February 17, 2015
WHITEHORSE—The Yukon government is increasing funding to museums and First Nation cultural centres to help ensure their sustainable operation. The announcement was made by Minister of Tourism and Culture Elaine Taylor at last night’s Yukon Heritage Awards, an annual event hosted by the Yukon Historical and Museums Association (YHMA) in conjunction with Heritage Day.
Through the Yukon Museum Assistance Program, 11 museums and seven First Nation cultural centres will receive a funding increase of 10 per cent in the 2015/16 fiscal year and another 10 per cent in 2016/17, subject to legislative approval. The Special Projects Capital Assistance Program will also receive a funding increase.
“Museums and First Nation cultural centres are leaders in protecting, preserving and interpreting Yukon’s heritage,” Taylor said. “Our government values the work of these institutions and is pleased to increase funding in support of their continued operations.”
This funding is part of an ongoing dialogue with museums clients to enhance and restructure funding programs to better meet their needs. The Department of Tourism and Culture currently provides more than $1.54-million annually in operations and maintenance and special project funding to the organizations. This amount will grow to $1.69-million in 2015/16 and to $1.86-million in 2016/17. The YHMA was instrumental in identifying the need for the additional funding on behalf of its members.
“The Yukon government has responded to the call from museums and cultural centres operated by not-for-profit societies, municipalities and First Nations,” YHMA president Sally Robinson said. “We commend the government for taking this important step in addressing the sustainability issues of our heritage organizations. The increase will allow them to continue safeguarding and interpreting their heritage collections for the benefit of Yukoners and the visiting public.”
The number of clients receiving funding under the Yukon Museums Assistance Program has increased from eight in 2002 to 19 today. With the new funding increase, by 2016/17 the overall budget supporting museums and cultural centres will have grown by more than 300 per cent since 2002.
“We are pleased that the Yukon government recognizes that Yukon First Nations’ culture and heritage are in integral part of this territory. This increase in funding will ensure that the Teslin Tlingit Heritage Centre continues to deliver excellent cultural programs and also continues to welcome visitors from around the world,” Teslin Tlingit Council Chief Carl Sidney said.
Museums and cultural centres are among the most popular tourist attractions in Yukon, welcoming more than 125,000 visitors annually.
Communications, Tourism and Culture