Government of Yukon

August 30, 2016

MacBride Museum receives $6 million to construct new building in downtown Whitehorse

Joint news release

WHITEHORSE—The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, along with the Honourable Larry Bagnell, Member of Parliament (Yukon), and the Honourable Darrell Pasloski, Premier of Yukon, today announced funding for the MacBride Museum of Yukon History to construct a new 19,000-square-foot building in downtown Whitehorse.

The museum’s newest addition will house four exhibition galleries, each focusing on a different element of Yukon’s industrial history. A fifth gallery will house Engine 51, one of the first locomotives on the White Pass & Yukon Route railway. The Engine 51 gallery will be the centrepiece of the museum’s new building.

This addition will enable the museum to create and display new exhibitions, improve and increase permanent exhibition space, and protect an existing heritage structure.

The Government of Canada is providing $3,000,000 in funding for the expansion of the museum through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund. The Government of Yukon is also providing $3,000,000 toward this exciting initiative.

Quick Facts

  • The MacBride Museum of Yukon History, established in 1951, is dedicated to telling Yukon’s natural, social, economic and industrial history, with a focus on the role of Whitehorse.
  • More than 30,000 artifacts, including photographs, documents and objects, are housed in the MacBride Museum. Nearly 25,000 visitors attend the museum each year.
  • The Government of Canada’s cultural infrastructure program is the Department of Canadian Heritage’s Canada Cultural Spaces Fund. The fund supports the improvement of physical conditions for artistic creativity and innovation, as well as the improvement, renovation and construction of arts and heritage facilities, and the acquisition of specialized equipment.
  • In February 2016, the Honourable Elaine Taylor, Deputy Premier of Yukon and Minister of Tourism and Culture, announced a contribution of $450,000 to assist with the planning and design of an expansion to the museum.


“New and revitalized cultural facilities will further allow Canadians to come together and enjoy the inspiring and thought provoking influences of arts and heritage. The Government of Canada is pleased to partner with the Yukon government on this important cultural infrastructure investment in Yukon.”

—The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage

“We are pleased to partner with the Government of Canada to support this important project. MacBride Museum has a tradition of sharing unique history and important stories with visitors and Yukoners alike. We believe in this vision for a new expansion that will allow the museum to deliver even more for us to discover.”

—The Honourable Darrell Pasloski, Premier of Yukon

“Museums and First Nation cultural centres are leaders in protecting, preserving and interpreting Yukon’s heritage. Our government values the work of these institutions and is proud to build on our commitment to safeguard and interpret our heritage, and to share it with the world.”

—The Honourable Elaine Taylor, Deputy Premier of Yukon and Minister of Tourism and Culture

“Museums provide knowledge and insight, pleasure and inspiration. They function as an extension of our classrooms and as custodians of our collective memories. I’m thrilled to see the MacBride Museum grow, share Yukon’s modern history with new audiences and showcase Yukoners’ collective stories.”

—The Honourable Larry Bagnell, Member of Parliament (Yukon)

“On behalf of the board, the more than 600 members of MacBride, and our visitors, I would like to thank the Government of Canada and the Government of Yukon for their contribution to this fantastic project. We look forward to working on this legacy project for all Canadians.”

—Keith Halliday, Board Chair, MacBride Museum



Pierre-Olivier Herbert
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage

Michael Edwards
Cabinet Communications
Government of Yukon

Patricia Cunning
MacBride Museum

News Release #16-305