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2015-08 CWR R32-09.jpgDates: July 25th – August 19th, 2018
Location: Yukon River, Yukon Territory
Application Deadline: January 6th at 11:59 pm PST

Selected artists will spend 26 days in the Yukon advancing their artistic practice, connecting with local artists in Whitehorse, Dawson City & communities along the Yukon River, while having the time and space for contemplation, inspiration and creativity. Residents will work within a multi-disciplinary team of practicing artists and have the opportunity to connect with local Yukon artists through community conversations, studio tours and immersion in the Riverside Arts Festival, including public talks, workshops and the opportunity to showcase their own work within the festival.

The program is unlike any other residency. While being artistically inspiring, it can also be both physically and mentally challenging. Residents will spend 16 days paddling by canoe from lake Laberge to Dawson City. They will be stopping at historic sites, navigating Five Finger Rapids, taking time to explore the woods and riverside, engaging in arts-focused workshops/discussion, and making decisions as a team. Residents will be introduced to tandem moving water paddling, learn best-practices within the backcountry in regards to safety and risk management, navigation using river maps and in-camp routines.

Artists will start with time spent in Whitehorse attending events, artist talks, studio tours, and preparing for trip. At the end of the journey, residents will spend four days in Dawson City where they will be arriving in time for the Riverside Arts Festival. As part of this festival, they will be responsible for running a two-hour creative workshop for children and youth in the community.

Apply now

Yukon River Map

Dates: July 25th – August 19th, 2018
Location: Yukon River, Yukon Territory

**NOTE: The following dates and schedule attempt to offer an outline of the The Canadian Wilderness Artist Residency, however dates of the residency, events, canoe training, departure/arrival in specific locations and program content may be subject to change due to a number of factors such as, but not limited to: weather, water-level, terrain, decisions made as a group, unforeseen delays, etc.


July 25 (Day 1):
Artists will arrive in Whitehorse where Canadian Wilderness Artist Residency (CWAR) staff will greet you at the airport. Residents will then travel in to town to our “home-base” where we will be working out of prior to trip departure.

Screen Shot 2016-01-13 at 12.44.24 PMDay 2:
Beginning the day early, residents will be introduced to northern waters, participating in basic moving-water canoe training while paddling around the town of Whitehorse on the Yukon River, followed by the first of a series of talks by local, guest artists and meeting the 2016 Artist Mentor.

Day 3:
The day is free to explore Whitehorse and the surrounding area, reconvening in the evening to tour the studio of a guest artist.

2015-08 CWR R04-09.jpgDay 4:

Residents will tour current exhibits at the Yukon Arts Centre and Territorial Gallery.

Day 5:
Food pack and trip preparations begin. Residents will tour the studios of local artists.

Day 6:
Morning/Afternoon—Group-gear pack and and personal prep begins; final food pack to be completed.
Evening—Residents will reconvene for a potluck and moderated panel discussion open to the public.

Day 7:
Depart for trip. Residents will meet at Up North Adventures, downtown Whitehorse. After a quick gear review to ensure residents are properly equipped, we will be shuttled by van and motorboat to end Lake Laberge, the start of our Yukon River journey. The afternoon will be spent continuing to get acquainted with our gear and boats and paddling into our first section of the Yukon River known as “30 Mile”.

2015-08 CWR R10-02.jpgDay 8-10:
These days we will be paddling through one of the most stunning and pristine sections of the Yukon River. Surrounded by high cliff walls, thick forest and clear waters, keep your eyes peeled for sightings of grizzly bear, wolf, moose, and bald eagle. For anglers on the trip, the river offers world class fishing opportunities for arctic grayling and salmon. We’ll begin to see the river change and widen slowly as we approach the town of Carmacks.

Day 11:
An ongoing introduction to the vibrancy of Yukon communities continues as we arrive in the town of CarmacksScreen Shot 2016-01-16 at 9.29.46 PM. Here we will have time to visit and resupply before continuing down river.

Day 12-20:
As the group continues on river, residents will be stopping at historic sites, navigating Five Finger Rapids, taking time to explore the woods and riverside, engage in arts-focused workshops designed to ignite creativity and reflection, and make decisions as a team about where best to break, rest, explore and make art.

Day 21-23:
Arrival in Dawson City.  Paddling the last few Screen Shot 2016-01-15 at 1.29.46 PMkilometres, Residents will arrive in time for the Riverside Arts Festival, with time through the weekend to explore the town and surrounding hills. Over this weekend we will finish up with a final session as a group. Additionally, residents will be responsible for facilitating a creative-arts workshop for children and youth as part of the Riverside Arts Festival.

Day 24:
A shuttle will pick up the group around 10:00am and return us to Whitehorse, arriving in town by late afternoon. Residents will spend their last night at a downtown Whitehorse hotel before saying goodbye the next morning.

Day 25:
Depart for home (or stay! Or wherever you’re off to next!). CWAR staff will arrange shuttles for all participants needing a ride back to the airport for their flights.

While it is not a requirement of each artist to be proficient in the back-country or an experienced canoe paddler, it is necessary to have a general level of fitness, capable of extended periods of physical activity without worry of injury or inflammation. Past injuries or general concerns will be handled on a case-by-case basis upon acceptance, in conversation with the lead guide and medical support. If accepted into the program we will do our best to overcome any physical obstacle as best we can and alleviate concerns where possible.

Lead Guide

Gen profileGeneviève Paré is a Calgary based life enthusiast with a background in outdoor leadership and the performing arts. She has been guiding professionally for over ten years on Canadian trails, rivers, lakes and oceans, and is a certified Adventure Medic. For Geneviève, the world makes the most sense when there’s a map on her lap, a paddle in her hand and some good people by her side. When she’s not on the water, Geneviève is getting her feet dirty with her performance creation ensemble, Mudfoot Theatre, who devise contemporary folk narratives inspired by Canadian history and humble magic.

Local Artist Host

20130415_JT_YNOO_GBP_003_websiteJoseph Tisiga’s sculptures, paintings and collage boldy introduce him as a Canadian artist to look out for.  Tisiga’s Indigenous ancestry — Kaska Dene from the Liard River First Nation — informs the breadth of his practice, which grapples with issues of identity, historicism and tropes of representation.  Tisiga’s practice most notable tasks viewers with negotiating what looks like abstract and folkloric pictorials from the very real politicized contexts that underlie his work.


Applicants must:

  • Hold specialized training or practice in her or his field (not necessarily gained in an academic institution)
  • Have practiced, as an artist in their medium, continually for min. 5 years.
  • Have received critical recognition from an independent source and/or institution (academic institution, gallery, media, professor, etc.)


  • Must be physically capable (see Skill & Fitness Requisites above).
  • Must be over 18.



  • Included:
    • Knowledgeable and experienced guides
    • Airport shuttle pick-up in Whitehorse
    • Overland shuttle to and from river
    • Tents, cooking and shared camping equipment (ex. Tarps, stoves, water purification, etc.)
    • Canoes, paddles, PFDs
    • Safety equipment, including satellite phone
    • All meals while on trip
    • 1 night hotel accommodation in Whitehorse after trip
  • Not Included:
    • Transportation to and from Whitehorse
    • Fishing license and fishing equipment (if desired)
    • Sleeping bags, mats and personal equipment

Travel Bursary

Up to $1500 in Travel Bursaries are available to applicants in need. However, artists are encouraged to apply for additional outside funding.

Please take a look at these frequently asked questions, which offer valuable information regarding each residency, artists on trip, safety & risk and The Canadian Wilderness Residency Program itself.

For more information on how to apply, click here.

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