Public Engagement Innovation Lab: Art Carcross (Carcross, Yukon)

Carcross lies on the Klondike Highway between Whitehorse and Skagway, Alaska, has a population of 289 and boasts the highest number of visitors of any regional community in Yukon, including Whitehorse. Over 150,000 Canadian and international visitors were expected for the 2016 tourism season. Carcross has mountain bike trails which are regarded as amongst the best in the world, and is part of the tour traffic for all the Alaskan cruise ships which run day turn-around trips to Carcross and back to the Alaskan port of Skagway.

This Innovation Lab will focus on building mutually empowering relationships amongst and between local artists, cultural organizations and their facilities, and the The Carcross/Tagish First Nation by curating a hub of art and cultural activity in the downtown Carcross core for the summers of 2016 and 2017.  

The Lab’s objective is to establish a culture of shared knowledge, cooperative planning and increased volunteerism. Measures of "trust in relationships" will be developed as part of the mapping of the quality of "ties" between various community organizations. This Lab aims to move the partners towards a more inclusive community rather than a segregated one. Success of the Lab will look like less like "us" and "them," and more like "we".

Professional artists will mentor and work with art students as they work on their craft or organize workshops and demonstrations for GCTFN citizens, the Carcross community at large and visitors to the community. The mentorship component provides opportunities to develop ties between GCTFN’s rich cultural heritage and the contemporary arts.

Targeted Audience: Local artists, cultural organizations and the Carcross/Tagish First Nation as well as tourists to the area.

Lab Leader: Lawrie Crawford, Professional interdisciplinary artist and community builder, Coordinator, Art Makes Carcross

Partners: Yukon Arts Centre (YAC); Carcross/Tagish First Nation Government - Capacity and Lands and Heritage department; Southern Lakes Artist Collective; Carcross/Tagish Management Corporation; Yukon Government - Economic Development and Tourism and Culture departments; Carcross Recreation Board.