Images From Vancouver

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Friends of YFN 2010

Celebrating Friends of YFN 2010!

Performing & Visual Artists



Latest Developments

Adäka Cultural Festival

This year marks an exciting new beginning for Yukon First Nations – launching a very special event – the Adäka Cultural Festival.  Performing and visual artists from every Yukon First Nation community will gather in a spectacular summer showcase on the Whitehorse waterfront from July 1-9, 2011 to celebrate and share a unique blend of traditional and contemporary drumming, dance, storytelling, songs and visual arts representing our history and evolving cultural motifs.  The Adäka Cultural Festival is a new, focused showcase to develop visual arts, hone performance skills, and promote the revitalization of Yukon First Nations culture, linking all generations to present our unique heritage to Yukon friends and neighbours, plus visitors from around the world.

The Festival is part of the legacy of the acclaimed YFN 2010 Project at the Vancouver Olympics where our Artists Collective of 50 artists performed at 17 different venues over 10 days, with feature presentations at the Aboriginal Pavillion, Northern House, Robson Square, Richmond Ozone, Inuit Art Gallery, Aboriginal Artisan Market. YFN 2010 dazzled audiences from around the world, gaining critical acclaim for our artists. Over the past year representatives of YFN 2010 discussed ideas for sustaining the Olympic spirit.  “We intentionally focussed on investing in our people and their product development – to present Yukon First Nations to the world and also to continue the energy and inspiration from the Games for all Yukon First Nations,” said Katie Johnson, Co-Executive Producer of YFN 2010.  “The greatest consideration in anything we do moving forward is that it must be guided by the contingent that shared this Olympic experience”. We assessed market potential, funding sources, and capacity for delivering a similar audience experience in the Yukon with community, government and industry officials. The Adäka Cultural Festival is the result of this intensive planning.

The Adäka Cultural Festival is a not-for-profit project presented by the Council of Yukon First Nations in partnership with the Yukon Arts Centre. Supporters include all Yukon First Nations, Yukon Government departments of Tourism and Culture and Economic Development, Government of Canada – CanNor and Canada Council for the Arts.  In 2011 we are located in tents on First Avenue and at the Old Firehall, with a gala at the Yukon Arts Centre Theatre.  Starting in summer 2012, the Kwanlin Dun First Nation will be a key Adäka partner with their new First Nations Cultural Centre providing the central venue for Festival events.

The Adäka Cultural Festival will benefit all Yukon people as a cohesive, fun cultural exchange in summer that fills a special niche in visitor attractions, contributing to the growing excitement on the Whitehorse waterfront with attendant business enhancements for the region. Numerous Yukon visitor and resident surveys indicate a strong interest in First Nations cultural events.  Our YFN 2010 Olympics performances drew large crowds that exceeded the capacity of venues in many instances, demonstrating our ability to attract and entertain large, diverse audiences. We are ready for our next big opportunity – working with all our artists, partners and sponsors to make the Adäka Cultural Festival a huge success in 2011. “Adäka” means “Coming into the light” and we truly believe that this new summer festival is our time to shine!

Project YFN 2010 celebrates the Games and moves to Legacy

After 13 months of planning, and 12 successful days of programming during the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, the Project Team of YFN 2010 has begun Legacy planning.  With 70 Yukon First Nations directly involved in the Project from all across the Yukon, the opportunities for Yukon First Nations in youth, culture, mentorship and tourism development are tremendous.  Sustainability will be the focus of the teams work, ensuring that the investments and the experiences for the whole team last well beyond 2010.

“From this Project, we intentionally invested in people and product development – to not only present Yukon First Nations to the world, but also to continue the energy and inspiration from the Games for all Yukon First Nations,” said Katie Johnson, Co-Executive Producer of Project YFN 2010.  “The greatest consideration in anything we do moving forward is that it must be guided by the contingent that shared this Olympic experience”.

The first step in Legacy Planning includes a meeting of a smaller and representative group from the full team to begin discussions, present ideas and facilitate next steps planning.  From there, this group or ‘council’ will guide all work moving forward, together with support and input from partners, funders and the larger Yukon community.

Project YFN 2010 included the development of Yukon First Nations people and products to take to the world stage last February in Vancouver.  Over a year of preparation and planning went into the Project and highlights include:

·         Arriving on February 17th, members of Yukon First Nations 2010 performed in over 15 venues during 6 full days of programming from the Surrey Live Site to Grouse Mountain and the Athletes Village to West Vancouver and more – great partnerships with Yukon Culture @ 2010.

·         The YFN 2010 Art Gallery in the FHFN Artisan Village and Business Showcase was world class with many commenting that they’d walked into a professional gallery as opposed to a trade show retail space.

·         February 21, 2010 was the Yukon First Nations Day in the Aboriginal Pavilion.  Beginning at 9:30, we hosted a full house in the Jack Poole Reception Hall for a Press Conference, followed by a historical welcoming and gift giving ceremony by the Four Host First Nations.   Gifts were exchanged by YFN to the FHFN as well and all our performers entered the Hall drumming and singing – in celebration and song.

·         Each of the 4 shows that day was performed to an ‘over-full’ house with line-ups 2 hours long.

·         The YFN 2010 Project and members of our contingent were introduced to BC based travel media at an invite-only reception in Canada’s North House – thanks to a partnership with Yukon Government’s Tourism & Culture.

·         After the 4th show, all our performers and artists danced and sang in the sun for the public for about 15 minutes – spectators saying that this was the best thing they have ever seen in 30 years living in Vancouver.

·         Visual Artists set up in the Richmond Ozone from the 23rd to the 28th with other Pan North partners, providing a gallery experience and retail opportunity.

·         The Four Host First Nations constantly reminded us that Yukon First Nations have set a high bar in programming, preparedness and world class experiences and were to be recognized and congratulated.

·         Our youth played many diverse roles from backstage performance support, to dress and make up, to support media relations, servicing dignitaries, leaders and sponsors and talking to the public at every moment.  All 8 of our Youth Team participated in the Vancouver 2010 Olympics Opening Ceremonies and two were invited to participate in the Closing Ceremonies as well.

YFN 2010 would like to acknowledge the tremendous partnerships built amongst governments, organizations and the private sector.  Partnership and collaboration were keys to the Projects success.  Thank you to CanNor (Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency), the Yukon Government, all Yukon First Nations governments and leadership and the private sector.  For more information on Project sponsors, partners and supporters, go to: