Yukon Theatre, Guild Hall, White River First Nation receive $1M community space fund

Beaver Creek will have an outdoor gathering space, Yukon Theatre planning a performing arts stage

Five community spaces are receiving a $1.1 million cash infusion from the federal government.

The Yukon Theatre, Heart of Riverdale, Guild Hall and Pine Lake Trail will split nearly $600,000, while Beaver Creek will receive another $550,000 for an outdoor gathering space.

The funding was pledged on Feb. 9 by federal Minister Dan Vandal on behalf of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor).

“Yukoners cherish the public spaces in our communities,” Vandal said in a written statement. “Getting outside, sharing culture and language, and gathering with others in renewed community infrastructure contributes to a high quality of life for everyone.”

The $550,000 grant for Beaver Creek will be paid to Copper Niisüü Limited Partnership, the economic development corporation of the White River First Nation.

The two-year project will culminate in an outdoor place for traditional activities, such as moosehide tanning and summertime general assemblies.

Artists can showcase and share traditional skills in the space, providing new learning opportunities for the community, according to Logan Freese, Copper Niisüü’s general manager.

The Pine Lake trail, which stretches from the Haines Junction village to the Pine Lake campground, is newly paved thanks to an influx of funding. (Yukon Parks/Facebook)

The Pine Lake trail, which stretches from the Haines Junction village to the Pine Lake campground, is newly paved thanks to an influx of funding. (Yukon Parks/Facebook)

In Haines Junction, $367,500 has been committed to completing the paving of Pine Lake Trail, which leads from the village to the Pine Lake campground.

Bruce Tomlin, Haines Junction’s mayor, said the new multi-use trail “will contribute to a healthier, happier and more navigable community for generations to come.”

In Whitehorse, the Yukon Theatre will receive $111,000 for facility improvements.

The theatre will install an arctic entrance, wheelchair-accessible entryways and upgrade the theatre’s sound, lighting and electrical systems, according to the CanNor press release.

The theatre is also planning a performing arts stage and revamped concession stand.

After these renovations, the theatre will be better equipped to “support arts, culture and community,” said Yukon Film Society director Andrew Connors.

The Heart of Riverdale Community Centre will also receive $61,232 for upgrades to the building’s electrical and plumbing.

Once completed, the community centre plans to open the Yukon’s first pre-school fine arts program.

Andrea Simpson-Fowler, executive director, says she is “super proud” of the centre’s progress.

“The space is bustling more than ever with young artists learning, sharing, and growing, while benefiting from leasehold improvements and new equipment.”

Finally, the Guild Hall in Porter Creek will be upgrading it’s “‘Round Back” outdoor venue, where it’s held outdoor shows every summer since 2020.

A “handsome gabled roof” will be installed to protect the stage (and performers) from the elements, according to Guild manager Brandon Wicke. Theatrical rigging and all-weather lighting will also be purchased.

The Guild hopes to extend its seasonal programming with these upgrades.

“We know that this great project will contribute to the venue’s unique charm for audiences and performing artists alike, and that it will equip it to better serve our artistic community for years to come,” Wicke said.

Contact Gabrielle Plonka at gabrielle.plonka@yukon-news.com