Due to COVID-19, the U.S. / Canada border restrictions remain in place, and at this time, it is uncertain what visitor services will be offered on both sides of the trail in 2021. As a result, the program partners have decided to suspend the CTAR program. . If we are able to offer the program in the future, artists who were selected for the 2020 season will be given the first opportunity to participate.
Throughout history, artists have seized the opportunity to immerse themselves in the natural landscape to gain new inspiration and perspectives. The Chilkoot Trail Artist Residency is an internationally recognized program providing that experience. The Yukon Arts Centre, Parks Canada, and the US National Park Service have come together to create an opportunity for established visual artists to spend two weeks hiking the Chilkoot Trail, pursuing their work.
Long used as a trade route by the Tlingit in the region, the trail became the favoured way to reach the Klondike during the Gold Rush of the 1890’s. The 53km / 33mi route travels from Alaska to northern British Columbia along the Coast Mountains of the Pacific, through diverse landscapes, offering artists ‘in’ residence the experience of being up close and personal with incredibly unique natural, historic and cultural environments. The residency is planned so that during the two week trek, artists will be able to spend one to three days at each campsite interacting with hikers along the way.Following their time on the trail artists will spend additional days in residence interacting with the public at Skagway, Alaska and Whitehorse, Yukon. There are two different trail options for artists who wish to attend the residency.
Option 1: 10 days on trail / 2 days off trail: Artists will hike the entire trail beginning in Dyea and finishing in Bennett, with time spent at various camp locations along the way. Artists will have the opportunity to create works and interact with hikers at each campsite. This option requires artists to carry all necessary equipment and art materials. This option is suited to those who have demonstrated significant experience with backcountry hiking and camping. Following their time on the trail all artists will spend one day in residence in Skagway Alaska, and a second day in residence in Whitehorse Yukon. Artists will engage with the public through art demonstrations, art talks, workshops or a combination of activities.
Option 2: 5-10 days on trail / 2 days off trail: Artists will be based on the trail at Bennett, BC, Canada for a minimum of 5 days to a maximum of 10 days to create works and interact with the public in this remote historic site. Artists can undertake day and overnight trips to surrounding areas of the trail. Bennett is accessible by train which can facilitate more artist materials being brought to the site. This option is accessible to a wide range of individuals with a variety of camping experience. Artists in this option will not hike the entire trail from start to finish but can visit multiple camp sites. Following their time on the trail all artists will spend one day in residence in Skagway Alaska, and a second day in residence in Whitehorse Yukon. Artists will engage with the public through art demonstrations, art talks, workshops or a combination of activities.
Due to the nature of this program there are things you need to know before applying:
One of the fun parts about the #chilkoottrailartistresidency was sharing my work along the trail with all of the hikers. Here I am with my sketchbook at the cabin at Lindeman City, where I gave one of my more formal trail presentations. ⠀ #artistpresentation #artistinthebackcountry #artistinresidence #chilkoottrail
The last little excerpt from a piece of music I wrote and performed on the Chilkoot Trail. I was lucky enough to get into the Church in Bennett, BC where I performed a few pieces of music. Huge thanks to the parks staff @parks.canada, @yukonarts & US National Parks Service. #chilkoottrail #chilkoottrailartistresidency #bennettbc #usnationalparkservice #parkscanada
The Chilkoot Trail Artist Residency is a member of ResArtist, a worldwide network of artist residencies.