Yukon Arts Council
Yukon Arts Council. Organization founded as an independent society under the Yukon Societies Ordinance in October 1971. Prior to that time, some of its musical responsibilities were carried out by the Whitehorse Concert Association, active from the late 1950s to 1970. The council has spoken on behalf of a number of cultural groups within the Yukon Territory; in 1991 it represented literary, visual, and performing artists and arts organizations, seeking to promote arts development in all areas of the Yukon Territory.
The council has planned, scheduled, and promoted annual concert series (featuring classical music and jazz) for the City of Whitehorse and other communities, and has administered the use of a set of risers (for use by choral-orchestral groups) and a grand piano. In an attempt to raise performance and teaching levels, it has co-ordinated, sponsored, and sometimes funded workshops in each of the performing arts. On occasion it has sponsored the attendance of individuals at conferences and workshops outside the territory and has provided assistance to local conferences. It has promoted and publicized the Yukon Music (competition) Festival (held at Whitehorse), and established trophies for the festival's best performer(s). In 1979 it initiated a spring festival of the arts (not a competition). By 1990 the council had begun a quarterly Newsletter and had published an arts directory. The council has administered and sponsored three to five tours annually; in the 1989-90 season, performing, visual, and literary artists appeared in every community in the Yukon. An artist-in-the-school program has presented workshops and concerts. The council's office, in Whitehorse, maintains a library and provides office services for area artists and groups.
The council's activities have been supported by grants from civic and territorial governments, proceeds from fund-raising campaigns, receipts from concerts, and fees from workshops it has sponsored. It has received money from private donors for special projects, such as a Grand Piano fund. Members of the council's 12-member board of directors have served as an unpaid executive committee. Presidents have been Maurits van der Veen 1971-3, Michael Heron 1973-5, Wyn Gladman 1975-7, Esme Myers 1977-8, Henry Klassen 1979-82, Tim Twardochleb 1982-4, Arthur Giovinazzo 1984-6, Conrad Boyce 1986-8, and Bruce Willis 1988-90, succeeded by Lee Kirkpatrick in 1990.