Yukon Permanent Art Collection welcomes 14 new works

Beaver Spear and Salmon Spear by Ed Smarch

The Government of Yukon is committed to fostering artistic development and excellence to encourage participation in and appreciation of arts across the territory. To move towards this goal, the Government of Yukon has doubled acquisition funding for the Yukon Permanent Art Collection from $30,000 to $60,000. Alongside this additional funding, the Government of Yukon is pleased to announce the selection of 14 new works of art for the Yukon Permanent Art Collection.

The expansion of the new collection showcases the vibrancy of the Yukon’s artistic community and reflects the Government of Yukon’s commitment to supporting the Yukon’s diverse and dynamic arts sector. The new acquisitions are the work of artists Kaylyn Baker, Elizabeth Blair, Eldria Christiansen, Ava Christl, Ernest Chua, Heather Dickson, Koshon Fred Edzerza, Anick Fernandez, Phoebe Gonzales Rohrbacher, Leslie Leong, Ed Smarch, Jean Taylor and Shadunjen van Kampen. The selected works reflect diverse artistic media and approaches including beadwork, painting, sculpture, textile and traditional hunting tools.  

The pieces were selected through the annual call for submissions process held by the Government of Yukon and the Friends of Yukon Permanent Art Collection. Selections were made from 183 submissions by 86 artists.

The increase in acquisition funding was a key action recognized in Creative Potential, the Government of Yukon’s 10-year strategy to support the growth and development of the creative and cultural industries in the Yukon. The new acquisitions are the first cohort selected under the enhanced funding program.

Images of all 14 works can be viewed at Yukon.ca/yukon-permanent-art-collection-acquisitions-2023-24. An official exhibition at the Yukon Arts Centre is planned for the fall.

Our government is honoured to welcome these extraordinary new works to the permanent collection, and we are proud to offer increased funding to support artistic development and excellence in the territory. Thank you to the Friends of the Yukon Permanent Art Collection for their care and consideration throughout the selection process. Congratulations to each of these talented artists. The collection tells the extraordinary story of visual art and fine craft in the territory, and these selections add compelling new chapters.

Minister of Tourism and Culture John Streicker

FOYPAC had the pleasure of reviewing a large and dynamic group of artworks in response to our annual call for submissions. We were thrilled to see both emerging and established artists apply with pieces spanning a wide breadth of artistic practices and mediums. The increased budget provided by the Government of Yukon allowed us to continue to expand the communities and stories represented in the Yukon Permanent Art Collection. We appreciate the effort that goes into preparing submissions and thank all the artists who applied.

FOYPAC President Geneviève Gagnon

The importance of having my work in the collection is to continue the traditional ways of living in the Yukon and passing on the wisdom that I have to others. My mother, Virginia Smarch said ‘We are part of the land and part of the water.’ We hunt moose on the land and get fish out of the water; it’s so important to look after it.

Artist Ed Smarch

Quick facts 
  • Each year, the Government of Yukon acquires new art for the Yukon Permanent Art Collection through an annual Call for Submissions. The call is open to artists in any discipline at any stage of their creative paths whose artwork has resonance to the North. The submission process allows for up to three original completed works per artist, suitable for display in a public building.

  • Acquisitions are selected by the Friends of Yukon Permanent Art Collection (FOYPAC) through an arm's-length adjudication process. FOYPAC is a non-profit society made up of artists, art professionals and community members dedicated to the continued growth and development of the collection.

  • Works from the collection are shown in public areas of government buildings in Whitehorse, Dawson, Faro, Haines Junction and Mayo. They are also periodically displayed in special curated exhibitions produced by Tourism and Culture’s Arts Section or through loans to other institutions.

  • There are currently nearly 550 works of art by 291 artists in the collection.

  • The 2024–25 call for submissions will be announced this fall. The deadline for submissions will be January 31st, 2025.

Media contact 

Laura Seeley
Cabinet Communications


Cameron Webber
Communications, Tourism and Culture

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