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About The Yukon Prize for Visual Arts

Our Vision

The Yukon Prize for Visual Arts will recognize excellence by Yukon visual artists and be a catalyst for the promotion of Yukon visual art across Canada. The prize has three goals:

  • To provide a financial prize of $20,000 to one Yukon artist that will help them focus full-time on creating art
  • To promote Yukon art and Yukon artists within the Yukon, nationally and internationally
  • To foster a culture of curatorial critique and discourse in the Yukon and encourage artists to be the best that they can possibly be.

Our goal is that the award and exhibits of the finalists’ works will create opportunities for Yukon artists and inspire connections between Yukon artists and the visual arts community in the rest of Canada, providing increased visibility, artistic development and potential for sales. The Yukon Prize is intended to be a biennial event and the Yukon Prize website will house an online gallery of the works of past finalists.

A Message from the Co-Founders

We feel blessed to have found a life and community in the Yukon. Living as we do in both Whitehorse and Toronto – two extremely different places – has given us the opportunity to appreciate what is special about each place.  One of the many things that has impressed us about the Yukon is the quality and diversity of the visual arts. But we have also noticed that few people outside of the Yukon know anything about Yukon artists or Yukon art, and that this important part of Canada’s cultural narrative is being overlooked.

So we wondered – how can we bring Yukon art into the national dialogue about art – and have Yukon artists gain the recognition that they deserve?

We also know many Yukon artists who do not have the luxury of working full-time on creating art and believe that they could develop significantly as artists if they were given the chance to focus on their art for a period of time.

Finally, we noticed that there was little opportunity for Yukon artists to engage with curators and arts professionals from outside the Yukon, and that increasing these connections could help Yukon artists become better known and potentially aid in their development as artists.

Julie Jai and David TrickThese thoughts led us to imagine a Yukon prize for visual artists, to be awarded bi-annually to recognize excellence in visual arts.

We hope that this prize will encourage artists, provide a fun and engaging process for Yukoners and those outside the Yukon to learn about and appreciate Yukon art, and help us all to celebrate the creative spirit which animates and enriches our lives.

With gratitude,
Julie Jai and David Trick

Who We Are

The Yukon Prize has been established in partnership with the Yukon Arts Foundation, the Yukon Arts Centre, co-founders Julie Jai and David Trick, and a dedicated team of volunteers.

Members of the Yukon Prize Committee include:

Julie Jai & David Trick, Co-founders
Charlene Alexander, Executive Director, Yukon First Nations Culture and Tourism Association
Claire Anderson, Commissioner/Regulator, Taku River Tlingit First Nation
Mary Bradshaw, Director of Visual Arts, Yukon Arts Centre
Heather Callaghan, Tlingit artist
Al Cushing, Yukon Arts Foundation
Leslie Leong, Artist
Duncan Sinclair, Yukon Arts Foundation
Marilyn Smith, former Executive Director, Southern Alberta Art Gallery
Mary Jane Warshawski, Local Businessperson

If you would like to get involved in this project, please see the Support page, or contact us at

Yukon Arts Foundation logo Yukon Arts Centre logo

Significant Dates

Summer 2020
Public launch of Yukon Prize for Visual Arts

January 1 – March 31, 2021
Yukon artists may apply for the prize

April – May 2021
Jury reviews applications and selects up to six finalists

June 2021
Finalists announced

August 15, 2021
Finalists deliver their work to the Yukon Arts Centre Gallery

September 18, 2021
Exhibition of Finalists’ works opens at Yukon Arts Centre

November 19-21, 2021
Jurors travel to Whitehorse to select winner
Yukon Prize winner announced at a celebratory event on November 20 in Whitehorse

September – November 2021
Exhibition continues at Yukon Arts Centre; plans are firmed up to have the exhibit travel outside Whitehorse