We offer a dynamic visual arts education in a culturally vibrant northern environment.
SOVA is a collaboration between Yukon College, Dawson City’s arts organization (KIAC) and the local First Nation (Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in) to provide a foundation for creative exploration. We offer an academic credit from Yukon College, block transfer to specific institutions, an active arts-oriented community, an interactive relationship with the First Nation and an exceptional contemporary facility.
The Yukon School of Visual Arts (SOVA) is overseen by a Governance Council composed of members from the Dawson City Arts Society (DCAS), the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nation (TH) and Yukon College (YC). Each of these partner organizations selects two representatives to participate in monthly meetings that review the school’s pedagogical activities, community positioning, financial reports, recruitment efforts, and human resources, as directed by the Program Chair. The Governance Council partners also contribute to regular strategy sessions regarding SOVA’s long-term direction as well as external program evaluations. Each Governance Council partner contributes something essential to SOVA’s unique qualities and ongoing success.
Dawson City Arts Society
The Dawson City Arts Society and its programming division, the Klondike Institute of Art and Culture (KIAC), links students and faculty to the artist-in-residence series that brings cultural producers from across North America and Europe to Dawson City on a year-round basis. KIAC hosts exhibitions, performances and artist talks that enrich the local cultural scene and offer networking opportunities for SOVA’s aspiring artists. The internationally recognized Dawson City Short Film Festival, organized by KIAC, is yet another event that exposes students to professionals in the cultural industry. SOVA students can also gain valuable volunteer experience through DCAS and seek employment via KIAC’s summer internships.
Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nation
The Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nation has a citizenship of over 1,000 people, the descendants of Hän-speaking people who have lived along the Yukon River for millenia. SOVA students gain an exceptional perspective on TH cultural values and identity through interactions that include: attending feasts, excursions onto the land, and curriculum-based activities. The Dänojà Zho Cultural Centre hosts film screenings, performances, exhibitions and storytelling by Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in and international First Nations artists. These events expose students to a tremendous range of Aboriginal cultural expressions. The Myth and Media symposium and Moosehide Gathering are biennial events at which SOVA students can volunteer and develop valuable relationships with TH citizens and administration.
Yukon College, which is based out of the Ayamdigut campus in Whitehorse, offers a full range of certificate, diploma and degree programs and has community campuses throughout the Territory. The College’s academic standing allows SOVA students to gain credits which are transferable to university and college art programs across Canada (see BFA transfer opportunities). SOVA’s relationship with the College extends through the Applied Arts Division that holds authority over SOVA’s curriculum standards, human resources and financial reporting. SOVA students benefit from a variety of services offered by the College including: student support, admissions and the office of the registrar.
The Transfer Payment Agreement between the Education Department of the Yukon Government and the Yukon School of Visual Arts, which facilitates the Foundation Year Program’s existence, is negotiated through Yukon College with the approval of the Dawson City Arts Society and Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nation.
If you have any questions, please contact SOVA at (867) 993-6390 or email us.