What do art and orienteering have in common?

With the aid of a map and compass, orienteering involves navigating one’s way between points of terrain in search of specified topographical features. It is one of very few sports that rely on the comprehension of a complex visual language.  Like art, it uses colours, symbols and patterns.  Both orienteers and artists practice navigating, rendering and interpreting the natural landscape, employing constant shifts between two and three-dimensional perspectives.
What can artists and orienteers learn from each other and what can the conventions of each discipline offer the other?  What if orienteering could be used as a system for navigating art?

mappers + artists                 coaches + curators                  athletes + aesthetes


This summer, the Yukon Orienteering Association, the Yukon Arts Centre Gallery and the Yukon Permanent Art Collection partner to bring you FEATURED FEATURES a series of lectures, demos and ultimately an exhibition of artwork selected and interpreted by members of the Yukon Orienteering Association. This project is initiated by Yukon artist Hannah Jickling, as part of the ‘Traversing Yukon Landscapes’ exhibition here at YAC.


Featured Features Mini Lecture and Demo Series:

Monday, August 5 – Topography + Image-Making
7:00 – 8:30 pm, Whitehorse Public Library Meeting Room, 1171 1st Avenue
  • Brent Langbakk (Canadian Junior National Orienteering Team Coach and 2010 Yukon Coach of the Year), talks about strategies for visualizing and interpreting the landscape.
  • Garnet Meuthing (Art Curator for the Yukon Government Department of Tourism and Culture and manager of Yukon Permanent Art Collection), talks about the inspiration behind several landscape-based works by Yukon artists.
Monday, August 12 – Mapping + Movement
7:00 – 8:30 pm, Whitehorse Public Library Meeting Room, 1171 1st Avenue
  • Ross Burnett (long-time Yukon orienteer, map-maker and coach named to the Yukon Sport Hall of Fame in 2004) will talk about creating ‘topographical masterpieces’ in Whitehorse and surrounding areas.
  • Mary Bradshaw (YAC Gallery Director and curator of ‘Traversing Yukon Landscapes’), talks about artistic strategies for creating and recording movement in the landscape.
Tuesday, August 20 – Landscape + Navigation
7:00 – 8:30 pm, Yukon Arts Centre Public Gallery, 300 College Drive
  • Colin Abbott (former member of the Canadian Junior National Orienteering team and coach for ‘Kids Running Wild’), talks about ‘Catching Features’ an online orienteering game used for training and coaching.
  • Doug Smarch Jr. (internationally renowned, contemporary Tlingit artist based in Teslin), talks about his piece ‘Into the Forest’ a permanent installation located in the trees near the Yukon Arts Centre.


Wednesday, August 7 +  Wednesday, August 21 – Orienteering for Art Lovers

Katherine Sheepway (born and raised Yukoner, retired Junior National Orienteering Team athlete and former National Orienteering Champion) will offer an ongoing mini-clinic for artistically inclined individuals who’d like to learn to orienteer. Drop-ins welcome! Look for signs when you have arrived at the event.  Visit http://www.yukonorienteering.ca/calendarofevents for more details.

  • Wednesday Aug 7 - 6 pm, registration begins, Yukon Orienteering Association B meet, Miles Canyon Map (meet at Schwatka Lake Day use area on the Chadburn Lake Road).
  • Wednesday August 21 - 6 pm, registration begins, Yukon Orienteering Association B meet, Golden Horn Map (meet-up location TBA).



This series will culminate in "FEATURED FEATURES: Landscape artworks selected by Yukon Orienteers," an exhibition of artworks (from both the Yukon Arts Centre and Yukon Permanent Art Collections), selected and interpreted by members of the Yukon Orienteering Association. This project is initiated by artist Hannah Jickling, as part of the ‘Traversing Yukon Landscapes’ exhibition curated by Mary Bradshaw, currently on display at the Yukon Arts Centre Gallery.

"FEATURED FEATURES: Landscape artworks selected by Yukon Orienteers" opens on Thursday, August 29, 2013 from 5:30 – 8:30 pm with an artist talk by Hannah Jickling beginning at 6:00 pm sharp. Yukon Arts Centre Public Art Gallery, 300 College Drive.


About the Artist:

Hannah Jickling is an artist who experiments with the possibilities of form, participation and meaning-making across disciplines and publics. She grew up in Whitehorse and learned to orienteer with the Yukon Orienteering Association.  She has collaborated on projects with the Columbia River Orienteering Club in Portland, Oregon (2009, 2010) and Rasti-Lukko, the orienteering club in Rauma, Finland (2012).



The Yukon Orienteering Association is the sport governing body for orienteering in the Yukon Territory. It is a volunteer based organization that coordinates and administers various programs devoted to the promotion and development of orienteering. YOA hosts regular events every second Wednesday between last April and mid-September at venues around Whitehorse and nearby communities. YOA has mapped over 20 areas for their events and hosted Canadian regional and national level competitions.

The Yukon Permanent Art Collection serves as a reflection of Yukon’s cultural heritage and a record of the development of its visual art community. The collection was created in 1981, by the ‘Friends of the Gallery Society,’ and has since grown to include over 350 works of art by Yukon, national and international artists. The collection is displayed for the enjoyment of Yukoners and visitors in more than 20 locations around Whitehorse, and in Dawson City, Haines Junction, Faro, and Mayo.


“Sport and art don't seem to intersect that often, but both have performance and presentation at their essence. Through its use of visualization, perspective and landscape interpretation, orienteering is particularly ripe for comparison with art. I hope this collaboration will give both groups a greater appreciation for the other.”

- Brent Langbakk, 2010 Yukon Coach of the Year

The artworks in the Yukon Permanent Art Collection tell the story of resident and visiting visual artists who, compelled by the Yukon landscape, strove to recreate real and imagined places. The collection is a repository and reflection of Yukon’s cultural heritage. This partnership with the orienteering community is a unique opportunity to bring it to new and diverse audiences and, based on a shared passion for the landscape; see a new and exciting interpretation of our cherished works of art.

- Garnet Muething, Art Curator Yukon Government