Yukon Riverside Arts Festival 2023 Dates

DCAS President Peter Menzies at the 2022 Yukon Riverside Arts Festival, June 10-12, 2022. Photo by Maria Sol Suarez Martinez

Festival to take place June 2-4, 2023

After 20+ years of holding the festival on Discovery Days weekend, the Klondike Institute of Art and Culture has decided to transform the Yukon Riverside Arts Festival into an early season, stand alone event that will be a benefit to the local economy.

Since 2001, the Yukon Riverside Arts Festival (YRAF) has been part of the Discovery Days weekend festivities, helping transform Dawson City into a cultural hub of the North. YRAF has showcased local and regional artists, artisans and performers offering hands-on demonstration tents, kids tent, live music, artist market, and the much loved gallery hop.

During the pandemic the festival was able to continue by decentralizing activities. Throughout 2020 and 2021, we worked with partners, such as Parks Canada, to animate and open spaces such as SS Keno, Lowes Mortuary, Palace Grand Theatre, Billy Biggs, Dawson Daily News, and the Old Post Office. This expansion past the Waterfront has been a welcome addition to the festival that will continue moving forward.

In 2022, we held the festival in June as part of the Arctic Arts Summit, and to trial an earlier date. We received a lot of positive feedback from participating artists, volunteers, business owners, and visitors. We have chosen the 1st weekend of June as a new annual date.

By permanently adopting an earlier date, we aim to:

  • Draw visitors to Dawson City early in the season by providing a stand-alone event that provides a contemporary narrative that compliments the gold-rush story;
  • Continue to work with our partners, such as Parks Canada, to animate and make accessible historic buildings and spaces;
  • Showcase regional emerging and established artists, and pay them equitable wages;
  • Allow participating artists to create works through the winter, as opposed of during the height of the summer season; and,
  • Work with local businesses and stakeholders to create an event that benefits the local economy.

KIAC believes that arts and culture creates strong, empowered communities. The Yukon Riverside Arts Festival will continue to celebrate the artists and creators who have made Dawson City such a vibrant place to live, work, and visit. We look forward to welcoming everyone to celebrate with us early June 2023.

Visit our 2022 Yukon Riverside Arts Festival Online archive

Are you an artist who wants to apply for 2023? Join the mailing list.

Photo booth painted by Ramon Santos. Photo by Melissa Naef.