Dawson City, Yukon Friday, April 3, 1998

The original Iron Man mail carrier, Percy DeWolfe, poses with his lead dog, King. The photo was probably taken at Halfway. See stories below. Photo courtesy of the Dawson City Museum

Feature Stories

DeWolfe Race Off to a Sunny Start
Don't Bet on the Dogs
DeWolfe Race Won in Record Time
Race Marshal Celebrates 20 Years in the Percy
CGC Training Sessions Announced for April
Utilities Bill Relief for Residents
Volunteers Needed
Weekend of the Junior Iditarod Sled Dog Race
Red Serge Program
Land Claims Initialled
Music Festival Celebrates Its 20th in a Big Way
Dawsonites Visit Fulda Headquarters

DeWolfe Race Off to a Sunny Start

by Dan Davidson

For the more than two hundred spectators and well-wishers at the starting line, it was a perfect day for the Percy DeWolfe Race. There was no wind outside the Palace Grand Theatre and the temperature, even in the shade, scarcely touched the -10?C mark mentioned on the radio earlier. In direct sunlight it was a good deal warmer.

For the twenty dog teams about to head off on the trek to Eagle, Alaska, this was less positive news. In the past mushers have identified the perfect Percy weather as being "-20 and no wind". The conditions at 10 a.m. looked likely to produce punchy snow and soft surfaces on the snow pack, especially if the trend of the week continued with temperatures into the plus ranges in the afternoon.

In addition, spotters were saying that the jumbled ice on the river was going to be rough going. No one was predicting a record run as the clock moved inexorably to the starting time.

At 10 o'clock Fire Chief Pat Cayen announced the traditional false start in honour of Percy DeWolfe, the Iron Man mail carrier in whose memory this race was started 22 years ago. DeWolfe ran the mail between Dawson ad Eagle for 35 years, winning a special commendation for service along the way. Bib number one in the race is reserved for him. Bib number 2 carries a commemorative sack of mail. Sales of cancelled envelopes are one of the race's fund raising methods.

This year the honour of carrying the mail went to Dawson's own Cor Guimond, driving the sled donated by the City of Dawson for use by Dawson mushers in race events. Postmaster Lambert Curzon and Constable Dan Parlee presented the mail bag to him with just a minute to go. He rattled off down King Street to Front, taking a slight tumble at the sharp corner before moving towards the ferry landing and the trail to Eagle.

The rest of the field followed at two minute intervals, half of them from the Yukon, eight from Alaska and two from Minnesota. In bib order they were: 3 - John Schandelmeier, Paxson, Alaska; 4 - Brian MacDougall, Whitehorse; 5 - Brent McDonald, Dawson; 6 - Phillip Carriere, Dawson; 7 - Geoff Zapariuck, Whitehorse; 8 - Dean Gulden, Grand Marais, Minnesota; 9 - Robert St. Onge, Dawson; 10 - Ed Hopkins, Tagish; 11 - Bob LaMontagne - Fairbanks; 12 - John Gusson, Shallow Bay, Alaska; 13 - Caleb Banse, Moose Pass, Alaska; 14 - John Fischer, Cook, Minnesota; 15 - Sebastian Schuelle, Whitehorse; 16 - William Kleedehn, Carcross; 17 - Andrew Norkin, Moose Pass, Alaska; 18 - Ken Anderson, Fairbanks; 19 - Dan Kaduce, Fairbanks; 20 - Thomas Tetz, Carcross; 21 - Peter Ledwidge, Mayo.

A typical run over the 170 km trail to Eagle takes between 10 and 12 hours.

top.gif

Don't Bet on the Dogs

When the Percy Dewolfe race began on Thursday, I watched it from the Front and King St. corner. It was the first big corner for the dogs to negotiate and the spectators were fenced off to give the teams all the room they needed.

Most of the 20 teams flew around the corner with no trouble at all. One of the drivers lost his footing and got slung against the fencing, and one or two of the sleds overturned or ran along on one runner. Only one team had any real problem with the corner and that wasn't much of a one considering all the rookies that were in the race. This driver's team tried to turn back up King St., getting themselves all tangled up, and he lost some time straightening them out. As this team approached the turn over the dike to the river, an official helped guide the dogs in the right direction. After I walked up on the dike I saw the same team having a bit of a problem leaving the ice bridge to hit the trail downriver.

Says I to no one in particulr, "Well, thats' the only team that'll have trouble on the race. Those leaders aren't doing very well-he'll be lucky he finishes."

So the race went on, and the race finished. And I checked the results to see where that "Poor team" came in.

Number Four it was-#4.

It won the race-THE WINNER!

Moral of the story-"If you haven't a clue about dog mushing, don't make any predictions about the race!"

top.gif

DeWolfe Race Won in Record Time

by Dan Davidson


Brian MacDougall, bib #4, was the winner of this year's Percy DeWolfe Race in record time. Photo by Dianne Marengere

Brian MacDougall established two milestones with his win at this year's Percy DeWolfe Race. The late Bruce Johnson won this race each time he entered it, and MacDougall has now tied his record of six wins. In addition, he completed the 340 km run in 20 hours and 49 minutes, setting a new course record.

In fact it was a fast course this year. The Red Lantern Winner, Andrew Norkin, came in after 36 hours and 32 minutes, and that's faster than the time of over 42 hours that it once took Bruce Johnson to win the race. Fast as he was, the Whitehorse based MacDougall had no room for error. William Kleedehn was hot on his tail, and the Carcross native arrived just four minutes after the leader.

At the awards banquet MC Al Pope joked that the race had now become boring, since MacDougall and Kleedehn had dominated it so many times that it was getting to be an old story.

Third place John Schandelmeier arrived about a half hour later with a time of 21:24, but rookie Ken Anderson was right behind him just seven minutes later.

The remaining places were:

5 - Ed Hopkins
6 - Cor Guimond
7 - Thomas Tetz
8 - Robert St. Onge
9 - John Fisher
10 - Brent MacDonald
11 - Sebastien Schuelle
12 - Dean Gulden
13 - John Gibson
14 - Peter Ledwidge
15 - Caleb Banse
16 - Dan Kaduce
17 - Andrew Norkin

The remaining mushers - Phillip Carriere, Geoff Zapariuck and Bob LaMontagne - were forced to scratch at various points along the route. The rookie of the year award went to young Ken Anderson, while Peter Ledwidge received the Animal Care Award and Caleb Banse was rewarded for his sportsmanship.

The awards were presented after a wrap-up banquet hosted at the Downtown Hotel, one of the major sponsors of the race. Race committee head Brent MacDonald also thanked the City of Dawson for its contribution as well as North 60 Petroleum. Many volunteers put in long hours to make the race work and MacDonald named most of them during his brief presentation. He reserved special praise for the Dawson Rangers, who set a trail for the race amidst the nearly impossible conditions that existed on the river this year.

The normally laconic William Kleedehn said he was "humbled" by the thought of the amount of work it must have taken to carve a trail out of the mess this year. Various mushers noted that, while the trail may have seemed quite rough on the river, they had only to look at the jumble all around them to realize how impossible this race would have been without the Rangers.

Racers from Outside were particularly effusive in their praise of the race. Dean Gaulin and John Fisher came from different parts of Minnesota to run in the Percy. Gaulin, in 12th place, said he had "a new special race" in his heart after his experiences here, while Fisher, in 9th place, said he would be pushing this race to everyone he knew and that he hoped to come back again.

If there remained any question as to how much the participants love this sport, an observer would only have had to have taken a peek into the Downtown's conference room after the speeches and awards. There was a room full of 70 or more people, with probably a dozen or so sitting like kids on the floor at the front of the room so they could get a better glimpse of the video clips from the race they had just finished running the day before. There was a band waiting for them in the bar, but it looked like it might take most of them a while to get there.

top.gif

Race Marshal Celebrates 20 Years in the Percy

by Dan Davidson

Percy DeWolfe race marshal John Borg celebrated his twentieth year in the position this race, and he remains as enthusiastic about the event as he was at the beginning.

"It was a commemorative mail run originally and then it became a dog race. I look forward to it every year. It's my spring break, my chance to get out and see this part of the country.

"It's just a lot of fun, a real highlight for me to come up here each year." He comes to Dawson by snow machine each March for the start of the race and heads back to Eagle once it's all over. John's not looking to step down right away, but he is making sure this year that his memories of the trip last a long time.

"I've got a video camera mounted on the side of my helmet, and so I'm videoing the bad ice out between here and Percy DeWolfe's place. "If the time ever comes when I retire from this glorious event I can sit myself down in my recliner and make the trip to Dawson right in my living room."

He reflected on some of the changes he's seen over the years. "The first year we came up to Dawson there was bad ice all the way from Fortymile and there was no trail. It took 8 1/2 hours to get here and then we got stuck in the overflow down by Moosehide.

"The fact that there was no trail 22 years ago probably makes this year easier, but i have a great deal of respect for those who went out there and put that trail in."

Borg says the trail this year really needed to be seen to be believed. It was probably the worst he's seen and would have been impassable on that route without the work of the Canadian Rangers.

"It isn't just one bad spot. It's a lot of rough ice all along. It's awesome - just absolutely awesome - to look at it and wonder what in the world was going on when it piled all this ice up here. It would have been a once in a lifetime experience to have witnessed what was going on when it formed."

The challenge varies, of course, from year to year. Some years the river is flat as a highway and others not. "You never know what's going to be around the next corner." Some years you can snowmobile at 90 miles an hour, he says, but this year you'd be lucky to make 9.

The warm weather in town did not extend to the river, where it was probably 10 degrees colder for most of the race. Borg says the teams moved so quickly that most of them were not on the trail during the hottest part of the day and weren't affected by the temperatures nor by the punchy snow than some were predicting.

He's impressed by the improved quality and speed of the race in the last decade.

"Bruce Johnson's winning time in 1981 is seven hours longer than the last place this year. There's been a tremendous improvement in...the science of getting dogs from one place to another in a healthy condition."

He agreed with William Kleedehn, who had summed up the appeal of the Percy in his second place acceptance speech.

"One of the reasons I come to this race is to visit Dawson and Eagle and the people there. You just feel like you're... coming home when you get there. They are all nice and all the dogs barking as you come. As a dog musher you know that this is what it's all about.

"There are races that are all nice with hundreds of volunteers. You start out in a big city and finish in a big city. But here in Dawson you start in a real pioneer, dog mushing town, go down river, turn around in this other dog mushing town and you stop by the cabins (along the way)."

top.gif

CGC Training Sessions Announced for April

by Dan Davidson and Cheryl Laing

We've talked about it, met about it, discussed it and hoped for it. Now it looks very much as if Community Group Conferencing is coming to Dawson.

Orientation

For those interested in becoming more involved in this process there are two meetings coming right up, on Thursday, April 2nd and Monday April 6th. Both sessions are on the same topic - facilitating conferences - so you don't have to attend them both.

Each session will include information about the actual training, describe the facilitation process, and discuss the requirements for the training and for being an active facilitator.

Attend either Thursday, April 2nd, or Monday, April 6th 7:30 PM 8:30 PM at the Yukon College board room.

At this session you can register for the training session which happens later in the month.

Demonstration

There will be a demonstration of an actual Community Group Conference process on Friday, April 17th, 7:30 PM 1O PM, at the Downtown Hotel Conference Room. Here you can learn about the important features of the process that citizens of Dawson soon will be using to resolve many adult and juvenile criminal matters and selected school disciplinary issues. Preregistration not required.

Training

Training for VOLUNTEER FACILITATORS for Community Group Conferencing in Dawson City is scheduled for Friday evening, April 17th through Sunday, April 19 ,1998 at the Downtown Hotel Conference Room. All day Saturday and Sunday sessions are especially for those who think they might facilitate conferences, or who may be involved with the process in another capacity.

Those dates again:

Friday, April 17th, 7:30 PM 10 PM
Saturday, April 18th, 8:30 4:00 PM
Sunday, April 19th, 8:30 4:00 PM

Preregistration is required for the full facilitator training.

If you are unable to attend one of the orientation sessions, and are considering attending the facilitator training, please call Cheryl Laing, 993-5607, or Andrea Magee at 993-5555 to schedule an information meeting.

top.gif

Utilities Bill Relief for Residents

by Dan Davidson

Dawsonites won't see any increase in their annual sewer and water billing this year. There won't be any decrease either.

But there will be some relief.

Utility bills will be payable in two portions this year, in order to lessen the burden of this bill and city taxes falling due within a few months of each other.

Residential utility bills hit $1155. last year. Taxes vary according to property and improvements, but are pretty high in Dawson.

"It's unrealistic," Mayor Glen Everitt told the March 16 council meeting, "to expect both so close."

Utility bills should come out in April. Residential bills will be payable in two parts. One-third of the payment should be made by May 31. The rest will be due October 31.

"This will give people the option to make two payments rather than one and give a lot of seasonal workers the chance to get back to work before their bills are due."

In line with this move, the utility grant bylaw which eases the blow somewhat was amended to allow for later complete payment of the sewer and water bill. Next year residents can expect an additional $75 charge to defray the costs of managing the Quigley Landfill.

top.gif

Volunteers Needed

For the Klondike Gold Rush Boy Scout Jamboree

A meeting to recruit help to finalize plans for the Klondike Gold Rush Boy Scout Jamboree will be held on Thursday, April 16th, 5:30 in Yukon College Boardroom. The Jamboree is August 5-8/98. 1500 participants outside of Dawson will be hosted, the largest single influx to hit the Klondike since the stampede! Activities to include gold panning, visits to working mine sites, hiking, historical tours, community clean-up and more! For information call Carol McBride at 993-5831 during the day.

top.gif

Weekend of the Junior Iditarod Sled Dog Race

by Kathryn Boivin

It was a weekend of excitement, tension, exhilaration and emotionalism. It was the running of the 21st Junior Iditarod and our daughter, Kyla, was one of the 21 teens who were signed up to race. On Friday evening she drew 18th out of 21 places, received her racing bib and Iditarod musher's hat and met some of the other participants. A handful of these young people were leasing or running dogs out of Iditarod lots with plenty of miles and lots of experience to their credit, but what Kyla's team lacked in experience, they more than made up for in enthusiasm! Besides, we had traveled too far to turn back now!

The sled was already packed, the dogs were sleeping quietly (unaware of the great event that was about to take place in their lives) and we were all about as prepared as we could ever be. Let the race begin!

On Saturday morning, the sleds were checked for mandatory gear of snowshoes, 8 booties per dog, 2 lbs of dog food per dog, sleeping bag, change of clothes, dog food cooker and food for the musher, plus head lamps and an ax. Teams took off at 2 minute intervals and would race about 80 miles to the midway point in the race where they were obliged to take a mandatory 10 hour layover before retracing their tracks on the homestretch. We followed Kyla's progress along the route with news from various check points and were content to know that she was travelling with the pack. The weather was warm (above freezing), the sun was shining and there was nothing more that we could do except wait to hear what time she entered the midway point. Little did we know that we would have to go through several agonizing hours of anxiety before anyone could give us more news on her. The tide was about to change in Kyla's race!

Around 10 pm on Saturday evening, the news from the midway checkpoint was that all mushers had arrived except three. Two were being escorted in to the checkpoint by skidoos as their dogs were spent and one musher could not be located. That musher was Kyla! All through the race a supervisory skidoo had traveled behind the mushers to keep track of them along the route and to transfer information of their where abouts to the checkpoints via portable radios. This was done because in Alaska there are trails going everywhere in the bush so it is not unusual for mushers to get sidetracked on the wrong trail. Early Saturday evening that supervisory skidoo had left his post and gone on to midway checkpoint. Many mushers continued on to midway as well but Kyla took a 'detour' and became lost. Realizing her error, she had turned her dogs around and backtracked trying to find the main trail again in the dark through a spider's web of unfamiliar trails. She was disoriented and her dogs were tired so she decided to make camp for the evening, unaware that there was a time limit to reach the midway checkpoint. She had snowshoed out sleeping places for her dogs, made spruce bough beds for everyone, built a fire and began cooking dinner when the long-lost supervisory skidoo finally found her to tell her that she was disqualified from the race for not reaching the checkpoint in time. She was 5 miles from the checkpoint.

Disappointed but undeterred, Kyla slept out the night in the bush then continued the race in the morning, despite the knowledge that she could no longer register a standing in the race. Her dogs were perky and ready to run so she took them to the finish line nestled between the 14th and 15th mushers. The winner of the race was Charlie Jordon of Tanana who completed the course in 13 hr 28 min. He won a $3,000.00 US scholarship, a new racing sled and a variety of other prizes. All mushers were recognized and honored at the Junior Iditarod banquet that was held in Wasilla on the evening of March 1st.

Despite the major setbacks of the race, Kyla is very proud to have competed in the Junior Iditarod and to have completed the course with a healthy team. Although she had put almost 1300 miles on her dog team before entering the race, she did not have the competitive racing experience to her credit which became apparent as the race progressed. Still, she was happy with her dogs' spirit and came home with a renewed interest in racing. Next season there will be more local races to prepare her dogs for competition of the stresses of the racing trail.

We all feel pretty positive about the trip to the Junior Iditarod race. We learned alot about racing and dog care, met many helpful and supportive people, traveled alot of new dog trails and were relieved to reach home again. Kyla asked questions of everyone, absorbed alot of information and made us proud with her upbeat, positive spirit that was contagious.

We want to acknowledge all the sponsors who took a chance on Kyla and helped her to get to the race, either through material, financial or moral support. It is sometimes risky to take a chance on a young person but rarely is it a wasted effort. Many thanks to Arctic Inland Resources, Midnight Sun Hotel, Viceroy Resources, Klondike Kate's Restaurant, Ross Mining, Dawson City Trading Post, Goldrush Campground, Beaver Lumber, Dawson City Hardware, Klondike Visitors Association, City of Dawson, Klondike Centennial Society, Agrico Ltd (Ontario), Klondike Transport, Tr'ondek Hwech'in First Nation, Michel Vincent, Gerard Parsons and Suzanne Crocker.

top.gif

Red Serge Program


Cpl. Dan Parlee sits astride Justin during last summer's Red Serge program.

With Spring just around the corner, planning for the 1998 Red Serge Program is in high gear. The Program is implemented by the Klondyke Centennial Society in partnership with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Dawson Detachment and the many local sponsors. Since its implementation, the Program has proven to be very popular and has become a major attraction. Success can be attributed to the generous support and sponsorship the program has received from the Dawson City Business Community. An RCMP Dawson Detachment member will patrol the streets of Dawson on horseback five days per week from June 2nd to the end of August. In the near future, members of the Red Serge Program Committee will once again be seeking local support for 1998.

For 1998, Anthony Pompeo will be the principal Rider with Dan Parlee the serving as the alternate on Justin.

It is the intention of the Society and the RCMP to have the Red Serge Program participate in as many special events as feasible within the constraints of the planned schedule and budget. Special event organizers who wish to have the RCMP Rider and Horse participate in their event are encouraged to contact the Klondyke Centennial office at their earliest convenience. For appearances outside of the planned Riding schedule a nominal fee may be charged. Due to the high costs of the Program the Society may not be able to accommodate all events within the proposed Riding schedule. Every effort will be made to accommodate requests.

top.gif

Land Claims Initialled

On March 10, 1998, negotiators for the Tr'ondek Hwech'in, Canada and Yukon initialled the Tr'ondek Hwech'in Land Claims Agreements. This officially ends negotiations, and opens the door to the Ratification process. Following a 90 day Information Campaign, Tr'ondek Hwech'in citizens will vote to approve the Agreements June 8 12. Assuming a positive vote, Canada and Yukon will approve the Agreements by way of Order in Council shortly thereafter.

Under the Tr'ondek Hwech'in Final and SelfGovernment Agreements, the Tr'ondek Hwech'in will share in the political and economic development of the Yukon. The Tr'ondek Hwech'in will retain approximately 1,003 square miles of land and reestablish control over their own affairs on Settlement Land. The Final Agreement provides for the creation of a Territorial Park centred on the staggering Tombstone Mountains along the Dempster Highway. Tr'oju'wech'in, the ancient village site of the Tr'ondek Hwech'in in what is sometimes referred to as Lousetown, will be retained by the Tr'ondek Hwech'in and designated a heritage site to celebrate Han culture and history, as well as recognizing nonaboriginal values related to the site in respect of the Klondike gold rush.

Twenty-five years ago then Dawson Indian Band Chief Percy Henry joined Elijah Smith and other Yukon First Nation Chiefs in Ottawa to present the landmark grievance "Together Today for our Children Tomorrow" to then Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau. That historic document provided the basis for a political settlement of the land claims of Yukon Indian People by negotiation. Today's Agreements fulfill Canada's lo ng standing Constitutional obligation to settle the claims of the Tr'ondek Hwech'in. Chief Taylor said "Getting on with our lives and realizing our dreams and aspirations are now in our grasp."

The target Effective Date for the Agreements is August 1.

top.gif

Music Festival Celebrates Its 20th in a Big Way

by Dan Davidson

Not only is the Dawson City Music Festival Association celebrating its 20th anniversary with a massive 10 day blow out stretching from here to Whitehorse, but it is also coordinating the festivities from its new headquarters.

Relocated to the corner opposite the Gun 'n' Ammo Building, the log structure that used to be the home of CFYT-fm and DCTV is a living testament to what can be done with an aging building when a group of people set their minds to it.

An excited group of volunteers met at the new HQ at 5:30 on Friday, March 20 (the same day the festival announced it's out of territory line-up) to cut the ribbon and officially open the building.

Long time volunteer John Steins repeated a "thank you from the bottom of our hearts" that he had made before city council early in the week for all the help that council and administration offered in getting the DCMF set up at its new location.

The festival's rented offices were destroyed nearly two years ago in the fire that wiped out the Chief Isaac Memorial Centre owned by the Tr'ondek Hwech'in. Starting from scratch the festival committee had to rebuild the office, restore records and replace all the office furniture and hardware. It's been a long struggle and one could forgive them for looking pleased with themselves as they surveyed their little lot and their building.

The City of Dawson assisted with the land. The YTG awarded the festival money from the Community Development Fund to assist in the building renovations. Much of the rest was sweat equity. Steins recalled the brisk Thanksgiving weekend when volunteers tore off the old roof and replaced it in three days.

"Now we have our own little office and plot of land that we can call our own. It's been 20 years in the coming but here it is."

Acting on behalf of the mayor, Councillor Joanne Van Nostrand praised the project as "a fine example of working together in partnership. This organization, after the fire, showed with determination and drive that they could succeed with the structure they have built for themselves."

Chamber of Commerce president Dick Van Nostrand wryly recalled that the DCMF had the full backing of the chamber, even if the chamber couldn't manage to get a CDF grant for its operations.

"I was a little disappointed but I knew that the music festival would do good work with it."

The festival, he said, "makes a big difference to the business community in this town for what happens in the summer time."

Joanne Van Nostrand clipped the ribbon with the bow in the centre and the deed was done.

The 1998 festival will kick off with a Whitehorse concert on July 10 and will launch a river trip to Dawson from Lake LaBarge the next day, with concerts en route at Carmacks and Minto, arriving in Dawson Thursday, July 16th.

Meanwhile in Dawson, on July 14th, the festivities will begin here with a concert by Quartette at the Palace Grand and a set of performances the next night. The actual festival will run from the 16th to the 19th.

The local line-up hasn't been fixed yet, but the out of territory musicians include a cast of prominent performers who have been at earlier festivals. In alphabetical order, we will see Bill Bourne, Rebecca Campbell, Bruce Cockburn, David Essig, Lennie Gallant, Daniel Lapp, Laura Love Band, Ellen McIlwaine, Scott Merritt, Lynn Miles, Wyckham Porteus, Quartette, Lester Quitzau, Scott Sheerin (united with local partner John Steins), the Skydiggers, Rawlins Cross and Ian Tamblyn.

The Kids performers and M.C.s will be Al Simmons, Tomas Kubinek and Jim Jackson.

Dawson City Music Festival 20th Anniversary Line-Up

Outside Performers only...stay tuned for list of Yukon Performers

Bill Bourne
Rebecca Campbell
Bruce Cockburn
David Essig
Lennie Gallant
Daniel Lapp
Laura Love Band
Ellen McIlwaine
Scott Merritt
Lynn Miles
Wyckham Porteous
Quartette
Lester Quitzau
Scott Sheerin & John Steins
The Skydiggers
Rawlins Cross
Ian Tamblyn

Kids Performers & M.C.'s

Al Simmons
Tomas Kubiner
Jim Jackson

1998 Festival Dates

River Trip:

Friday, July 10th: Whitehorse kick off concert
Saturday, July 11th: Launching from Lake LaBarge
Sunday, July 12th: Carmacks concert
Monday, July 13th: Minto concert
Tuesday, July 14th: On the river
Wednesday, July 15th: On the river
Thursday, July 16th: Arrival in Dawson

(Performers: Ian Tamblyn, Rebecca Campbell, Lennie Gallant & Band, The Skydiggers, Scott Sheerin, Daniel Lapp, Wyckham Porteous, Dave Haddock and Bill Bourne)

Dawson concerts:

Tuesday, July 14th: (Featuring: Quartette in the Palace Grand)
Wednesday, July 15th: (Performers not confirmed yet)

Festival:

Thursday, July 16th: to Sunday, 19th: (Featuring: Al Simmons, Tomas Kubinek, Jim Jackson, Bruce Cockburn, Laura Love, David Essig, Lynn Miles, Rawlins Cross, Ellen McIlwaine, Scott Merritt and all the river trip musicians and Yukon performers)

top.gif

Dawsonites Visit Fulda Headquarters

by Dan Davidson

While they may have expressed some reservations about their relationship with some stops along the Yukon Quest Trail, Fulda Reifen, doesn't seem to have any doubts about wanting to maintain a link with Dawson City. The German tire manufacturer has been pressuring locals here to think about closer ties since last August's visit by Bernd Hoffmann, the company's vice-president of marketing research, and now that wish is being granted. On March 22 a Dawson contingent, made up of Mayor Glen Everitt, Klondike Visitors Association chair Lambert Curzon and city manager Jim Kincaid were off to Germany to spend a week discussing the possibilities for year round tourism, and long term cooperation.

Last summer, Hoffman was delighted with the Klondike, although he could not understand why it was busier here in the winter. This, in his opinion, was the sort of winter geography that Europeans - Germans in particular - would just love to see.

"If," says Everitt, "they wanted to use Dawson for the trip they give their salespeople, we could handle...that. There's snowmobiling, dog sledding - the potential's there for us to provide those attractions."

A that time Hoffman proposed a trip to Germany by Everitt, with one of the objectives being to have the mayor participate in a commercial for the company's product. Hoffman didn't make it to this year's Dawson checkpoint, but representatives continued the conversation during the Quest week in February, indicating that further discussions were desired.

Everitt says that local business people have been some of the biggest promoters of this trip, with one individual promising to funnel back to the city a substantial refund on a project if it would help to get the trip financed. This funding is not certain, since it depended on another deal over which the city had no control, but it was an encouraging gesture.

Early in the new year, with the approval of council, the KVA and the Dawson City Chamber of Commerce, Everitt began to explore the possibilities more seriously, holding a number of 5 a.m. transcontinental conversations with Hoffman to iron out the details.

"It's now been said that the commercials, if they're done, will be done here," he confirmed before leaving Dawson.

Council eventually decided that the trip could best be seen as an investment in marketing and good will.

In addition, Everitt and Kincaid planned time to do some onsite tours of secondary sewage treatment facilities: "The most cost effective - for capital and O & M - are the ones that are currently operating within Switzerland and Germany."

Two days of the trip were spent meeting with Fulda executives, while another two days were spent in a town called Bad Orb (used to be called Rottenburg), which is known for its spas and its historic flavour. It may be that Dawson and Bad Orb will attempt a kind of community adoption. As expected, the Dawson contingent's visit will be played up as a media event in that part of Germany.

"The main thing (for us) is to create that partnership with Fulda and with other companies that are there - that's why we're meeting with the chamber of commerce."

Both Everitt and Kincaid were quite excited about this trip prior to their departure, and the mayor was full of praise for the way in which Fulda paved the way for this journey, organizing the schedule, arranging hotels and making it easy to obtain a rental car. Once the company had a general idea of what the Dawson trio wanted to do, they quickly assembled an itinerary which made the trip a very full one.

top.gif

Klondike Sun Home Page