Christmas comes early to museums

One of the first actions of the re-elected Yukon Party government was to open up the purse strings for cultural investment.

One of the first actions of the re-elected Yukon Party government was to open up the purse strings for cultural investment.

The government announced $340,000 for special museum projects in three communities on Tuesday, six weeks after it was returned to office.

Museums and heritage centres in Watson Lake, Whitehorse and Dawson City got the nod for their proposals from Tourism and Culture minister Elaine Taylor.

“We want to ensure that not-for-profits, volunteer boards, municipal governments and First Nations who promote the preservation of Yukon’s shared cultural legacy continue to be empowered and active participants in the social and economic fabric of Yukon society,” said Taylor in a release.

The Dawson City Museum and Historical Society will receive $10,000 for “strategic planning initiatives.”

The Northern Lights Centre in Watson Lake will develop a new “Aurora Borealis production” with $46,700.

The rest of the money will go to five projects in Whitehorse.

The Yukon Church Heritage Society that maintains the Old Log Church Museum was the big winner.

It will receive almost $113,000 for two traveling exhibits: The Bishop Who Ate His Boots and History for the Anglican Church in Yukon.

The MacBride Museum Society will get almost $100,000 for building upgrades and inventory projects.

The Miles Canyon Historic Railway Society will receive a little more than $22,000 for exhibit planning, while the Yukon Transportation Museum will get about $20,000 for landscaping projects and $16,000 to start building a storage facility.

The Yukon Historical and Museums Association will receive about $10,000 for a joint marketing project that targets various heritage attractions.

Several proposed projects did not receive funding.

Tourism received 13 proposals worth $407,000 for its assistance program.

In March, the government announced it was topping the program’s $140,000 annual funding with an additional $200,000.

“As the umbrella organization for Yukon museums, the (Yukon Historical and Museums Association) strives to provide affordable joint marketing opportunities for Yukon heritage attractions to share their stories and promote their organizations to locals and visitors alike,” said association president Brent Slobodin in a release.

“This funding and ongoing support from the department of Tourism and Culture will ensure the continued success of Yukon’s museums and tourism destinations.”

During fiscal 2006-2007, the Yukon government will provide about $1.5 million to museums, interpretive centres and First Nations cultural centres. (GM)