MacBride Museum News 2017

July 10, 2017


There are a number of operational concerns that have been identified with the Waterfront Trolley infrastructure that need to be addressed before the MacBride Museum can offer safe and reliable service of the trolley system to Yukoners and visitors.

We are continuing to resolve the operational issues with the trolley itself as well as the track (rail) system as quickly as possible. Unfortunately however, the work required means that the trolley will not be in service until the spring of 2018.

We look forward to bringing the trolley back to the waterfront next year and we are sorry for any inconvenience.

Please join us at the MacBride on the Copperbelt. The mining museum is open seven days a week and offers Loki train rides throughout the day.


May 30, 2017


WHITEHORSE:  At the Centennial Dinner re-creation on May 24th, 2017, MacBride Board Chair Rick Nielsen announced an exciting partnership with Lumel Studios for the signature installation in the Grand Hall of the new MacBride Museum. 

This installation will be a 600-piece series of Northern Lights glass icicles suspended from the ceiling in an aurora pattern.  

This is a key exhibition piece and it is also a community partnership, a fundraiser for MacBride and a cultural tourism economic development opportunity. 

The Northern Lights Icicle Program will give museum supporters a unique opportunity to contribute to the new space by forming a glass icicle to hang in the new MacBride Museum Grand Hall.
With a $250 contribution, donors will be given the option of visiting Lumel Studios, a community glass blowing studio in downtown Whitehorse, and working with one of the artists there to shape their own unique icicle.  Alternatively, contributors can sponsor a local student to work with Lumel Studios to create a piece on their behalf.   All participants in the Northern Lights Icicle Program will be recognized in the Grand Hall, and will receive a special invitation to the Grand Opening Reception for the new MacBride expansion, expected in 2018.

In addition to this program, Lumel Studios and MacBride Museum will have smaller icicles available for individual purchase after the opening of the exhibit in 2018.  Ten percent of the proceeds of sales will be donated to the MacBride Museum for the purpose of exhibit and program development.
For more information on the Northern Lights Icicle Program, or supporting MacBride Museum, please contact Angela Drainville, Programming and Development Manager, at (867) 667-2709 x 7.


‘We wanted a show-stopping, locally created installation to celebrate the Yukon.  And we are proud to partner with Lumel Studios to showcase northern glass making talent.”
Rick Nielsen, MacBride Board Chair

"This is a very exciting partnership, that will showcase Yukon's beautiful heritage and arts communities. This is a unique project, that will bring Yukoners together and let them be a part of MacBride's history, while experiencing first hand what Lumel Studios does!"
Hon. Larry Bagnell, Member of Parliament, Yukon

“I am delighted to see MacBride and Lumel working together on this community cultural project.   It is a great relationship and a real synergy to showcase our past and our future.   It seems like a perfect fit.”
Mayor Dan Curtis.

“We are thrilled to partner with MacBride on this community art piece that will be a legacy for Yukoners.”
Luann Baker, Lumel Studios Founder

“We are pleased to be able to support the cultural industries in Whitehorse through our fundraising efforts.  Lumel Studios is an important part of the creative community that makes Whitehorse a diverse and vibrant place to live and visit, and we are happy to work with them whenever we can.’
Patricia Cunning, MacBride Director


MacBride Museum News 2016

November 1, 2016

Territorial Election - MacBride Proposed Tax Category

Over the last couple years MacBride Museum and other Whitehorse museums have had a public discussion with the City of Whitehorse with respect to tax abatement.  Tax abatement and direct core funding of museums is common across Canada as a way to support our heritage, culture and identity. 

MacBride proposed as a solution to this ongoing issue that the Yukon Property Assessment Branch create a tax category similar to churches that assess museums at a zero tax rate. As Part of the upcoming territorial election, we asked the parties if they would commit to this proposal. Here are their responses:

Yukon Party - "We have been proud to support MacBride Museum with $3.45M in funding for the planning, design and construction of the museum expansion project. Our commitment to MacBride is long standing and will not change.

In terms of your tax status request, we are open to a meeting between our government, the City of Whitehorse and affected museums to find a solutionn which protects operating funds and ensures the City's finances are not negatively affected."

Currie Dixon - Campaign Chair


Yukon Liberal Party – “Thank-you for your letter regarding museum taxation in Yukon. We are very proud of the great work done by all Yukon museums and the contribution they make to our communities.  Our recently announced platform speaks extensively about the need to diversify our economy and in that regard we will be looking at expanding our tourism sector in which museums play an important role.

We understand the dilemma that you have presented and the economic burden that taxes can present for many not for profit museums. We are encouraged that the City of Whitehorse supports non-profit organizations by forgiving tax bills but as you have pointed out that is a year to year decision which creates some uncertainty. We agree that it would be preferable to have a long-term solution to the tax question which would provide both clarity and certainty.

We have considered your request and understand your concerns. We will work with you to find a solution for this problem. Given that there is a mix of museums located on private, and crown lands, we would like to examine the proposed options more closely before deciding what is the best solution. Whatever decision we reach we must ensure that we do not impact the current tax revenues received by the City of Whitehorse and other municipalities for museums located on government and crown lands. This revenue stream is important for municipalities and we need to take that into consideration when developing options to resolve the problem at hand.

Once again thank-you for raising this question and I look forward to working with you to find an equitable solution.”

Sandy Silver – Leader


Yukon NDP – “Thank you for your informative letter respecting tax abatement for the MacBride Museum of Yukon History and a proposal to amend the property assessment and taxation system for all publicly funded museums.

As part of the vision and plan the Yukon New Democratic team is offering Yukoners, we are making commitments to support arts, culture and heritage, cultural tourism and cultural industries. These sectors have the potential to contribute so much more to economic diversification and meeting the challenges of the ups and downs of our economy, to jobs, income and opportunities in virtually every community in the territory, and to healthy people and healthy communities. These are all reasons to invest and support thoughtful long-term development plans. This is in Yukon’s best interests.

We firmly believe, thanks to the creativity, exceptional entrepreneurship, forward planning, prudent financial management, partnership building, sheer hard-work and unrelenting determination, as evidenced in the emergence of the MacBride Museum of Yukon History and many other celebrated developments across the territory – that our Yukon is on the cusp of major breakthroughs for artists, cultural workers, cultural tourism and cultural industries. Public government support has not been keeping pace. Strategic investments are warranted.

One of our specific commitments is to work with partners in Yukon’s arts and cultural community to strengthen key institutions at the heart of Yukon’s arts and cultural leadership and infrastructure in major communities and territory-wide.

We are proposing to make the development of cultural tourism and cultural industries a priority, to establish a cost-shared arts and cultural infrastructure program, and to support post-secondary arts management and administration program(s) through Yukon College.

I must point out though, that as a territory and as an arts and cultural community, priority setting will be needed to make the important decisions about available resources. The needs are so great in so many areas. For various reasons supported by evidence, we do not have confidence in the actual health and management of Yukon’s financial affairs under successive Yukon Party governments.

With respect to your creative property taxation idea, one doesn’t tinker with the taxation system lightly or unilaterally, but we are prepared to perform due diligence on your proposal and discuss it further with you.

Finally, we certainly encourage our Yukon municipalities to support arts, culture and heritage as part of their instrumental role in community-building and in service of all citizens, healthy communities and building a resilient and diversified economy. As the municipal government for the capital of Yukon, the City of Whitehorse has an especially important role in the territory.

Liz Hanson – Leader


Yukon Green Party – “Thank you for all your work. The MacBride is one of the jewels in the Yukon's crown, providing excellent experiences to tourists and Yukoners alike.
On a field trip last year to Whitehorse with the students from my school in Faro, we slept a night at the MacBride among the animals! The students had an exquisite time, one they will never forget, as did I.

The Green Party endorses your proposal without reservation that the Yukon Property Assessment Branch create a tax category similar to churches that assesses museums at a zero tax rate, and we commit to doing so in the first year.”

Frank de Jong – Leader


September 28, 2016

Royals send first Yukon Telegraph-to-Tweet message from MacBride Museum

When the arrival of the telegraph ended the Yukon’s near-total communications isolation in 1900,
Commissioner William Ogilvie sent one of the first messages. He wrote: “Time and space are
annihilated. We are of the world now.”
Since that first message was sent more than 115 years ago, communication technology has advanced
beyond what Mr. Ogilvie could have imagined. And today, MacBride Museum is pleased to announce
that the first Yukon Telegraph-to-Tweet message was sent by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge from
the MacBride Museum to the world through Twitter.
MacBride Museum was one of the highlights of the royals’ 2016 visit to Whitehorse. The Duke and
Duchess toured part of MacBride and discussed the museum’s youth programming and book series.
They also visited the newly opened exhibit on Yukon’s Telecommunications History in the Dominion
Telegraph Office where former Yukon radio operator Doug Bell helped the royal couple use a telegraph
key to tap out a message to the world. Their message was translated from dots and dashes into text and
posed on social media through the #TelegraphToTweet Twitter feed.


May 2016

Aurore of the Yukon hits the Road for Minnesota and the Land of Internet Podcasts

MacBride Museum of Yukon History announced today the imminent broadcast of Aurore of the Yukon as a podcast series.

This first book in the MacBride Yukon Kids Series will be released as a serialized novel on a weekly basis starting June 1st. The 14-episode story will conclude on August 31st, 2016.  Recorded by real Yukon girl, Aline Halliday, in a real Yukon kitchen, the book will be available on iTunes.

Aurore of the Yukon is an entertaining historical adventure novel for young readers set during the 1898 Klondike Gold Rush, with a dynamic young character telling her story – and history – in her own words.

Aurore is exciting not just because it’s a great read, but also because it’s based on a real Yukon pioneer girl’s story. It is a fun history that kids will love to learn about,” said Patricia Cunning, Executive Director of the MacBride.

Aurore was written by Keith Halliday, a Yukon writer and descendant of Gold Rush pioneers. Based loosely on Keith’s grandmother’s story, it has dynamic young characters and aims to entertain as well as educate.

In further exciting news for MacBride Publishing, Aurore is travelling to America. The Rochester School District in Minnesota has adopted the Read Side by Side C.I.A. curriculum and Aurore of the Yukon is a reading component for Grade 4 as part of the program. This means more than 1,000 children in Minnesota will be using Aurore for literacy learning outcomes. 

“MacBride is proud of the growing reach and impact of our Yukon Kids Series,” said Cunning. “It is an important way to share the Yukon’s stories with audiences who cannot visit us on site.”

Contact:         Patricia Cunning, Executive Director, MacBride Museum, (867) 667-2709
Keith Halliday, author, (867) 334-8868

The podcast location:

Aurore of the Yukon


May 2016

MacBride Museum would like to thank the Government of Yukon, the City of Whitehorse, and the Hougen Group of Companies for their support in Re-Opening the Telegraph Office with a new exhibit on Yukon's Telecommunications History. We would also like the thank Hank Karr and the Canucks for playing, and the more than 300 people who came out to celebrate the opening despite the rain.

February 2016

Government of Yukon Funding Annoucement

Government of Yukon contributes to MacBride Museum expansion

WHITEHORSE—The Government of Yukon is contributing $450,000 to the MacBride Museum of Yukon History to assist with the planning and design of an expansion to the museum, Minister of Tourism and Culture Elaine Taylor announced today.

MacBride Museum is proposing to renovate and expand its centennial log building, built in 1967, to attach a gallery for new exhibitions and partnerships.

“Though it has served Yukoners well these past forty-plus years, the MacBride Museum is, quite simply, full,” Taylor said. “The museum has many more stories it could tell, if only it had the space to do so. The proposed expansion will provide room for new exhibitions, travelling shows, and safe artifact storage.”

The funds will be applied toward the costs of engineering, architectural design, site preparation and planning.

“Culture and heritage play a significant role in the social and economic fabric of Yukon and we are pleased to provide funding to support this stage of the project,” Premier Darrell Pasloski said. “We look forward to working with our partners in the year ahead to strengthen Yukon’s rich heritage, for the benefit of residents and visitors to our territory.”

The proposed design will expand on the rear portion of the log-front centennial building to provide more space for exhibits and displays about mining, innovation, community and natural history in Yukon.

“The MacBride Museum needs more space to deliver on its mission to share Yukon’s stories with both Yukoners and visitors and contribute to Yukon on the heritage and economic development fronts,” museum chair Keith Halliday said. “We are very grateful for the consistent support of Premier Pasloski and Minister Elaine Taylor over the years and for their leadership to push forward on this initiative, and we are very excited about this new facility.”



MacBride Museum of Yukon History
1124 Front St. Whitehorse,
Yukon Canada Y1A 1A4
Phone: (867) 667-2709
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Summer Hours
May 15 - August 31
Daily 9:30am-5:00pm
(Open until 7:00 pm on Wednesdays and
Thursdays in July and August).
MacBride Museum is a non-profit society with charitable status. Your tax-deductible contributions help us collect, preserve and exhibit Yukon's history.