Caption: L-R: Al Cushing, Yukon Arts Centre CEO; Deb Bartlette, Yukon Arts Centre vice chair; Rick Karp, Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce president; Minister Elaine Taylor; Lesley Cabott, Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce incoming chair.
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WHITEHORSE—The Yukon Arts Centre will receive enhanced funding in support of cultural programming at the Old Fire Hall and Whitehorse wharf.
“Events on the Whitehorse wharf and at the adjacent Old Fire Hall animate the downtown and the waterfront area,” Minister of Tourism and Culture Elaine Taylor said. “These growing hubs for community, cultural and arts activities are spurring business growth and increasing the vibrancy and diversity of Whitehorse.”
Pending legislative approval, the Yukon Arts Centre will receive a total of $175,000 annually for the next three years for activities at both the Old Fire Hall and the wharf. Of this amount, $25,000 is specifically for wharf programming.
“We welcome more support to strengthen revitalization efforts along the waterfront area,” Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce chair Josh Clark said. “More activity at the wharf is good for business on Main Street and the whole downtown core.”
A wide variety of events were held on the wharf last summer, ranging from regular tai chi and yoga classes to arts festivals such as Plein Air, Whitehorse Nuit Blanche and Arts Up Front. There were also live musical performances by local artists and demonstrations of art and craft making. In the summer, the wharf has gardens, picnic tables and nearby mobile food vendors.
“With this additional funding the Old Fire Hall will be able to expand its coordination and support of outdoor arts events taking place at the wharf,” Yukon Arts Centre CEO Al Cushing said. “I encourage everyone to come along to the downtown waterfront this summer and experience some great outdoor entertainment in a unique location.”
The Old Fire Hall opened as a venue for arts and community events in 2008, and construction of the wharf was completed in 2013. In the 2013/14 season, the Old Fire Hall hosted 181 events by 77 distinct presenters and welcomed more than 16,000 patrons.
Together, the governments of Canada and Yukon invested more than $33 million in the Whitehorse waterfront revitalization initiative, which was completed in the fall of 2013.
Communications, Tourism and Culture