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Klondike Visitors Association worker housing project praised by government

Government contributed $234,000 to wall tent housing to be set up for next summer
A view of Dawson City on July 21, 2022. (Dana Hatherly/Yukon News)

The Yukon government has expressed its satisfaction with the Klondike Visitors Association (KVA) accommodation project that is taking place in Dawson City.

The planned project will see ten partially-furnished wall tents and other facilities to house workers set up in downtown Dawson.

A statement from Minister of Tourism and Culture John Streicker praised the KVA for their vision and determination in helping to address the Yukon’s labour shortages.

“Housing pressures are a contributing factor in Yukon businesses finding and retaining skilled workers, and the ‘Village off King’ is an innovative and meaningful way to help ease those challenges,” Streicker said.

He noted that the government is proud to partner with the Klondike Visitors Association by contributing $234,000 in funding towards the project, adding that he looks forward to seeing next summer’s full-scale launch.

“The Klondike is an incredible place to explore, and we are grateful for initiatives like these, which support the continued strength of tourism across the region,” he said.

Executive director of the KVA Ricky Mawunganidze said the wall tents and will be up for two years. He said they are waiting on the building permit before commencing the project.

“Once issued, we will begin putting things in place because all of the items are movable. Essentially, we got them all ready,” he said.

According to the KVA Facebook page, washroom and shower facilities and a cook shack will also be constructed.

Mawunganidze told the News that the project cost is around $330,000, with the Yukon government providing $234,000. The remaining funds will come from the association and donations from local supporters.

He said the project is expected to be launched on May 15, 2024, but is also hoping to do a soft lunch this year for any businesses that want to access accommodation for the month of September.

Mawunganidze explains that the project will be up for rental for local businesses, noting that members of the association are eligible to apply and will be prioritized.

“The idea is that we are not renting directly to individuals but rather to businesses,” he said. “We want to make sure that anyone who is living in there is contributing to the tourism economy.”

He said the project is less about boosting tourism and more about increasing capacity for tourism.

“Essentially, we have a housing shortage across the territory. This is an attempt to deal with housing shortage for seasonal workers in the short-term,” he said. “Our hope as part of this project is to get accommodation to people as quickly as possible, but also work with the local business community to develop a long-term option over the next two years that the tents are going to be available.”

He said the accommodation project is in the spirit of the Yukon, where “we need to do something, and so we should.”

“We are hoping that this project will start meaningful conversations with the private sector to develop long-term seasonal accommodations. Our plan is over the next two years to work with the private sector to build seasonal accommodation units that are permanent.”

Contact Patrick Egwu at

Patrick Egwu

About the Author: Patrick Egwu

I’m one of the newest additions at Yukon News where I have been writing about a range of issues — politics, sports, health, environment and other developments in the territory.
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