Six Finalists Announced for new $20,000 Yukon Prize for Visual Arts


The Yukon Prize for Visual Arts has announced the six finalists for the inaugural Yukon Prize, juried by three outstanding Canadian arts professionals.

The six finalists are:

  • Ken Anderson (Khàtinas.àxh), a member of the Teslin Tlingit Council, of Whitehorse YT
  • Amy Ball, of Dawson City YT
  • Sholeen “Belelige” Esquiro, a member of the Ross River Dena Council, of Whitehorse YT
  • Krystle Silverfox, a citizen of the Selkirk First Nation, of New Westminster BC
  • Joseph Tisiga, a member of the Kaska Dena Nation, of Montreal QC
  • Veronica Verkley, of Dawson City YT.

Biographies and photos of the artists’ artworks are available at

The Yukon Prize for Visual Arts is a new biennial award that recognizes excellence by Yukon visual artists. The Yukon Prize is intended to be a catalyst for the promotion of Yukon visual arts and to inspire connections between Yukon artists and the visual arts community in the rest of Canada. The Prize will provide $20,000 to one Yukon artist to help them focus full-time on creating art. Five other finalists will receive $2,000 each.

107 Yukon artists applied for the Yukon Prize in an open competition that closed on March 31.

The finalists were chosen by a jury of three well-known arts professionals from outside the Yukon. They are:

  • Ryan Doherty, Chief Curator of Contemporary Calgary
  • Candice Hopkins, an independent curator, writer and researcher who is a citizen of the Carcross/Tagish First Nation and lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico; and
  • Gaëtane Verna, Director of The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery in Toronto.

All six finalists will be included in a curated group exhibition at the Yukon Arts Centre Gallery in Whitehorse, opening on September 18. A gala event to announce the top prize winner and celebrate Yukon visual arts is planned for the weekend of November 19-21 in Whitehorse.

The Yukon Prize for Visual Arts is privately sponsored and is a partnership of co-founders Julie Jai and David Trick, the Yukon Arts Foundation, the Yukon Arts Centre, and a dedicated team of volunteers.



“It was an extraordinary privilege to be on the inaugural Yukon Prize jury and to be introduced to so many great artists. There is so much wonderful art being made in the Yukon that I wasn’t aware of. I had an immensely difficult time narrowing the 107 applicants down and, having really only been familiar with a handful of these artists, I was delighted to have been introduced to dozens of new voices!”
Ryan Doherty, juror, Chief Curator of Contemporary Calgary


“As someone born in the Yukon, it was impressive to see the breadth of practices in the Territory, ranging from fashion to photography, drawing, painting, sculpture, beadwork, graphic novels, carving, and everything in between. The unique visions of Yukon artists stood out to me, visions that often reflected on the land itself, its deep traditions and ecologies. It was incredibly difficult to choose the six finalists from so many worthy applications, and I am grateful to all who took the time to share their work with the jury.”
Candice Hopkins, juror, independent curator, writer and researcher, Albuquerque, New Mexico


“The Yukon Art Prize is an incredible endeavour which speaks of the engagement and the nurturing of a community of artists by ensuring that they receive the necessary support to survive and thrive. The 2021 Prize is a window into the dynamic production of artists of the Yukon enabling the entire country and its arts communities to learn and engage with their artistic productions. In time the prize will be a legacy to our entire Canadian contemporary art field.”
Gaëtane Verna, juror, Director of The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery in Toronto


Julie Jai, Co-founder
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