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Artists selected for Chu Niikwn Artist Residency

From left: Rebecca Manias, Kim Roberts and Sheelah Tolton have been selected as the artists of the Chu Niikwän Artist Residency.

Yukon artists Sheelah Tolton, Kim Roberts and Rebecca Manias have been selected as the artists of the Chu Niikwän Artist Residency (CNAR) program for 2021. The program will be co-curated this year by White River First Nation curator Teresa Vander Meer-Chassé, who is based in Beaver Creek and Victoria, B.C., and Whitehorse-based Heather LeDuc.

Centred around the shared goals of artistic innovation, collaboration and professional development, this three-week paid residency will invite the artists and curators to create an exhibition of new work to be exhibited at Arts Underground in November 2021.

Named by the Kwanlin Dün First Nation Elders’ Council to recognize the Yukon River, the Chu Niikwän Artist Residency is jointly presented by the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre, the Yukon Arts Centre, and the Yukon Art Society with the support of the Government of Yukon. Each of the partner organizations are providing a studio space located close to the Yukon River in downtown Whitehorse, with the goal of facilitating collaboration between the artists, and gaining possible inspiration from the river itself.

Due to COVID-19, all public engagements will happen either virtually or while following COVID-19 restrictions. The artists will also have the option to either work remotely or in the awarded studios.

From July 5 to July 24, Rebecca Manias will be working as the Old Fire Hall artist, with Kim Roberts creating as the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre artist, and Sheelah Tolton as the Arts Underground artist-in-residence.

The public are invited to join the artists for one or more free, online and physically-distant events throughout the 3-week residency. Visit the Arts Underground website for up-to-date times and dates. The artists will also be participating in Wondercrawl, a multi-disciplinary event held along the Whitehorse waterfront in early September.

For more information about the program, artist and curator biographies, visit