Heritage Minister announces funding for, consults with Yukon cultural groups

Yukon arts and culture organizations got a major funding boost over the weekend.

Nine cultural groups to split more than $2 million over next three years

Federal Heritage Minister Melanie Joly announces funding for Yukon cultural organizations at a news conference in Whitehorse Saturday. (Chris Windeyer/CBC)

Yukon arts and culture organizations got a major funding boost over the weekend.

Federal Heritage Minister Melanie Joly announced more than $2 million for nine organizations in Whitehorse and Dawson City.

The association franco-yukonnaise and women's group Les EssentiElles will receive more than $1.6 million over the next three years.

Music and theatre groups in Dawson City and Whitehorse, including the Dawson City Arts Society, Jazz Yukon and the Nakai Theatre Ensemble, will share nearly $250,000.

Joly also announced $167,000 for a new sound system at the Yukon Arts Centre, work that has already been completed.

Al Cushing, the arts centre's CEO, said recent concerts at the facility demonstrated that the new system is a major improvement over the old one.

"The sound was coming beautifully from the stage instead of from speaker stacks on either side," he said.

Joly also held a roundtable meeting with Yukon cultural groups Saturday. The minister says she wants staff in her department to distribute funding to organizations more quickly.

"We need to work with our public servants and make sure the funding you get comes more rapidly, that you don't have any frustration because you're waiting for Canadian Heritage to come and send the money," she said.

Joly has previously said she wants to see a major increase to arts funding nationwide, including the Canada Council, the National Film Board and Telefilm Canada.


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