Government of Yukon

FOR RELEASE     #10-216
November 26, 2010

Touring Artist Fund supports international collaboration

WHITEHORSE – Several Yukon visual and performing artists will receive a total of $24,875 through the Touring Artist Fund to participate in international events and present work to audiences abroad.

“Yukon government is proud to support artists who are recognized internationally,” Tourism and Culture Minister Elaine Taylor said. “They are cultural ambassadors who bring Yukon’s vibrant cultures to the world and return with invaluable experience to share, growing richer and more diverse artistic communities.”

After 10 years of collaboration, snow sculptors Donald Watt, Michael Lane and Gisli Balzer continue to explore their art form at venues worldwide. As the Yukon Canada International Snow Sculpture Touring Team 2011, the trio will create five new works at festivals and competitions in Colorado, Europe and Japan. The team has invited several other artists to participate in various stages of the tour: potter Shai Baxendale, carver Calvin Morberg, craft artist Evi Watt, and Alaskan snow sculptor Peter Lucchetti.

Building on the legacy of their performances at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games and other venues, the Dakhká Khwáan Dancers have been invited to attend a Māori performing arts festival where they will perform for an audience of 30,000. 

“The Dakhká Khwáan Dancers are thrilled to receive Touring Artist Fund assistance to dance at the Te Matatini Festival in New Zealand in February, 2011,” group leader and manager Marilyn Jensen said. “We will be witness to the Māori people competing in the largest festival of its kind, where groups will showcase their warrior form through traditional performance disciplines of Haka, Poi and Waiata. Dakhká Khwáan will share our traditional Inland Tlingit and Athapaskan songs, stories, regalia and culture through our new production Our Warriors, which emphasizes our connection to the Māori.”

Visual artists Jeanine and Paul Baker, well-known for their collaborative works combining glass and metal, are also traveling to New Zealand in 2011. The Bakers have been invited to participate in CollaboratioNZ, a nine-day event featuring artists from United Kingdom, Europe, Japan, Samoa, the US, and Australia. When they return to Yukon, the Bakers hope to share what they learn about collaborative art practice with local artists.

The Touring Artist Fund fosters the development of the arts by supporting artists in presenting their work at national or international exhibitions, concerts, festivals or showcases. The next application deadline is December 15.

For more information on arts funding opportunities visit


See backgrounder and photo below.

Roxanne Vallevand
Cabinet Communications
Heather LeDuc
Communications, Tourism & Culture


Touring Artist Fund recipients: September 2010 intake

Recipient  Project 


Dakhká Khwáan Dancers 10-day performance tour and cultural / art exchange in New Zealand


Donald C. Watt, Michael Lane, Gisli Balzer Four major snow sculpture festivals in Colorado, Europe and Japan


Paul and Jeanine Baker Visual art collaboration workshop in New Zealand





Donald Watt, captain of the Yukon Canada International Snow Sculpture Touring Team 2011, stands with Tourism and Culture Minister Elaine Taylor. Watt and his team will be attending festivals and competitions in Colorado, Europe and Japan.