Aimee here, back from Whitehorse. I was hoping to update from there, but between the time zone changes, the travel and the busy-ness of my schedule up there, I didn’t have much time for anything but sleep! I’m more used to travelling to places like Nain for work, not clear across the country!
I spent a few days in downtown Whitehorse (yes, it has a real downtown!) for the Northern Summit on the Social Economy. It was super interesting, and I liked hearing about the research that was going on and hearing about what other non-profit organizations were doing across the north.
On the last day of the summit, we went for a tour of some social economy organizations in Whitehorse. We stopped in at Yukon College for lunch, then continued on to the Yukon Wildlife Preserve, then Raven Recycling and then finally ended our day at the Yukon Artists at Work Co-operative. The day before, I’d stopped by the Learning Disabilities Association of Yukon, MacBride Museum of Yukon History, and Yukon Quest, the 1000 mile sled dog race. It was really cool to see other organizations and what they do!
Whitehorse, on the whole, was very, very cool. It definitely had a more urban feel than Goose Bay! (While the Yukon’s population is the same size of Labrador’s, Whitehorse’s population is 3/4 of that, so about three times larger than HV-GB.)
There was PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION (and might I point out that Nuuk, Greenland, is only 14,000 and also has a bus system?!), restaurants GALORE (all sorts of cuisines unavailable here, where it’s difficult to find food that isn’t fried – there was Carribean, Mexican, Chinese, Japanese, Middle Eastern, Italian, etc.), at least THREE bookstores (including a super awesome independent one called Mac’s Fireweed Books – go there if you’re in the area!), bakeries, cafes, and a Wal-Mart, Canadian Tire, Starbucks, Tim Horton’s, Shopper’s Drug Mart and McDonalds if you like that sort of thing too. People were walking around on sidewalks (yes, SIDEWALKS!) and there were lots of cyclists too. Speaking with one of them, I learned that there’s about 100 hard core winter cyclists too. We have a few too, but not so many.
It was a real eyeopener to what a northern city can have and can offer. I mean, it helps that it’s in a territory and on the road to Alaska. But honestly, I was blown away. I didn’t even get to see the Canada Games Centre up close, but people tell me that it’s a great place to visit. I brought my bathing suit just in case, but I didn’t get to go.
So, anyway, you’re probably tired of hearing me talk about how awesome Whitehorse is, so on with the pictures! (And don’t worry, I’m not leaving Labrador anytime soon — it’s my home! 🙂 )
Aerial shot of Whitehorse
View from my hotel room
An ad on the community channel for the Social Economy Cafe, where I had a booth. Of course, I forgot to get a photo of myself at the booth, but it was a nicely laid out table, if I do say so myself!
One of these ravens landed at my hotel room window and knocked with his beak. But when I grabbed my camera, he was gone. He'd flown to the ground with a friend.
Me at the Northern Summit on the Social Economy.
I have to say, the Yukon College campus was pretty awesome. There was artwork all around, soaring ceilings, and woodbeams. Heck, there was even live music at lunchtime. It was beautiful, which I think is important for learning. You should be inspired to learn in surroundings like that!
Yukon College - an example of the architecture
At the Yukon Native Languages Centre, we saw lots of resources materials for teaching the local languages.
We stopped by at Raven Recycling, a non-profit recycling centre. You can recycle ANYTHING in Whitehorse, not just the stuff that you pay a deposit on and get a refund for. The money that Raven Recycling makes goes into recycling the not-so lucrative stuff — they just want to divert it from the landfill! They have the same problems we have in terms of shipping, but they make it work. I was sooooooo impressed. It’s one of my pet peeves, not being able to recycle anything. I don’t even want money, I just want to know that it’s being recycled.
Recycling facilities in Whitehorse
The inside of Raven Recycling -- the recyclables in flattened bundles
I totally forgot to take photos at the Artists’ Coop, but I have to say, the artwork was simply amazing. I loved it!
Then, on my last night there, I met up with a cousin of mine I’d never met before. She was super cool and I was so glad I got to meet her, since obviously, we live very far apart. I’m telling you, for all the cousins I’ve got in Goose Bay and elsewhere in Labrador, I really do have family everywhere.
Me, tired after being awake for 5 hours already by 10:00 am. Ready for a looooooooong day and night of travel!
See that poppy? That was Poppy 3 of 4 for the trip. Number 4 has now disappeared as well. I swear, I leave a trail of poppies in my wake every November! But hey, always good to drop another loonie in the box.
I had 9.5 hours in Calgary on the way back, but instead of hanging around the airport, my high school best friend and figurative partner-in-crime took me around the city in which she now lives. Just as I'd thought from knowing Zak and Jenna, Calgary is crazy about the Flames!
It was a looong day of travel. I left Whitehorse at 10:00 am on Friday and arrived back here in Goose Bay at 1:00 on Saturday afternoon, after three long flights, including an overnight one. I had a wonderful trip, but I was never so happy to be back home! I was on the verge of kissing Labrador soil.
More photos later of all the animals I saw at the Wildlife Preserve.