About Dawson City
Dawson City is a unique, small, and isolated northern town. In spite of (or perhaps because of) that, it is a diverse and active community with many opportunities for residents and visitors alike. Please review the information listed below for a better idea of life in Dawson City.
Dawson City, Yukon is situated at the confluence of the Klondike and Yukon rivers, 230 km south of the Arctic Circle. It is 536 km northwest of Whitehorse – approximately 5.5 hours driving on a good road or one hour by scheduled airline flight.
Fluctuates seasonally from approximately 1,200 – 2,000 people.
January-March: Temperatures can range from –10 Celsius to –50 Celsius with snow.
April-May: Snow starts to melt in April and is typically gone by the start of May.
June-August: Temperatures can range from 0 Celsius to +30 Celsius.
September-October: Temperatures can range from above 0 to –20 Celsius with snow. November-December: Temperatures can range from –10 Celsius to –50 Celsius.
Dawson City experiences seasonal extremes of daylight hours from 21 hours in June to 4 hours in December.
Dawson City is accessible by car and air. Air North typically offers flights six days a week in the summer and three in the winter from Whitehorse to Dawson. There are no same day connecting flights to Dawson – travellers will have at least a one-day lay over in Whitehorse. Air North offers flights to Whitehorse from Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Juneau and Fairbanks. Air Canada also flies between Vancouver and Whitehorse. Greyhound Bus Lines provides service to Whitehorse from points south. There is currently seasonal bus service from Whitehorse to Dawson with Husky Bus. Car rentals are available year round in Whitehorse. There are no car rental services in Dawson.
Artists in Residence should be aware of the location and isolation of Dawson City. Also, the cost of living and basic equipment and supplies are substantially higher than in most parts of Canada. Some products and services are unavailable or difficult to find.
FOOD, STORES, LIBRARY, BANKING
Dawson City has a good variety of stores and services for a small northern town. Year-round: two grocery stores, hardware store, lumber yard, restaurants, bookstore, pharmacy, Canada Post, camera/photofinishing shop, etc. Some other stores, shops and services are seasonal. Prices for most items are higher than you would find in the south (but probably not as bad as you may think). The local public library has a limited collection. The Yukon School of Visual Arts has a contemporary art library available to residents. Only one bank is available, CIBC, with 24 hr bank machine access. Debit and Credit Cards are accepted throughout town.
There is no hospital in Dawson City. There is a walk-in nursing station and medical clinic staffed by Nurses and Doctors. There is no resident dentist or optometrist. Artists must ensure they have proper medical coverage/insurance before arriving in Dawson. Uninsured medi-vacs (air ambulance) to Whitehorse or Vancouver are very expensive.
There are not many art supplies in Dawson. A few stores, including the Art Store at the Yukon School of Visual Arts, offer a very limited supply of basic artist's materials. Artists should not expect to be able to purchase professional quality artist's materials in Dawson. Artists should bring supplies with them or mail supplies ahead or call to inquire about the availability of certain products. Artists may order products through KIAC suppliers once they are in Dawson with the understanding that delivery can take 10-14 days.
RECREATION & SPECIAL EVENTS
Dawson City has a wide variety of recreation and special events opportunities available to residents and visitors. The community hosts many special events throughout the year including a Music Festival, an Arts Festival and an International Short Film Festival. There is an abundance of outdoor activities including, canoeing, walking and hiking with suitable opportunities for all skill/fitness levels. Dawson City also has a good variety of recreation facilities including an indoor ice rink (seasonal), an indoor pool (seasonal) and a gymnasium with a wide variety of scheduled activities.