Guest Book

Minister of Tourism and Culture Jeanie Dendys speaks at the 2019 Dawson City International Short Film Festival.

As read in the Yukon Legislature on April 18, 2019:

TRIBUTES: In recognition of Dawson International Short Film Festival
Hon. Ms. Dendys:
“I rise today on behalf of all Members of the Yukon Legislative Assembly to pay tribute to the committee members and volunteers of the Dawson City International Short Film Festival. The festival — run by the Klondike Institute of Art and Culture, also known as KIAC, and a large number of volunteers — is celebrating its 20th year.

This is a fantastic opportunity to highlight the hard work and passion of those who make it a success each and every year. The Dawson City International Short Film Festival is a chance to see unique films that you may not come across in mainstream media. To mark the 20th anniversary, members of the Dawson City International Short Film Festival committee will pick their favourite Yukon-made movies over the past 20 years. Those Yukon gems will be screened alongside a variety of other short films from around the world. In addition, special events, such as panelled discussions, meet-and-greets, workshops, and awards help filmmakers to build networks and seize marketing opportunities.

Mr. Speaker, the festival was one of the first initiatives of the Klondike Institute of Art and Culture when the organization opened its doors in 1999. It is an event that has a positive impact on the community every year in a typically quiet shoulder season. The festival keeps hotels and restaurants busy and attracts industry professionals and curious visitors from around the world. This would not be possible without passionate and dedicated volunteers. Thank you for all of your dedication to the festival and to our community. The event is a testament to the people of Dawson.

Dan Sokolowski is the long-time organizer of the festival and he works incredibly hard to make sure that the event is a success every year, and I have seen this first-hand. He works very, very hard. More than 80 volunteers put hundreds of hours in throughout the year to view, recommend the films to be screened, and contribute to making the festival happen and to an amazing weekend.

Mr. Speaker, this will be my third time attending this amazing event. It is becoming a familiar Easter tradition and a great chance to reconnect with the community before the busy summer season begins. I am excited to see re-screenings of some of the top picks from the past 20 years in celebration of this important milestone. This is certainly one of my favourite Dawson weekends, and one that I absolutely recommend to visitors and Yukoners on a regular basis.

A highlight really is the interaction with the filmmakers, which takes place casually throughout the weekend and in a way that is only uniquely Dawson. Thank you again for your energy, passion, and commitment to this wonderful festival that we all enjoy each and every year. Applause


Honorable Sandy Silver, In recognition of Dawson City Arts Society 20th anniversary:

KIAC is the reason I live in Dawson. Through Arts Fest 2016, I exhibited work and put on a weekend-long performance, meeting dozens of community members who would soon become friends. That weekend introduced me to so many other like-minded people doing wonderful things in this small town. I couldn’t leave. Now, my calendar is dotted with exhibits, music, artist talks, lectures, and events that make this small town so special. And KIAC is the nucleus.

As a parent, performer,and community member I could not thrive in Dawson City. KIAC connects Dawson City to the rest of the world. They bring the world to us through the ODD gallery and the exponential amount of events and presentations they host. KIAC is integral in helping humans gain new perspectives of the world we live in. They promote creativity and personal expression by offering arts education and by supporting the development of professional and non professional arts alike.

From a performing arts stand point and inconsideration of the Nunavut situation (a Territory that lacks a proper rehearsal space and theatre), KIAC continues to offer a space for performances and rehearsals at accessible prices. They are flawless in their assistance with production development.

As a parent, my kids have been exposed to the world of film, performing arts and visual arts. They have been fortunate enough in a town of 1800 at the end of a subarctic road to take dance, painting, music classes. They could learn how to make films and silkscreen, carve, use a darkroom and more. KIAC invests in and supports our youth. With skills and knowledge come confidence, passion for life, and a feeling of self-worth. We would not live in Dawson City without KIAC. Congratulations on a 20 year labour of love. I look forward to being a part of 20 more.


KIAC makes the winters shorter and summers filled to the brim. It is hard to remember life before KIAC.


Sam I Am. DCMF/KIAC Songwriter in Residence from Dawson City Short Film Festival on Vimeo.


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