Blog / Archives / March 2014

Meet the artist: Kim Beggs

Meet the artist: Kim Beggs

A stalwart of the Yukon music scence, Kim Beggs is an acclaimed singer-songwriter who has just released her fourth album ‘Beauty and Breaking’ to rave reviews. Sharing her songs and the stage, she will perform alongside Justin Rutledge and Oh Susanna for Dark Strangers on Thursday April 24th at the Yukon Arts Centre. Tickets $27.

How would you describe your music (in five words or less)?

Broken pieces sung back together

What is the best/worst thing about your being a musician?

I get to write music. It takes much of my creative energy to promote the music.

What would you do if you were not a musician?

I would be a carpenter or a mother.

What is the most memorable response you’ve ever experienced to your music/songs?

Being on the CBC Sunday Edition with Michael Enright twice.

Speaking of 'Dark Strangers', what do you appreciate most in your friends?

They are dark and emotional. They create music with it. That is inspiring.

For more information about the artist and her music, please visit her website.

A new way to see upcoming shows for free! - Volunteer for the YAC’s VIP Social Media Team

A new way to see upcoming shows for free! - Volunteer for the YAC’s VIP Social Media Team

The Yukon Arts Centre is expanding its volunteer team to include a VIP Social Media Team

People who register will get a short list of tasks to help promote YAC shows. In return, they will get free tickets to the shows they promote.
A maximum of 5 people can sign up for each show and it is a first come first serve.

We are looking for people to sign up for the following shows:

Outside the March's TERMINUS by Mark O'Rowe
Directed by Mitchell Cushman
Starring Sarah Dodd, Adam Lazarus and Nicola Elbro

Imagine a Tarantino film set to poetry. A mother with a heavy conscience races to save a near-stranger from a vicious situation. A young woman finds comfort, sex and even love in the arms of a disembodied soul. And a dangerous loner prowls the pubs, longing to belt out Bette Midler for all to hear. Terminus explores the darkness that insecurity drives us to, and the light which comes from shedding who we’ve been and accepting who we are.

At the Yukon Arts Centre March 26 - 29, 2014

Rachel Sermanni
With opening act Sarah MacDougall

Rachel Sermanni is a Scottish folk musician whose lyrics and voice are like a ‘fairytale come true’.  She fell in love with the Yukon last summer while performing at DCMF and is back for an intimate solo performance. Rachel has opened for bands such as Mumford and Sons, Ron Sexsmith and Elvis Costello and was influenced by musicians such as Eva Cassidy, Van Morrison and Bob Dylan. She often talks about vivid dreams that slowly transform into songs.

At the Old Fire Hall April 13, 2014

Dark Strangers
Featuring Justin Rutledge, Oh Susanna and Kim Beggs

Three storytellers on the edge of darkness, who set their tales to music, come together from the city and town, to talk, sing and tell. Justin Rutledge, Oh Susanna and Kim Beggs each possess a unique and poetic voice, recognized for their abilities to capture the human condition in three-minute movies that only the ears can see.  These strangers will gather you close to listen, and enchant you in song and story.

At the Yukon Arts Centre April 24th

For information on how to join our VIP Social Media Team, contact:
Katie Newman 

Behind-the-scenes: Scott Price

Behind-the-scenes: Scott Price

Since the closing of Jennifer Walden and Jane Isakson’s solo exhibitions, YAC’s gallery preparator Scott Price has been hard at work, preparing for last Thursday’s opening of Michele Karch-Ackerman, Helen O’Connor and Rosemary Scanlon’s solo exhibitions.

Artwork was carefully jigsaw-ed back into crates and packed for shipping. Walls were patched, painted and moved (that’s right, moved!). Lights were re-hung and re-directed. And only then did the real work begin: installation!

Our latest exhibitions in the Yukon Arts Centre Gallery incorporate some fairly unique features, including 98 floating onesies, a suspended film screen made of handmade paper, and unframed artworks mounted with magnets. As with any exhibition, much of the artistry involved with installation is unknown to the public, but in this behind-the-scenes look, we hope to reveal the creativity and craftmanship that makes every show possible. We talked to Scott about his experience as our resident preparator.

1) What is a gallery preparator? 

A person who installs art in an art gallery, works with the artist to make sure the work is presented in the best manner and light possible.

2) What are some of your responsibilities?

Some of my responsibilities include uncrating and unpacking the artwork when it arrives at the Arts Centre. I inspect the art (condition report it), hang it and light it and put up all the artists’ information including the title of show.

3) What is an average day for you?

An average day includes preparing space for the artwork, working with artists when they arrive on site, helping them become acquainted with the space and how their artwork will show in it.

4) What is the most exciting thing about your job?

The most exciting thing about my work is doing what I do, trouble shooting on the spot, hanging out and working with artists from the Yukon and across the country. I really like my job – the variety and the challenges.

5) What is a popular misconception about your job?

A misconception is that artwork is just there and people don’t realize the amount of work behind the scenes to get the work up on the wall – the amount of cooperative work to get a show up.

6) How did you get into this career?

I got this job by being who I am, by knowing the things I know. I am an artist and carpenter and these experiences I bring to the job. My first show was a result of being asked by the previous preparator to step in while he was doing other training. From there, I was later asked to take the job full time.

7) What is the weirdest thing you have installed for an exhibition?

The weirdest thing I’ve ever installed was a bunch of small houses held up with big chicken feet. The show also had a lot of other stuff, including painted chicken eggs and strange rabbits – but the fact that it was so obsessive made it such an amazing show.

8) What is the best thing about your job?

The best thing about this job is the variety of art I get to handle and the people I get to meet.

9) Can you tell us what is unique about the latest exhibitions in the gallery?

Unique about the next shows: Michele’s intensive investigative research into her subject matter and the heartfelt responsive selection of material and form in which her images present. Helen’s show is warm and joyful and shows her comfort of form, fitting herself into the work. Rosemary’s concentrated illustrative style weaves wondrous spirited metaphysical landscapes.


Remember to check out Scott's presentation of  ART THAT INSPIRES at our pecha kucha style event in the Old Fire Hall on Tuesday, March 18th!  



KIAC Youth Art Enrichment Student Exhibition 2014: Yukon Electrical Youth Gallery

KIAC Youth Art Enrichment Student Exhibition 2014: Yukon Electrical Youth Gallery

Artwork created by the talented young students of KIAC's Youth Art Enrichment program. From March 7th to 28th, 2014.

Since 2001, the Klondike Institute of Arts and Culture (KIAC), in collaboration with the Department of Education, has offered a series of enrichment courses for students across Yukon who demonstrate exceptional artistic ability and interest.

Every November, 48 students between grades 8 to 12 travel to Dawson City for a week to take part in specialized art instruction with practicing, professional artists. In 2013, students chose one of four possible courses: 

Collage and Mixed Media with Meshell Melvin
Portrait Drawing and Painting with Suzanne Paleczny
Improv Intensive with George Maratos
Digital Photography with James Whitehead

As well as intensive art training, students are involved in other art-related activities during their stay in Dawson City, including touring the Yukon School of Arts, meeting KIAC’s artists in residence and discussing future career options with their mentors.

Following these workshops, an exhibition is held every year at the Robert Service School in Dawson City, and Yukon Electrical Youth Gallery at the Yukon Arts Centre in Whitehorse to highlight the work created by these talented young artists. Additionally, two pieces are purchased by KIAC to be added to their permanent youth art collection, which is currently on exhibition in Dawson City at the Bonanza Recreation Centre, in the City of Dawson Office and at KIAC.


The Yukon Arts Centre is honored to once again host KIAC's Youth Art Enrichment Student Exhibiton, and would like to thank the young artists who contriubted their artwork to this year's exhibition: Julia Allen-Sernes, Alissa Anderson, Emily Anderson, Ashton Arcand, Julia Balderas, Zackery Bartholomeus, Alyssa Blanchard, Akilah Bolton, Brittany Brown, Adriana Brunet, Alyssa Budzinski, Audrey Cherrier-Burnette, Sarah Cardinal, Brandon Crawford, John Dagostin, Keenan Davis, Alexandria Duchaine, Melanie Eckenvogt-Brewster, Nicole Favron, Marlee Firth, Camilla Gaw, Kyla Giesbrecht, Emily Grantham, Micah Hildes, Olivia Holmes, Victoria Holmes, Asia Hyde, Travis Istchenko, Annie Johnsgaard, David Johnston, Melanya Kyikavichik, Sheila Kyikavichik, Jared Leary, Mallory Lipscomb, Annelise Lundgard, Sarah Ann Maningas, Aislinn McManus, Colin Milne, Chontia Murphy, Clara Reid, Violet Robert, Kristy Sibbeston, Finley Sparling, Bambi Stewart, Jen Titus, Ryan Titus, Danielle Van Bibber, Asia Winter-Sinnot, Adrian Woodhouse and Nylan Zalitis.            

This unique program is made possible through generous funding from the Yukon Arts Fund, Youth Investment Fund, Department of Education, Canada Post Community Foundation and Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in, as well as the support of local businesses and cultural organizations in Dawson City.

For more information regarding the program, please visit KIAC’s website


Meet the artist: Michele Karch-Ackerman

Meet the artist: Michele Karch-Ackerman

Michele Karch-Ackerman is a nationally recognized contemporary artist whose work is known for its provocative and touching mining of the 'smaller' and often tragic histories of Canada's past, commemorating those who died in sanitoria, the plight of unwed mothers, the sad childhood of the famous Dionne Quintuplets, the 'Lost Boys' of the First World War, and the children lost to pioneer mothers.  A graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design, her installations have been shown in over thirty solo exhibitions at public galleries across Canada, including a recent retrospective at The Tom Thomson Gallery.  She has been the recipient of numerous awards from the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council, awarded residencies throughout Canada and has received national media coverage.  Ackerman has taught for over twenty years at the Haliburton School of the Arts where her teaching is widely recognized for its innovative and motivational style.

Karch-Ackerman’s exhibition “Foundling” is showing in YAC’s gallery from March 6th until May 10th, 2014.

1)  What is unique about your process?

It feels like everything I do is unique to my practice because I don't know of many artists who make clothing for ghosts.  I have always felt a little lonesomein that regard.  I employ traditionally female crafting and domestic arts: 'The Domestic Acts of Love' and utilize them in a conceptual manner through installation.  My work is tied very strongly to literature and history.  Penance and mindfulness are integral to my work.  Healing through service is paramount.  These are all practices that often make me feel pretty unique.  I have many friends in the ghost world.

2) Has your practice changed over time?

Yes, my practice has evolved.  The earlier works were much more intuitive and decorative and the later works more institutional and conceptual in scope.  I think that initially I was responding to motherhood and living in the country and the pioneer history around me.  Exploring using handicrafts and sewing as a medium that honoured my position as a mother and artist.  As time went on my projects became more specific and involved mining particularly tragic episodes in Canadian history and offering my 'Domestic Acts of Love' as a gesture of love and healing to those who suffered.

3) What is the most memorable response you’ve experienced to you work?

I have had many serendipitously spooky moments.  I work with the ghost world.  It is lovely to watch people engage with the work and tell their tales.  It seems that my work is a springboard for stories.  Each show has its own set of wonderful stories attached to it.  My exhibition 'The Lost Boys' which was exhibited at the Yukon Arts Centre a few years ago had a particular installation in it that took on a life of its own.  As I crossed the country I invited the public to knit sweaters 'for the war effort' in honour of the Newfoundland regiment that fell in the battle of Beaumont Hamel.  It was an honour to display over 500 of these sweaters (many with tiny letters of love hidden inside them) at the provincial gallery The Rooms in St. John's.  I originally had planned to exhibit the installation of sweaters as one complete organic surface covering a specific wall in the gallery.  But the soldiers intuitively guided me to display the sweaters in the shape of a whale which eventually led out to the horizon line of a huge window that looked out on to the ocean.  The soldiers told me they wanted to go 'home' float out to sea and to their villages that dotted the coast.  It was very sweet.

4)  What is the best/worst thing about being an artist?

The best thing about being an artist is doing what you love.  Making art doesn't feel like work at all.  I adore doing research and contemplating and thinking and imagining.  And connecting serendipitous dots is like winning the lottery!  I am working on a project related to tuberculosis and lace making at the moment.  I initially wanted to work with lacemaking because my favourite saint (and the inspiration for the show) St. Therese of the Little Flower died of tuberculosis and her mother was a lacemaker. What an exciting moment when I found out through research that 'tatting' (a form of lace making) was actually employed as occupational therapy for tuberculosis patients!   The ritual of my practice feels the same way I felt as a child reading The Secret Garden for the first time.  It is magical!  And it can be thrilling to spend years on a project and watch it come to fruition.  I also love the catalogues that go with my exhibitions and opening up a box of catalogues for the first time is pure joy!   It feels very rewarding to do such meaningful work for a living.
On the down side the work I do is penance oriented and can involve hours and hours of repetitive tasks.  It can be lonely and boring.  My work is not particularly saleable and I rely on exhibiting it at public galleries and on grants to support it.  During the depths of 'the doldrums' when I am mid process I can sometimes wonder why I chose such a rare occupation.  Why do I stitch clothing for ghosts?  But then I remember the answer!  If I don't, no one else will.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of our conversation with Michele Karsh-Ackerman!