Government of Yukon

December 11, 2012

Yukon performers and snow carvers to be showcased at Ottawa celebration

WHITEHORSE—Eleven Yukon performers and artists will be heading to Ottawa, Canada’s Capital, for Yukon Days at Winterlude February 8 to 11, 2013.

“The Yukon government is proud to support the artists performing at Winterlude,” Premier Darrell Pasloski said. “Being part of the Capital’s Winterlude celebrations showcases Yukon talent and creativity to Canada and the world.”

Hip-hop dance group Infinite Movement, clown and musician Claire Ness and MC and producer Kelvin Smoler will work together to create an interactive, family-friendly series of shows at Jacques Cartier Park February 9 and 10. The group will also collaborate to create a high energy show for the first ever Yukon Night Dance Party at Ottawa City Hall.

In addition, the Team Canada Yukon snow carvers will once again be at the festival, carving their interpretation of this year’s theme: the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race 30th Anniversary.

“The focus on the Yukon Quest 30th anniversary will raise the profile of this iconic winter event to thousands of Canadians,” Tourism and Culture Minister Mike Nixon said. “Winterlude is also a great opportunity to increase awareness of the many cultural festivals and sporting events held in the territory throughout the year.”

Winterlude visitors will be able to learn more about Yukon through an interpretive panel in front of the snow carving, by interacting with the performers during workshops or by visiting

“The Government of Canada is delighted to highlight Yukon Days as part of Winterlude, organized by the National Capital Commission,” Member of Parliament for Yukon Ryan Leef said. “Winterlude is the perfect setting to showcase the great talent that comes from the territory as Yukon Days continues to grow and become a tradition at these Canadian winter celebrations.”

Yukon has participated in the Winterlude festival since 2008. A diverse range of Yukon artists, performers and snow sculptors have been showcased each year and are ambassadors to the hundreds of thousands of people at the festival.

“The National Capital Commission is pleased to feature artists from Yukon as part of Winterlude for a fifth consecutive year,” Chief Executive Officer Jean-François Trépanier said. "Winterlude is synonymous with winter in the Capital, and with events such as Yukon Days, it will continue to grow and enhance the Capital's vibrancy."


See performer biographies below.


Elaine Schiman
Cabinet Communications
Cheryl Major
Communications, Executive Council Office
Charles Cardinal
National Capital Commission Media Relations


Yukon Days at Winterlude performers and artists


Team Yukon Canada snow carvers

The Team Yukon Canada snow carvers include Donald Watt, Michael Lane and Terry Gunderson. Donald has been representing Yukon in snow carving for 25 years. Michael joined the team 15 years ago and Terry joined in 2011. All three team members have formal art training and have developed a passion for creating large sculptures. They now travel around the world winning awards as Team Yukon Canada with their monolithic snow sculptures.

The team will be carving a sculpture on this year’s Yukon Days at Winterlude theme: the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race 30th Anniversary.

Find out more about the Team Yukon Canada snow carvers at  


Infinite Movement (I.M.) dance team

Infinite Movement (I.M.) is a hip-hop dance crew from Whitehorse founded by Mellisa Kwok, a recent dance graduate of York University and instructor at Leaping Feats Creative Danceworks.

The crew members were brought together by their love of dance and a desire to show their community how much dance means to them. They have performed at many events in Whitehorse such as Canada Day, Yukon Roller Derby, the Commissioner’s New Year’s Levee and Brave New Works.

The Yukon Days at Winterlude I.M. dancers are Mellisa Kwok, B-boy Thaiyo (Juhyun Seo), Kevin McLachlan, Grace Simpson-Fowler, Alita Powell and Talia Woodland.

Find out more about the Infinite Movement dance team at  


Kelvin Smoler

Kelvin Smoler is an MC and producer from Whitehorse. Since 2003, he has been working in studios, performing on countless stages and developing his artistry in the hip-hop realm. He makes his own beats, mixed with samples he enjoys and creates.

Kelvin is determined to collaborate with artists who are not necessarily familiar with hip-hop; he says the creative process becomes far more interesting. He is currently studying Business Administration at Capilano University in an effort to mix his music with business.

Kelvin is currently part of two groups in B.C. – 33OneThird and KIDS, which have opened for artists such as Sweatshop Union, Zion I, Naughty By Nature, Obie Trice, Talib Kweli, Onyx and The Beatnuts.

See Kelvin’s solo work on ReverbNation at


Claire Ness

Claire Ness is a northern songster, character comedian, cabaret producer/director and circus artist/instructor, who gravitated toward show business after her birth and upbringing in the wilds of Yukon.

Some of her recent favourite memories include working for Zero Gravity Circus in Toronto, training at L’École Nationale de Cirque in Montréal, producing many a riotous cabaret, MCing for Varietease: A Burlesque Cabaret, artistic directing and performing for ColdSpell: How We Winter as part of the 2012 Arctic Winter Games Cultural Festival, holding a kids’ circus camp at the Yukon Arts Centre and honing her clown with various teachers.

Claire is currently excited about releasing her debut music album Hopeless Romantic, creating and presenting Ruffin’ It, her one-woman clown show set in Yukon, collaborating as co-artistic director on Brave New Works’ next season, further developing the Yukon Circus Society and performing with the Yukon Gold Comics in Adelaide, Australia this winter.

See more about Claire at  

News Release #12-246