Youth Art Enrichment

This program has passed. See you in 2023!

Dates: Monday, March 14 – Friday, March 18, 2022
Time: 9 AM – 3PM each day
Ages: Grade 8 to 12, Robert Service School
Cost: Free!

2022 Course Options

A Printmaker’s Primer: Handmade Prints
w/ Meshell Melvin

Printmaking is a very old process… Ancient in fact! Meshell will introduce students to the incredible world of colourful inks, etching, and printing techniques that have been refined over the last two thousand years! This class is a gallop through the basics of printmaking: from the quick impressions of the monoprint to the intricacies of the linocut, and all the potatoes in between. Students will be encouraged to develop their image making throughout their explorations with different printmaking techniques. Be warned: this workshop will be playful, messy (but not too messy…), and very, very COLOURFUL!

Meshell Melvin is a longtime Yukoner who began her creative career in London, Ontario where she received a combined honors degree in English and Visual Arts from the University of Western Ontario in 1989. While in school, Meshell began teaching art classes for children of all ages and has continued this practice throughout her colourful career. She has an enthusiasm and passion for teaching that parallels her devotion to her own work which encompasses drawing, printing, painting, animation, collage and embroidery.

She recently participated in the Chu Niikwän Artist Residency in Whitehorse, Yukon, and continues to exhibit work throughout the territory. She is a staple in the Yukon arts community and we are thrilled to have her expertise, knowledge, and magic attitude in the Youth Art Enrichment program again this year.

Move Your Body: Rhythm, Hip Hop Dance, & Choreography
w/ Val Herdes

During this five day performing arts intensive, students will explore and hone their skills in dance and movement. Each day will feature different games, physical activities, and movement-based learning culminating in solo or group dance pieces to be showcased to parents and friends at the end of the week. Students will learn the lingo of dance and performing arts (why are rehearsals important? What is a stage manager? And what does “from the top” mean!?) in a dynamic journey from tiny idea to rehearsal to performance – all in a safe, nurturing, and collaborative environment. This workshop is for EVERYONE. All experience levels and physical abilities are welcome!

Val was born and raised in Whitehorse, where she started dancing at Leaping Feats at the age of eight. She moved to Toronto in 2014 to attend Ryerson University’s Performance Dance program, where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with distinction. In her final year at Ryerson, Val was awarded the prestigious Lipson Family Endowment Award for her choreography over her four years at the school. After six years away, Val has decided to move home to give back to the Yukon arts community by sharing her knowledge with the students at The Heart of Riverdale, and to create work with her multidisciplinary performance company, Borealis Soul, both located in Whitehorse.

What is Youth Art Enrichment (YAE?)

Note: Due to COVID-19, the program is pared down for 2022 however we hope to offer a full-scale program in 2023.

In a normal year, this is what the program looks like:

Youth Art Enrichment is an annual four-day art program for Yukon youth hosted by the Klondike Institute of Art & Culture in Dawson City. Artistically-inclined youth ages 14 – 18 travel from across the Yukon to take part in intensive workshops led by professional artists. Students choose one of three mediums to study for the duration of the program, learning new skills, techniques, and ways to creatively make artwork for the world to see. The mediums change every year: we have offered printmaking, animation, painting, carving, stained glass, illustration, improv, and much more over the last two decades.

The program offers a tour of the Yukon School of Visual Arts in addition to a meet & greet evening of collage and button-making with current students and faculty. Often SOVA students are YAE alumni themselves. Evenings are filled with fun activities in the evenings such as a movie night, sledding & smores, board games and more.

Application Details

Youth wishing to attend must fill out a brief online or paper application form explaining their interest in art and why they wish to participate in the program. The form includes components to be filled out by a parent or guardian.

Youth will also need to provide a reference from someone in their community. This could be a teacher, community leader or mentor, or friend, but cannot be a family member.

The program accommodates up to 24 youth. Youth will be notified of acceptance or waitlist status after their application is received.

If you require a paper copy or have difficulty with the online form, please email

I’ve never been… Tell me more!

Many students attend YAE year after year, but the first time can be intimidating. The program instructors, chaperones, and KIAC staff take great pride in ensuring that students feel comfortable, safe, and most importantly, HAVE FUN! YAE is a great opportunity to meet people from other communities, form long-lasting friendships, and have a taste of what a post-secondary education in the arts can look like.

The YAE schedule is designed with the student experience in mind. Evenings range from physical outdoor time to quiet and calm inside activities like board games and movie watching. Students may opt out of evening activities and stay at the hotel instead if they are tired or overwhelmed.

Meal times are fun (not only because there is occasional pancakes and whip cream for breakfast!) but because all students eat together. Shared meals are an important part time for student bonding and a great way to decompress after the art class!

If you are hesitant or have questions for us, feel free to call Devon at 867-993-5005 or email

Youth Art Enrichment Schedule 2019

2019 Example Schedule

2019 Student Testimonials

Chaperone Testimonials

“This is a well run program! Staff were fabulous- available, enthusiastic, clear communicators. Great schedule, amazing food, positive and encouraging atmosphere. Wonderful teachers.”

“Our session leader was excellent! Great balance between teaching and doing. Well thought out lessons and well prepared.”

“Extracurriculars were a great addition! And the food was phenomenal!”

“It seems like a wonderful opportunity for students who like art to really get immersed. It’s a chance for like-minded students from different schools and communities to meet each other. Dawson is a great community for this.”

“The Youth Art Enrichment program truly ‘enriches’ the lives of participants. Throughout the week, the level of connection amongst everyone involved was a lovely experience. I saw friendships made (and fostered as repeat participants), space for the social needs of youth to be met, as well as collaboration and teamwork.”