Whitehorse Daily Star

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Jeanie McLean

Liberals emphasize Arts and Heritage Centre intentions

The Yukon Liberals are reaching further into their previously-announced record-setting capital projects budget in a bid to appeal to voters.

By Whitehorse Star on March 23, 2021

The Yukon Liberals are reaching further into their previously-announced record-setting capital projects budget in a bid to appeal to voters.

Mountainview Liberal candidate Jeanie McLean announced today a re-elected Yukon Liberal government would build a new Arts and Heritage Centre.

“The centre is included in the recently tabled 2021-2022 budget,” a news release stated. 

“We have a responsibility for the proper care of our important heritage and art collections so that future generations will continue to benefit from their legacy,” said McLean, the minister of Tourism and Culture.

“We are pursuing a combined facility for both the heritage and arts collections which will result in efficiencies and provide safe, adequate storage for our broad range of collections,” McLean said.

“We have identified approximately $25 million over five years for the design and construction of this new facility,” said Liberal Leader Sandy Silver.

“It is important that we celebrate and protect the rich heritage and culture that shapes the Yukon and this investment will help us do that.”

The Liberal platform includes funding to renovate the Old Territorial Administration Building in Dawson City and create a Creative and Cultural Industries Strategy.

That blueprint would lay out a vision for supporting artists, creatives and those who create cultural and heritage products. 

Comments (22)

Up 19 Down 5

Oya on Mar 27, 2021 at 3:15 pm

Wasn't the Yukon Archives recently expanded and upgraded with all the right temps and lighting, etc. to preserve these artifacts, art and other heritage pieces the Yukon has? And now another building for the same purpose??? Liberal Party, haven't you heard? Money does NOT grow on trees!

@ Mandy: Wilf actually has it right this time. What are you talking about? The OCP is municipal; this announcement is territorial. Wilf is reminding us that the current mayor has publicly stated the old City Hall will house a permanent art collection and that the Yukon already has a number of cultural centers, so the question is: do we need yet another building? This is about our tax dollars being spent on art and stuff when the current Yukon situation demands we get back to the basics like affordable housing, food security, paying off DEBT, etc. Like Matthew says, "An arts center.... in the middle of the worst economic times...." perhaps to be built right beside the "Fieldhouse" they're also talking about.

Me thinks the Liberals are either out of touch with the reality many Yukoners are living or they're pandering to certain "groups", i.e. trying to buy votes. Probably both.

Up 19 Down 5

Al on Mar 27, 2021 at 12:54 pm

I get the need to preserve our heritage. I am not opposed to protecting artifacts or other historical items.

What I am increasingly concerned about is deficit spending. This current regime is already advocating a 137 million shortfall (DEBT). Folks may think "well we can pay off the little amount". Hm, I don't think so when you continually add new and expensive projects that are above the necessities of what we need until we get our financial house in order. Buildings require on going supportive costs and personnel to maintain them and run the programs. These are O&M (operations and maintenance). So we are not just looking at a one time investment, there will be ongoing expenses just as have with our own homes.

At this juncture, we must be practicable about where we are putting our investments and look at ways to balance these costs off as to what offsets we are able to find to make it work. Just as we as individuals do at home - what can we trade off to make it work ? What must I trade off to stay afloat ? It is called living within our means.

So until something substantive is offered to offset this expenditure then it is pie in the sky. The project needs to be shelved until a later date.

Up 6 Down 16

micawber on Mar 26, 2021 at 5:40 pm

Art is a primary indicator of the intellect of a society. The respect for our heritage gives us perspective on our lives.
I believe that this structure will provide appropriate, climate controlled storage of Yukon's unique and invaluable art and artifacts so that future generations will appreciate the world they have inherited.

Up 8 Down 11

Mark Vigneau on Mar 25, 2021 at 1:45 pm

Sorry the broadcast of Trudeau saying low income families don't pay taxes is Feb 6, 2019 on True North television.

Up 24 Down 12

Mark Vigneau on Mar 25, 2021 at 1:18 pm

I don't know how anyone can vote liberal after the Justin Trudeau broadcast on Feb 6, 2019. I quote Trudeau's words " conservatives don't understand that low income families don't benefit from tax breaks because they don't pay taxes". If you vote liberal you're voting for Trudeau.

Up 11 Down 22

Rolf on Mar 25, 2021 at 8:49 am

Arts and Heritage will no longer be ignored by the right wing element of the community.

Up 14 Down 13

bonanzajoe on Mar 24, 2021 at 5:29 pm

Guess WS didn't think my comment was politically correct enough. Sad that people can't speak their minds and heart anymore. Karl Marx would be so proud.

Up 21 Down 21

Mandy on Mar 24, 2021 at 4:42 pm

@ Wilf Carter (again ramblng waaaaaaaaaaaay off topic)

Have an adult read you the OCP.

It explains right in thereabout art in public buildings. Here's a protip: Petition to have the OCP changed. Or maybe run for office yourself.....oh, wait.

Up 27 Down 10

Groucho d'North on Mar 24, 2021 at 3:01 pm

I'm not sure your analysis of what they want to build is correct as YG is being quite vague about their intentions. My first thought was they would build a place for the Permanent Art Collection and historical cultural artifacts created by the first nations many years ago. Clearly some more thought and those dreaded consultations are required to get it right. As noted below we have many FN culture centres already, perhaps some of these treasures could be provided to the FNs to display? Also the Beringia Centre is the appropriate place for fossil artifacts of creatures from long ago. I agree we do need these places for our historic artifacts but let's do it once and do it right rather than rushing into a project of this scope.

Up 11 Down 14

Wilf Carter on Mar 24, 2021 at 2:26 pm

Lynx this is not what she is talking about.

Up 19 Down 27

Lynx on Mar 24, 2021 at 11:08 am


The Arts Centre is more about the performing arts and things like that. It is not equipped to display or properly store all of the artifacts the government currently has stockpiled in a warehouse in an unsafe manner. Many of these artifacts and bones have been frozen in ice for tens of thousands of years and are now becoming exposed due to melting glaciers and permafrost. These things need to be stored at very specific temperature and level of humidity. They should also be kept in a building with good fire suppression and other safety measures. Not in a building where there are concerts and people allowed to be drinking etc.

Currently they are stored in a building where a fire or flood for example could quickly extinguish thousands of irreplaceable and priceless artifacts and fossils. That would be absolutely tragic and a horrible day for history and science.

So I for one am glad that the Yukon government will finally act to protect and display our vibrant history. This is something we have needed for decades now. It's only by luck that we have not lost any of it through a flood or fire yet. We owe it to the global scientific and historical community to protect what we keep uncovering in the melting glaciers and permafrost.

Up 39 Down 15

Crunch on Mar 24, 2021 at 11:08 am

As much as myself and others have respect and admiration for Jeanie McLean this announcement is completely irresponsible and off base.It is however normal behaviour regarding your obligations to be a part of team Red.

Up 42 Down 13

Groucho d'North on Mar 24, 2021 at 10:17 am

Similar to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.
This is a good example of the brain trust presently in power.

Up 41 Down 11

Mad Trapper of Riverdale on Mar 23, 2021 at 7:24 pm

How many arts centres and museums do we need?? Only another $25 million of taxpayers money to build yet another redundant government subsidized facility that competes with private industry for events, just like KDCC and MacBride does already.

Up 34 Down 14

--- why is campaigning considered essential? on Mar 23, 2021 at 5:21 pm

Why are you allowed to go door to door but we're still in a state of emergency?

Up 41 Down 12

Mike on Mar 23, 2021 at 5:03 pm

More empty useless promises from the same empty useless government.

Up 49 Down 12

Groundhogs Day on Mar 23, 2021 at 4:29 pm

Young talent... LOL! Hahaha... LMAO... ROFL! Wake up Boomers! Someone made a funny.

Up 75 Down 17

iBrian on Mar 23, 2021 at 4:25 pm

Like where is all this money coming from? I am not paying nearly 47% of my income for this when we have an Arts Center.
Our country is severely in debt and the irresponsible Government is continuing to spend.
Absolutely no responsibility or financial respect.
I just can’t believe the crap coming out of their mouths.

Up 78 Down 15

Matthew on Mar 23, 2021 at 3:47 pm

An arts centre.. in the middle of the worst economic times known since 1929!? I'd like to say I'm shocked, but I'm not. How about affordable housing so we can grow into the future and not price out young talent from coming to Yukon.. this should be ALL parties #1 problem, but barely makes a dent in their policies..

Up 57 Down 19

Wilf Carter on Mar 23, 2021 at 3:17 pm

Dan Curtis stated that the new renovated city hall would house art.
Priorities are food, clothing, shelter, safety, health, education, transportation.

Up 65 Down 18

Wilf Carter on Mar 23, 2021 at 3:12 pm

Art is already heavily supported in Yukon and has been for years.
This is nice but housing comes first before anything.
How many cultural centers are there in Yukon - now 5 or 6?

Up 62 Down 17

My Opinion on Mar 23, 2021 at 3:00 pm

Get that cheque book out. Haha, it would be funny if it wasn't so sad. I guess we would fill the building with a bunch more Government Folk. Nice.

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