Dawson City Today
Dawson City boasts an eclectic mix of arts, culture, wilderness and history. Placer miners, artists, adventurists, First Nations, old-timers and new-timers effortlessly share the town – a haven tucked away in the wilds of the Yukon.
Dawson City is a fully integrated community that recognizes our settlement on the traditional territory of the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in. Visitors and residents benefit from having the Dänojà Zho Cultural Centre, which offers programming showcasing Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in culture, including beading circles, bannock & tea time and tours. Events such as the Moosehide Gathering and Indigenous People’s Day, welcome all people to partake in songs, dances, rituals and feasts. To learn more about Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in, visit http://trondek.ca.
The Klondike gold rush was the catalyst in creating Dawson as we know it today. Much of our architecture harkens back to the heyday of this period and creates a Gold Rush feel for our community. Although the Gold Rush is over, placer mining–the extraction of loose minerals (including gold)–is still one of the main industries in Dawson City, and has had a large influence on tourism and media due to the popularity of shows like Gold Rush and Yukon Gold. Over 200 family owned and operated placer miners still operate in the Klondike region. To find out more, head over to the Klondike Placer Miner Association’s page.
An eclectic and active arts community thrives in Dawson through organizations such as Klondike Institute of Art and Culture (KIAC), Dawson City Music Festival (DCMF) and Yukon School of Visual Arts (SOVA). KIAC provides extensive arts education and programming to both residents and visitors. They host a number of workshops, concerts, theatre, classes and festivals throughout the year, including the Yukon Riverside Arts Festival and the Dawson City International Short Film Festival. Dawson City Music Festival provides year-round musical programming, on top of their annual Music Festival. SOVA offers a Foundation Year Program which can be used towards a Bachelor of Fine Arts, and brings dozens of burgeoning artists to our region each fall.
Dawson also features two residence programs, including the Berton Writer’s Retreat, managed by the Writer’s Trust of Canada, and the Artist in Residence program, which brings a variety of songwriters, film makers and artists to our region.
Some might be surprised to learn that for such a remote town there is an expansive variety of activities to get involved with for all ages. Whether you are interested in team sports such as hockey or softball, hobbies such as sewing and gardening, or getting outside in nature with canoeing or skiing, there are endless choices throughout all the seasons. If you can’t find what you are looking for, the tight community spirit is always supportive of someone starting up a new league or activity. The City of Dawson is a great resource to find out more information on many of the recreational programs happening in town: https://www.cityofdawson.ca/p/recreation-programs-schedules
Though small, Dawson boasts almost all services that you would find in a typical city. There is a hospital, K-12 school, college, library, gym, radio station, fire hall, RCMP outpost, swimming pool and rec centre, as well as a wide variety of shops, restaurants and bars. For a full list of services and how to reach them visit cityofdawson.ca. To find out a little bit more about the people who live here and the lives we lead, take a look at some of these quick stats:
Population: approx. 2300, but it swells in summer due to the influx of seasonal workers
Largest age group: 30-40
Average Household Income: $75-$80,000
Average Home Value: $293 754
Average Monthly Rent: $1020
Average commute: drive/walk less than 15 minutes
Average weeks worked per year: 38
Most common job industries:
- Public administration/healthcare & social assistance
- Accommodation and food services
Whatever your reason for visiting or moving here, we welcome you. Dawson is a magical place that is easy to love and difficult to leave. We expect the same will ring true for you.