A Whitehorse man is facing criminal charges after a fake bomb threat against the Yukon Arts Centre during a performance by comedian Jenny Hamilton the evening of Aug. 27. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

Man charged after fake bomb threat towards the Yukon Arts Centre

Owen Williams is facing a charge each of public mischief and making a false alarm of fire

A Whitehorse man is facing criminal charges after a fake bomb threat against the Yukon Arts Centre.

Yukon RCMP were called to the centre at 7:11 p.m. on Aug. 27 after receiving the threat, police spokesperson Kalah Klassen said in an email Aug. 28.

The building was evacuated but no explosives were located.

An audience of about 46 people were watching a performance by comedian Jenny Hamilton when the threat was called in.

“We certainly were given very clear instructions that the evacuation needed to happen immediately and so our director of programming immediately went to the stage and announced this to the audience and we followed our evacuation procedures,” Yukon Arts Centre CEO Casey Prescott said in an interview Aug. 28, adding that Hamilton was on the last joke of her set “which I don’t think the audience heard the punchline for.”

Musician Paris Pick had been scheduled to perform after Hamilton’s set.

Prescott said the centre will be rescheduling the show and honouring all existing tickets.

Whitehorse resident Owen Williams has been arrested and charged with one count each of public mischief and making a false alarm of a fire.

He made his first court appearance the afternoon of Aug. 28 and was released on bail on four conditions — that he would report to a bail supervisor, not come within 200 metres of the arts centre, not possess or consume alcohol or illegal drugs and see a mental health counsellor at least once every two weeks.

Court documents show that he is also facing two additional charges for allegedly making fake reports about a fire and arson at the centre in May.

Williams has been locked in a long-standing dispute with the Yukon Arts Centre over its unauthorized display of his art in 2009, during which the centre used his work as podiums for another artist’s pieces. The centre issued a public apology in 2019 after Williams pursued legal action, but Williams told media at the time that he didn’t think the apology was thorough enough.

Prescott declined to comment on the centre’s history with Williams.

However, he said that the “silver lining” to the situation was that it showed that the centre had “very good” evacuation procedures in place, and that the centre would continue to hold public events.

“We’re working with all of our community partners and we are prioritizing a safe environment and you know, we’re trying to pursue normal and this is but a hiccup,” Prescott said.

Contact Jackie Hong at jackie.hong@yukon-news.com

bomb threatsWhitehorse RCMP

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Whitehorse City Hall (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
This week at city hall

A look at issues discussed by Whitehorse city council at its April 6 meeting.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley issued a public exposure warning on April 9. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
COVID-19 exposure notice issued for Air Canada flight

The Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley issued a… Continue reading

Wyatt's World
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for April 9, 2021.… Continue reading

Landon Kulych, the city’s manager of parks and community development, is seen addressing city management and council about the potential e-bike bylaw earlier in 2021. First reading of the new bylaw will be considered by council April 13. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
E-bike bylaw considered

Class of bike would determine what trails they could travel

Point-in-Time homeless count planned this month

Volunteers will count those in shelters, short-term housing and without shelter in a 24-hour period.

The Yukon’s new ATIPP Act came into effect on April 1. Yukoners can submit ATIPP requests online or at the Legislative Assembly building. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News file)
New ATIPP Act in effect as of April 1

The changes promise increased government transparency

A new conservancy in northern B.C. is adjacent to Mount Edziza Provincial Park. (Courtesy BC Parks)
Ice Mountain Lands near Telegraph Creek, B.C., granted conservancy protection

The conservancy is the first step in a multi-year Tahltan Stewardship Initiative

Yukon RCMP reported a child pornography-related arrest on April 1. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press file)
Whitehorse man arrested on child pornography charges

The 43-year-old was charged with possession of child pornography and making child pornography

Team Yukon athletes wave flags at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremony in Whitehorse. The postponed 2022 event in Wood Buffalo, Alta., has been rescheduled for Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News file)
New dates set for Arctic Winter Games

Wood Buffalo, Alta. will host event Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023

Victoria Gold Corp. has contributed $1 million to the First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun after six months of production at the Eagle Gold Mine. (Submitted/Victoria Gold Corp.)
Victoria Gold contributes $1 million to First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun

Victoria Gold signed a Comprehensive Cooperation and Benefits Agreement in 2011

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley speaks to media in Whitehorse on October 30, 2020. Hanley is now encouraging Yukon to continue following health regulations, noting it could still be some time before changes to restrictions are made. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
No active COVID cases in Yukon

Hanley highlights concerns over variants, encourages vaccinations

Most Read