A new exhibit exploring the lives and experiences of people who work with, use, and wear the Yukon’s wild fur will open late this afternoon at the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre Gallery.
The exhibit portrays everyone from lifelong trappers who grew up on the land to the rookie apprentice testing her mettle in her first season.
Life-sized and environmental portraits by Archbould Photography will be paired with written and audio stories collected from interviews by Whitehorse resident Leighann Chalykoff.
“It has become harder to make a living working on a trapline,” Cathie Archbould said Wednesday.
“I want this project to raise the visibility of Yukon trappers and our wild fur by creating a connection between people who work in the industry and the people who want to buy and wear fur.”
“Over the past year working on this project, I have heard some amazing stories and learned a lot about this culturally significant activity,” said Chalykoff.
“I hope that visitors are as captivated by these photographs and stories as I have been.”
The exhibit is part of the UnFURled initiative, presented in partnership with the cultural centre.
The free opening reception is set for 5-7 p.m. today. The exhibit will be up until April 30.
UnFURled is a celebration of Yukon fur and a local fur marketplace.
The free, full-day event will be held Saturday, and is open to everyone.
All Yukon communities will be represented in quality hand-made items and locally-sourced fur.
The Fur Marketplace will feature products from almost 60 artisans and trappers from around the territory.
These products will include everything from fur pom poms, jewelry and toys, to warm, functional items for the Yukon climate.
Tanned and untanned furs will also be for sale.
Creating support for local trappers and artisans is the underlying purpose of the event.
It will start at 9 a.m. Saturday and continue until 4 p.m., with the Fur Ball starting at 7 p.m.
“The diversity, creativity and quality of the fur products we’ve received is overwhelming,” said sales organizer Christine Prescott.
“There are some absolutely stunning handmade items. If you have any interest in buying authentic Yukon fur products, this is an event you will not want to miss.”
“The underlying purpose of unFURled is to create an interest in and support for our local trappers and artisans,” added unFURled organizer Kelly Milner.
“We wanted to get people thinking about Yukon fur and create a marketplace where people can come and buy directly from the people trapping and making these products.
“We want to help people make these connections so they can get to know each other and see how buying local fur products helps support a small but important economy in our territory,” Milner said.