New Partnership Initiative to Support Yukon's Emerging Indigenous Artists

June 29, 2022

Ottawa, June 29, 2022—The Government of Yukon and the Canada Council for the Arts are pleased to announce the creation and implementation of a new partnership initiative to support Yukon's emerging Indigenous artists and cultural carriers. The Canada Council is partnering with the Government of Yukon to distribute $50,000 in funding to artists in the first year and $150,000 in the second year.

The project launch has been set for early 2023. 

This two-year pilot project will expand Yukon's funding administration capabilities, co-develop, and deliver additional funding, support a focused period of outreach and engagement for equity deserving artists and groups, and distribute increased arts and cultural funds across the region.

Co-delivery project to support Indigenous artists in the Yukon

The project grows out of a shared desire to develop new ways of supporting Indigenous artists and arts workers with strong Indigenous leadership and impact.

This partnership initiative will leverage the relationship developed between the Canada Council and the Government of Yukon in co-hosting the third Arctic Arts Summit, during which outreach, capacity building, professionalization, and mentorship for Indigenous artists were identified as key areas where the partners can work together to create change. This project aims to render the Canada Council and the Government of Yukon’s cultural funding more accessible to Indigenous artists and cultural carriers.

The Government of Yukon’s Tourism and Culture Department will recruit an Indigenous Outreach and Program Officer, based in Whitehorse, who will support Indigenous artists in applying for arts funding from both territorial and federal sources. The Officer will engage and support Indigenous artistic practices and help build capacity to create, perform and export.

This project responds to the Government of Yukon’s Creative Potential: Advancing the Yukon’s Creative and Cultural Industries strategy and particularly its commitment to modernize funding supports and remove barriers to funding programs. It also advances the Canada Council’s 2021-2026 Strategic Plan commitments to strengthen its presence, interactions, and support for artistic and literary activity in the north of Canada.

More details on this initiative will be announced in the fall 2022.

“With the 2022 Arctic Arts Summit being held for the first time in the Yukon, it is great to be able to announce this additional support for Yukon Indigenous artists. This pilot project will deliver new and more equitable access to funding and advance reconciliation by supporting First Nations in sharing their stories, knowledge and traditions.”

—Ranj Pillai, Yukon Minister of Tourism and Culture

“I'm thrilled to see yet another groundbreaking co-delivery initiative honouring Indigenous cultural sovereignty by supporting new artists and cultural carriers where they live and work. This new form of project delivery with the Government of Yukon will help the Council support the artists on their own terms. This arrangement deepens the Council's relationship with the Government of Yukon as the prominent co-host of the Arctic Arts Summit in Whitehorse, a premier gathering in the North, for the North and by the North. This agreement highlights our co-development and co-delivery approach with northern partners in pursuit of a more just, equitable, and decolonized future for the arts and culture.”

—Simon Brault, Director, and CEO of the Canada Council for the Arts

About the Government of Yukon

The role of the Government of Yukon's Department of Tourism and Culture is to support, protect, promote and enhance Yukon’s tourism, culture, heritage and arts sectors for the benefit of Yukoners and visitors. The department’s Arts Section supports the development of visual, literary and performing arts in Yukon. It serves professional and community-based arts practices through funding programs, agreements and research, in service of a Yukon where the arts flourish, where arts and community connect, and where we take pride in our artistic resources.

About the Canada Council for the Arts

The Canada Council for the Arts is Canada's public arts funder, with a mandate to foster and promote the study and enjoyment of, and the production of works in, the arts. The Council’s grants, services, initiatives, prizes, and payments contribute to the vibrancy of a creative and diverse arts and literary scene and support its presence across Canada and abroad. The Council’s investments foster greater engagement in the arts among Canadians and international audiences.

Media Contacts

Government of Yukon

Cameron Webber

Communications, Tourism and Culture


Renée Francoeur

Cabinet Communications


Canada Council for the Arts

Communications and Engagement


1-800-263-5588, ext. 5151