Government of Yukon

FOR RELEASE     #09-280
December 9, 2009

Touring Artist Fund Supports Opportunities for Yukon Artists

WHITEHORSE – Canadian and international audiences will enjoy the talents of six Yukon performing and visual artists as a result of the contribution of $34,770 recently awarded through the Touring Artist Fund.

“The upcoming Vancouver Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games promise an unprecedented opportunity for our artists on the world stage,” Tourism and Culture Minister Elaine Taylor said. “This funding will enable Yukon artists to participate in a number of key cultural events surrounding the Games, resulting in added exposure for our artists and Yukon at large.”

Fine woodworker Paul Gort will be participating in the Craft Council of British Columbia’s 2010 Olympic Exhibition By Hand: BC and Yukon to be held at the Vancouver Museum January 13 to April 16.

“The assistance of the Touring Artist Fund has helped create an incredible opportunity to showcase my work outside Yukon during the Vancouver Olympics,” Gort said. “Working in isolation far from my contemporaries is often a difficult process. The opportunity to meet and engage in dialogue with my woodworking peers from across Canada will be invaluable.”

Gort will be joined at the exhibition opening by visual artist Helen O’Connor, who will be displaying work and teaching a series of paper-making workshops to adults and children.

"My piece, Copper Veins of Canada, is a maple leaf created with handmade paper incorporating Yukon leaves and wild grasses," explained O'Connor. "This unites the national and local, and expresses my exploration of nationalism, which I felt was appropriate for a show centered on the Olympic spirit and the coming together of Canadians. I am pleased to both attend the event and share my love of paper-making through workshops that will be held in conjunction with the show."

The Touring Artist Fund is intended to increase touring opportunities for performing and visual artists, to introduce national and international audiences to Yukon talent, and to facilitate professional development of artists through national and international exposure. As a result of the September intake, Yukon artists will be touring to Vancouver, Italy, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

Applications to the Touring Artist Fund are accepted four times a year. The next intake deadline is December 15. For more information, call 867-667-3535 or toll free 1-800-661-0408 ext. 3535 or email

For further information, visit the website at


See backgrounder attached.



Emily Younker
Cabinet Communications


Heather LeDuc
Communications, Tourism & Culture


List of Touring Artist Fund Recipients from the September 15, 2009 Intake




 Amount Funded


 Paul Gort

 Travel to Vancouver to take part in the Craft Council of British Columbia’s 2010 Olympics Exhibition: By Hand BC and Yukon



 Helen O’Connor

 Travel to Vancouver to take part in the Craft Council of British Columbia’s 2010 Olympics Exhibition: Copper Veins of Canada



 Sharon Shorty

 Gramma Susie and Cash Creek Charlie tour to New Zealand with Maori Arts organization



 Gordie Tentrees

 Gordie Tentrees spring European tour including the Great Escape Festival in Brighton, UK



 Amy Tessaro

Travel to Vancouver to participate in the Artisan Village at the 2010 Olympics



 Donald Watt

 Yukon Canada International Snow Sculpture Touring Team 2010 tour to Italy, Switzerland and Quebec City