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History of SOVA

The Yukon School of Visual Arts (SOVA) is the product of a unique partnership between the Dawson City Arts Society (DCAS), Yukon College, and the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Government.

DCAS was formed in 1998 with a mandate to create an environment for the advancement of the arts, and to enrich the social, cultural and economic fabric of the Yukon Territory. To this end, DCAS created the Klondike Institute of Arts and Culture (KIAC) which acts as the Society’s educational arm, presenting  non-credit courses, workshops, performances and special events. 

The Old Territorial Liquor Store was renovated to provide a home for SOVA

The Old Territorial Liquor Store, before renovations

In 2000, DCAS partnered with Yukon College to establish an Arts for Employment program in Dawson City. This program ran for seven years, based out of KIAC and Yukon College’s Dawson campus. Work on the creation of a fully accredited fine arts Foundation Year program began in 2002.

SOVA came one step closer to reality in 2005 after the signing of the SOVA Partnership Agreement. The Agreement established a governance council comprised of officials from DCAS (2 members), Yukon College (2 members), the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Government (2 members), and Advanced Education (1 ex-officio member). SOVA would be governed by the “Partnership” under the auspices and administration of Yukon College, with funding from the Yukon Government.

SOVA building, post renovations

With the agreement signed, DCAS kicked into high gear to find a home for SOVA. The old Territorial Liquor Store was selected, and in less than two years the building was completely refurbished into a state-of-the-art facility for the new art school. The first SOVA Foundation Year Program cohort walked through the doors in September 2007.

SOVA’s Partnership Agreement was most recently renewed in 2013, ensuring that SOVA may continue to offer students the opportunity to complete the first year of their Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in the colourful, welcoming community of Dawson City, Yukon.


If you have any questions please contact SOVA at (867) 993-6390, or email us.

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