Yukon kicks off national TV advertising blitz

Snowshoeing to a remote cabin in the wilderness, sitting by a crackling log fire and witnessing the northern lights dancing across a clear sky: that's how millions of Canadians will be introduced to the territory.

Snowshoeing to a remote cabin in the wilderness, sitting by a crackling log fire and witnessing the northern lights dancing across a clear sky: that’s how millions of Canadians will be introduced to the territory this month, after Tourism Yukon launched its first in a series of television commercials on Monday.

It’s the first time an original television commercial has been developed and filmed entirely in the Yukon, and aired on broadcast television across Canada.

It’s a victory for the Tourism Industry Association of the Yukon, which had lobbied for funding to produce a series of television commercials back in January 2014.


RELATED:Watch video here.


The association had called for a $5 million investment over two years for a television campaign, and finally received $3.6 million from the governments of Yukon and Canada in September.

Chair Neil Hartling said he was very pleased with the ad, but won’t know how effective it’s been at attracting more visitors until the campaign is done and the stats are collected.

“It’s guaranteed that it’ll attract more visitors this year though,” he said.

“That’s because of the fact that the ads will be played in markets where we’ve never had purposely-built television ads specifically for the Yukon. We’ve been part of pan-northern ads before, but these are the first fully dedicated Yukon ads.

“I don’t think anyone could have foreseen the economic situation Canada has found itself in recently, so we’re fortunate that TIA put the wheels in motion when it did. Now we can show up in the marketplace with a plan at a very critical time.”

Last year saw tourism numbers stagnate in the territory.

According to the latest statistics available on TIA’s website, an estimated 406,300 people visited the Yukon from January to September.

That represents a three per cent drop, or a decrease of 13,200 people, over the same period in 2013.

Two commercials, co-produced by Brudder Productions out of British Columbia and Yukon-based Pixelbox Studios, were shot: one near Whitehorse and one in Dawson, which will air in the fall.

The budget for the winter commercials was $250,000, according to Stefanie Richardson from the Department of Tourism and Culture.

The Whitehorse ad, filmed over a period of four days at the Wheaton River Bed and Breakfast on Annie Lake Road, had a cast and crew of about 25 Yukoners.

Producer Jayden Soroka said part of the reason why he wanted to be involved in the project was to give the opportunity to locals to display their talent.

“We found that people here could do the various jobs really well,” he said.

“Next time we’ll try to bring even more Yukoners in on the project. People here don’t really get the opportunity to expand their skill set and work with great gear.

“It was nice to see so many people come together – the Yukon crew blew my mind with how well they worked together.”

Soroka was tasked with finding the perfect cabin for the commercial, which wasn’t easy.

He scouted out areas such as Lake Laberge, Carcross and the Golden Horn area to find a cabin that matched all his criteria.

It had to have road access and enough room for all of the crew’s equipment, which included floodlights, several generators and drones for aerial panoramic shots.

“It was a grueling process,” he said.

“Production is 90 per cent development.”

He said he lucked out when he found the Wheaton cabin, but then came up against an obstacle during filming.

“The weather kicked our ass,” he said.

“We had a lot of cloud cover. We were lucky that it was warm enough for our drones to work properly but the warm weather also brought up mist and fog from the lake.”

The storyboard and script for the commercials were developed well in advance of the filming by Outside The Cube and a creative team it hired.

Not everyone is impressed with the result. Dennis Allen, a filmmaker for over 20 years, is unhappy with the decision to not include aboriginal people in the commercial. He called it a misrepresentation of the “true Yukon and its people.”

“In any other place like Alberta or British Columbia, First Nations and Inuit are honoured and recognized for their contributions to those jurisdictions,” he said.

“It’s a sad statement of affairs, and it’s hard not think that it’s because of the strained relationship between First Nations and the government.”

Contact Myles Dolphin at


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

Just Posted

Arrest made in 2019 Ross River murder

Phillip Atkinson, 63, has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Mary Ann Ollie

Brother of slain Carmacks man wants review of Yukon justice system

Lennie Charlie’s brother, Wilfred “Dickie” Charlie, was killed by Mario and Tyler Skookum in 2017

Council turns down zoning amendment

Property owners will not be permitted to add a suite to their RR-zoned home

Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in issues voluntary closure on fall chum fishing

The closure comes during the worst fall chum run on record

Yukon government will fund one type of glucose monitors for adults

The Yukon T1D Support Network says coverage needs to go further

Lawsuit against Freedom Trails settled

The suit was dismissed with consent of all parties

Tank farm takes another step towards development

OCP designation passes second reading

Climate change strategy targets 30 per cent reduction in territory greenhouse gases by 2030

The strategy includes rebates for electric vehicles but puts off mining targets for two years

Watson Lake to hold mayoral byelection

Residents of Watson Lake will elect a new mayor on Oct. 8.… Continue reading

Teslin Tlingit Council elects chief, deputy chief

Teslin Tlingit Council citizens have elected Eric Morris as the new Naa Sháade Háni

Yukon Party nominates Dixon for Copperbelt North

The new leader was previously the MLA for the riding

Teslin Tlingit Council to hold election

Election day is Sept. 15, 2020

City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Most Read