Canada’s heritage minister was in Whitehorse this weekend to give a funding boost to several Yukon-based organizations.
Melanie Joly announced on Saturday afternoon that nine arts and culture organizations in Whitehorse and Dawson City would be receiving over $2 million in funding.
“Each of these organizations contributes to the richness, diversity and unique character of the North,” she said.
The Yukon Arts Centre received $166,800, which is going towards the replacement of its aging sound system.
Some of the sound equipment at the arts centre dates back 22 years to when the theatre opened.
It was a piecemeal system of old analog equipment rigged up with newer digital pieces, until it was replaced late last year.
Al Cushing, CEO of the Yukon Arts Centre, said the funding helps cover the cost of the project, which comes in at around $355,000.
Cushing said he was aware the funding announcement was coming, which is why the sound system renewal was carried out last year.
While the new system was being installed, Cushing said, the old system was moved to the orchestra pit and run from there.
Cushing said he stuck his head in during Natalie MacMaster’s performance at the Arts Centre on Friday and said the sound was “clean and clear.”
“Previously when you went to see a show the sound came out from the left and the right,” Cushing said.
“With the new system, the sound comes from the middle of the stage, from the artist.”
The new sound system was also used for this year’s Available Light Film Festival screenings, he added.
The only piece missing to make the replacement complete is the installation of an infrared hearing assistance system.
It consists of a number of infrared transmitters, mounted on walls, as well as infrared receivers used by guests. The transmitter carries the sound from the sound system to the receivers, allowing guests with impaired hearing to enjoy the same performance as others.
Les EssentiElles, a non-profit organization based in Whitehorse representing the interests of French-speaking women in the Yukon, also received $140,121 in core funding over the next three years.
“We’re very pleased our funding was renewed,” said executive director Ketsia Houde.
“We didn’t know if it was going to be, with the last government.”
The funding goes toward an annual exhibition, workshops for women, and advocacy, she explained.
Other organizations that received funding include the Association franco-yukonnaise, the Dawson City Arts Society, the Dawson City Music Festival Association, Jazz Yukon, the Nakai Ensemble Theatre,
Whitehorse Concerts, and the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous Society.
Contact Myles Dolphin at