2018 Yukon Heritage Awards Ceremony

Monday, February 18, 2019

Time: 7-9 pm (doors open 6:30 pm)
Location: Yukon Archives (400 College Drive, Whitehorse)

Come out and celebrate Yukon's heritage heroes! Join YHMA for the evening to honour our 2018 Yukon Heritage Award winners, coinciding with the start Heritage Week, February 18-24. Awards will be presented to five deserving recipients who have made outstanding contributions to Yukon heritage, and JJ, Dustyn, and Joshua Van Bibber will give a special presentation in connection with the national Heritage Week theme, "Heritage: The Tie that Binds."

Light refreshments will be served following the awards presentation. All are welcome! This is a free event. No RSVP required.

Award Recipients

  • Annual Heritage Award: Murray Lundberg

  • History Maker Award: Gordon Mervin Toole

  • Helen Couch Volunteer of the Year Award: Bruce Barrett

  • Innovation, Education, and Community Engagement Award: Association franco-yukonnaise

  • Heritage Conservation Project of the Year Award: Yukon Church Heritage Society

To learn more about the recipients, check out our news release here.

Special Presentation: JJ Van Bibber: The Tie That Binds

JJ Van Bibber (1920-2012) was a prominent First Nations hunter, trapper, photographer, and storyteller. Born number nine of sixteen children to Ira and Eliza Van Bibber, JJ’s stories cover the many aspects of his family and his life, from growing up in Mica Creek in the 1920s, to trapping and fishing, building highways, the land claim era of the 1970s, and the love of his life and wife of over sixty years, Clara. JJ’s photographs and stories have inspired his family to complete three projects that honour his legacy and that of his family. JJ was never short of stories and had taken hundreds of photos during his life documenting his experiences. In 2010, an advisory committee met in Dawson City to determine how best to share his stories and photographs, with the guidance and support of JJ and Clara’s children, Steve and Clara (Sis). The result was the book, I was born under a spruce tree (2012), the film Pictures Don’t Lie (2016) by Lulu Keating of Red Snapper Films, and the photograph exhibit Growing Up with the Van Bibbers (2018) at the Hougen Heritage Gallery.

The dedication in I was born under a spruce tree reads: “This book is dedicated to all the grandchildren, great grandchildren, and those yet to come. You are the reason for this project, for the sparkle in Grandpa’s eye, the song in his voice and the breath in his mouth organ.”  As such, JJ, Dustyn, and Joshua Van Bibber will provide a keynote presentation celebrating the legacy of their great grandfather. They will utilize JJ’s stories and photos to show how his legacy has created a sense of belonging and understanding for his family and how he exemplified this year’s Heritage Day theme, "Heritage: The Tie that Binds." It is his passion for heritage that his great grandsons carry on today, as they share their great grandfather’s legacy and life lessons and to continue the tradition of sharing stories.