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Chilkoot Trail Artist-in-Residence Corrie Francis Parks, 2012

Chilkoot Trail Artist Residency: Apply Now!

Let the Chilkoot Trail inspire your creations. Currently accepting applications for the 2019 Chilkoot Trail Artist Residency program.


Yukon Arts Centre, Parks Canada, US National Park Service, and Skagway Arts Council are seeking three visual artists to participate in a cross-border creative journey within Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, Alaska and the Chilkoot Trail National Historic Site in British Columbia. The partner organizations are thrilled to offer this one-of-a-kind residency once again in 2019, its ninth consecutive season.

Selected artists will follow the infamous Chilkoot Trail “once trod by Tlingit First Nation traders and Klondike Gold Rush stampeders” for two weeks. Average hikers take four to five days to complete the trek, whereas with support from Trail staff and from a friend or family member of their choice, artists are able to take time to interact with hikers, make art, and soak in the natural and historic beauty of the Trail.

The Chilkoot Trail, like all Parks Canada places, reflects the rich and varied heritage of our country and provides an opportunity for Canadians and visitors to learn more about our diversity, including the history, cultures and contributions of Indigenous Peoples.

The residency program holds a joint goal for the US National Park Service and Parks Canada: to increase public awareness of the Chilkoot Trail, particularly in major cities. By creating art during and after the hike, and by leading workshops and/or art talks on the trail and in nearby communities, artists inspire Canadians and Americans to appreciate the legacy of the Chilkoot Trail.

For the Yukon Arts Centre, the residencies are a way of fostering the Yukon’s creative and cultural economy by developing ties with tourism, bringing new and broader audiences into contact with contemporary artists; providing a stimulating working experience for artists; and encouraging art making that explores and even challenges ideas and issues in landscape art.

Chilkoot Trail Artist-in-Residence Julie Zhu, 2016. Photo courtesy of Kaithlyn Fruin.


“The Chilkoot Trail Residency is a signature program of the Yukon Arts Centre and provides one of the most unique and authentically Northern professional development experiences for contemporary visual artists in the world. This initiative celebrates the shared enthusiasm for exploring the continued resonance of the Chilkoot mythology and reflects our strong partnerships with both Canadian and American Parks services.”

Casey Prescott
CEO Yukon Arts Centre

“The Chilkoot Trail Artist Residency helps more people connect to the park and to the many stories of the Klondike Gold Rush. Over the past several years, we have benefited from many different artists working in a variety of media. They have impressed hikers while working along the trail, and they have enhanced memories of the trail in their public presentations afterward. And through their work, the artists reach people who may not be able to hike the Chilkoot Trail or who may never have heard of the site or story. The program not only raises public consciousness about the park, but also about art, public lands, and stewardship overall.”

Mike Tranel
Superintendent, Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, US National Park Service

Quick Facts

  • Beginning at tidewater in Dyea, Alaska and ending on the shores of the Southern Lakes headwaters of the Yukon River, the Chilkoot Trail covers 53 kilometres (33 miles) and reaches an elevation of 1074 metres (3,525 feet) at the pass. Hikers typically take an average of four to five days to complete the trek, whereas artists in the residency program will spend up to two weeks on the Trail interacting with hikers, creating art, and engaging with the site’s heritage.
  • Each artist may bring one support person of their choice.
  • Artists will receive up to $100 USD support from Skagway Arts Council in purchasing necessary art supplies, hiking permits from the US National Park Service for both themselves and their support person, and $1000 CAD honorarium from the Yukon Arts Centre.
  • Artists will be responsible for providing their own food, hiking/camping equipment and working materials and for their travel arrangements. Artists will be responsible for obtaining valid passports and the required international work permits and/or visas, however support through this process will be provided by Parks staff.
  • Due to the outdoor nature of this opportunity, the venue is partially accessible. Please contact us for more information regarding accessibility.

Related Links

Yukon Arts Centre
Chilkoot Trail Artist Residency Program
Parks Canada Chilkoot Trail National Historic Site
National Park Service

The online application form may be filled out here. French applicants may apply here.

#ChilkootResidency | #YukonArts | @YukonArts

For any further information, please contact:

Heather Steinhagen
Gallery Intern, Yukon Arts Centre