other places and thinking of this exhausted him so he's sitting back, writing and planning how to get a publisher for his latest bizarre book which is mostly impure nonsense and isn't related to his investment letter which isn't nonsense and serious although many people believe letters about money should be seriouser but Benj ponders other stuff because the aftermath of expectations is still death and how'd that slip in unless it's because if you read this with the given punctuation you probably dropped dead unless you swim underwater a bunch."

Selected Publications:

The Uncommon Investor. Toronto: Insomniac Press, 1998.
Five produced plays in 1991-1995.
The M.B.A.-Hobo Poems. Toronto: Ralph Gonads Publications, 1991.
Death of Parent God. Toronto: Ralph Gonads Publications, 1991.
The Canadian Small Business Survival Guide. Toronto: Hounslow Press, 1988.


Migration, Mutation, Evolution

by Palma Berger

Artist Jane Isakson shows off one of her creations. Photo by Palma Berger

One walks into the Odd Gallery into a riot of colour. That is all it seems at first glance at these large paintings. But there is a lot more to them.. These are the works of Jane Isakson who is a Whitehorse artist whose work is currently showing at the Odd Gallery.

Ms Isakson has a love for and feeling for the nature around us. She has been moved as she understands the cycle of life embodied in the progression and continuation of nature.

Hence her paintings are of the salmon, the geese flying overhead, the caribou, the butterflies and swans found in the Yukon.

She does admit to a "great love of colour". This certainly shows in her work Her paintings are large, and then made larger as she felt she hadn't completed them, so added an extra panel or two to emphasize her thoughts.

The one several people found most startling was of two caribou with horns locked as they fight to the death. This was mainly done in black or dark colours with the lethal horns outlined in red. The one caribou, the loser, is not shown as bloodied and beaten but his body is just not completed. It is faded away in her painting. This is part of the cycle of nature that has intrigued Ms. Isakson. Nothing is really destroyed. It fades away from the form we knew it as, and becomes part of the earth again. But to add to the drama and energy of the battle, and not to mince away from the harshness and cruelty of nature that is in the dark painting, two panels of reds are painted below the black.

The painting, "Caribou Aerial" is an abstract of the migrating herd of caribou crossing the land. This also shows the circle of life in nature. Some caribou go and some appear. This is shown in her circles in the herd which depict the caribou that have been lost on the way, while the strokes are the caribou yet to come. Just as these migrations have been going on for thousands of years so have the changes to the earth, and for this there were two panels with three sections showing the changing colours and vegetation as the earth evolved over the centuries.

"Winter Crossing" is of caribou migrating north. This is colourful, with the colour bringing to the painting the feeling of the energy required to move as far as they have. This painting is the result of her attempting to link the caribou coming through the Ice Age, but it evolved into a winter migration. But it links up with the evolution of all around us, so the dark panel showing links was added to the bottom.

"Midnight Swim" is of caribou crossing the river. The night light bounces off the water in the foreground while the dark waters at the back blend with the swimmers. Their great antlers are reflected against a light sky. But the artist could see in the shape of the horns the beginning of a circle of life, and could not resist completing it.

In her paintings of salmon she has the young fry going out to sea in "Downstream Journey". The changing colours of water are there, and as someone said, they look so electric This is accomplished by one side of the myriad of fish being in deep purple and the other in white. The panels show an overview showing where the salmon fit into the rivers, the earth as part of their circle of life.

She has a chance to again use her love of colour. In "Upstream Journey" the viewer is taken under water to look up at the salmon. One feels a part of the green blue of the water with the light coming from above highlighting the colours on the salmon.

In "Salmon Spawn" the waters are full of colour and action as the red salmon complete their journey's end; the redness of the salmon changing the natural colour of the water.

In "Swanpod" her swans are flying with outstretched wings, and she came to realize there were many geometric shapes here and outlined the odd ones accordingly. The deep ochre yellows could be the result of the setting sun on their bodies. Again where they came from is revealed in the panel below which has arrows to indicate migration routes and the skeleton of a prehistoric bird to show their longer journey of evolution.

In "Circle, The North" the colours are only black and white for the swans. The panel above is white, the one below is black, while a background circle of brown links it all together. This is depicting the extremes in life, the beauty and evil or the harshness and beauty.

How did the artist get to her obvious love of nature? In her past life she was an accomplished skier, which took her outdoors. In 1992 at Albertville and in 1994 in Lilliehammer she was in the Olympics as a member of the biathlon team. Between these two events she did a university course part of which introduced her to painting which became her passion.. She came to the Yukon to ski, met up with an old boyfriend, who introduced her to the beauties of the Yukon; and so they became resident in 1996. She completed a degree in Fine Arts in Alberta in 1998.

She continues to discover more in the land around her. The large painting of the monarch butterflies shows this. Her next project is to go to Keno to visit their museum and see their butterfly display and hopefully view the butterflies on their return to that area.

Her remarks on her paintings state, ë...I am generally compelled by texture, colour, and generation of space, this expansion of subject matter has initiated a conceptual interest in the rhythms of nature. The seasonal migration of caribou, salmon and tundra swans are the principal subject matter for this body of work in progress, the working title is "Migration, Mutation, Evolution."

This show is on at the Odd Gallery until June 4th.


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