Dawson City is a vibrant arts and cultural community with a rich history. The town is situated in the traditional territory of the Tr’ondek Hwech’in First Nation, whose ancestors have inhabited the central western Yukon and eastern Alaska for several thousands of years. The community currently maintains a year-round population of 2,000 people and the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in make up about 570 citizens. In the summertime, the town’s population increases to about 3,500 permanent residents. Both mining and tourism distinguish the town’s economy and some 60,000 visitors are drawn to Dawson City each year – to experience the site of the world renowned 1897 Klondike Gold Rush. Dawson City is a charming town with wooden sidewalks, dirt streets, original gold rush buildings (many restored by Parks Canada’s Klondike National Historic Sites), and the locals are both friendly and colourful!
Numerous year-round activities are held at Dawson’s two cultural facilties: the Danoja Zho Cultural Centre offers movie nights, courses in traditional arts, and many special events, and the Klondike Institute of Art & Culture offers film screenings; live theatre, dance and music performances; special events; gallery openings and artists’ talks, and continuing education, full-time and part-time courses. The Dawson City Music Festival Association, which runs the renowned Dawson City Music Festival in July, holds coffeehouses and concerts throughout the year. The Dawson City Recreation Centre features a weight room, skating rink, and curling rink. The skating rink is home to public skating, hockey leagues, and various tournaments. The curling association offers lessons, league curling and several bonspiels, Other winter sporting activities include downhill skiing and cross country skiing, snowshoing, and dog mushing. Dawson has its own radio station, CFYT 106.9 FM, with volunteer radio show hosts playing an eclectic selection of music and reporting on local happenings. While the cold winter months provide a more relaxed and casual pace, Dawson is home to many special events that provide opportunities for socializing. The Yukon Quest dog sled race, Trek Over the Top, Thaw-Di-Gras, and the Dawson City International Short Film Festival bring many visitors to town.
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