Travel to Yukon During Pride Month

Travel to Yukon during Pride Month, a celebration of inclusivity, Indigenous culture, and community.

Pride Pride Events Brian Webb

This article was published on August 16th, 2023

Are you looking to travel to the Yukon? If so, Pride month is be the best time to journey here. 

In the northern Canadian territory of the Yukon, Pride Month is an occasion that unites communities, celebrates diversity, and honors the region’s rich Indigenous culture. It is a time when visitors and locals alike can experience the beauty of the Yukon landscape while embracing a spirit of inclusivity and acceptance.

Yukon Pride Month, Proclaimed by Mayor Laura Cabott

The City of Whitehorse declared August as Yukon Pride Month, as proclaimed by Mayor Laura Cabott. The month-long celebration welcomed everyone to participate in events and activities contributing to a vibrant and inclusive community. The city supports the LGBTQ+ community members, allies, and employees by creating an atmosphere of belonging and acceptance.

10th Annual Yukon Pride Parade and Picnic

The Queer Yukon Society hosted the 10th annual Pride parade and picnic as part of Pride 2023 events in Whitehorse from August 5-13. This year’s celebrations cultivated community, connection, and Pride for everyone involved.

Yukon’s Unique Appeal During Pride Month

Yukon is a destination known for its breathtaking natural beauty. The territory’s majestic mountains, pristine rivers, and vast wilderness provide the perfect backdrop for exploring and connecting with nature. During Pride Month, visitors to Yukon can also experience the warmth of an inclusive community that cherishes diversity.

Four Weeks of Celebration on Traditional Territories

The 10th annual Yukon Pride spanned an impressive four weeks of celebration and expression. Organized by Queer Yukon, the events occurred on the traditional territories of Yukon, including the Kwanlin Dün, the Ta’an Kwächän Council, the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in, the Liard, and the Kaska Dena Council.

The festivities occurred from July 27th to August 19th in Dawson City, Whitehorse, and Watson Lake, with Pride events in each city. 

Whitehorse celebrated Pride from August 5th to 13th, Dawson City from July 27th to 30th, and Watson Lake from August 19th to 20th.

A Closer Look at Yukon Pride in Whitehorse

Yukon Pride in Whitehorse saw several memorable events, including Queers & Beers at Winterlong. Hosted by Queer Yukon, this gathering brought together dozens of attendees who toasted Pride and connected with the LGBTQ+ community. Winterlong, a devoted supporter of the Yukon queer community, marked the occasion with a limited-edition Rainbow Brite craft brew.

On August 12th, Whitehorse’s downtown came alive with vibrant outfits, rhythmic beats, and remarkable performances by an all-Indigenous lineup of artists, including Illona Verley from Canada’s Drag Race Season 1. Edmonton’s IndigiHauz of Beaver Hillz, Cedar T, MayTea, and Misty Luxx joined her. DJ Snaxx and Josephine kept the energy high into the early morning while Barbi-inspired cocktails and a Pride selfie station added to the festivities.

The following day, the Whitehorse Legion hosted a sold-out drag brunch featuring Illona Verley and the same talented group of Indigenous performers from the IndigiHauz of Beaver Hillz. Guests sang along to spirited performances while enjoying mimosas, locally roasted coffee, and a sumptuous all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet.

Yukon Pride merchandise was in high demand, especially the iconic Pride t-shirt, symbolizing community and celebration.

View more photos from Yukon Pride 2023 on the HomoCulture Facebook page.

Queer Yukon: Supporting the LGBTQ+ Community

The Queer Yukon Society actively supports, promotes, and organizes events for the LGBTQ+ community. Their primary resource center, open daily in Whitehorse, provides essential programs and services for the regional queer community. These services include gender-affirming gear, clothing swaps, workspaces, complimentary personal hygiene essentials, an LGBTQ library, kitchen facilities, washrooms, showers, and drop-in hours.

Queer Yukon also collaborates with local organizations to offer outreach programs covering sexual health resources, testing, and harm reduction safety. In Watson Lake, the organization extends direct aid to LGBTQ+ individuals facing housing insecurity, providing emergency support such as food, winter clothing, and hygiene supplies.

Recognizing the financial strain of utility payments in Yukon, which can surpass $1,000 per month in winter, Queer Yukon operates a utility payment program in partnership with the Yukon Community Advisory Board and the Reaching Home project. This initiative assists LGBTQ+ individuals with electricity, power, hydro, wood, propane, oil, and water bills.

Celebrating Indigenous Culture with Illona Verley

The choice of Illona Verley, a proud Indigenous artist, to headline the Pride events in Whitehorse carries significant cultural importance. As an Indigenous performer with a growing platform, Illona’s presence acknowledges and honors the traditional territories on which the festivities took place. Her involvement emphasizes the importance of Indigenous culture within the LGBTQ+ community and the wider Yukon community.

Illona Verley’s participation in Yukon Pride highlights the vital role. Indigenous people play a role in fostering diversity and inclusivity in the region. It also recognizes the land’s significance in shaping the cultural and historical fabric of Yukon.

Community Programming  

Many of the local businesses in Whitehorse decorated their windows and offered special promotions to celebrate Yukon Pride. 

Selfies at the Three Pride Crosswalks in Whitehorse 

While in Whitehorse, capture memorable selfies at the endearing Pride crosswalks, a vibrant symbol located right in the heart of the bustling city center. In downtown Whitehorse there are three beautiful LGBTQ crosswalks, including the traditional six-bar Pride flag, the Progressive Pride flag, and the transgender Pride flag.

Travel to Yukon during Pride Month for An Inclusive Adventure

Pride Month in Yukon is a special time combining the allure of the territory’s natural beauty with inclusivity and acceptance. The celebrations provide an opportunity to engage with the region’s rich Indigenous culture, showcased by the all-Indigenous lineup of performers. Whitehorse’s dedication and outrightly evident acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community further establish it as a haven for inclusivity.

Yukon Pride Month is a wonderful time for Yukon tourism. It is a time of joy, connection, and lasting memories for all who partake.

Plan to Attend Yukon Pride 2024

Yukon Pride is a colourful, community celebration of history, culture, activism, and visibility of the queer community. There are community events, Pride parades, dance parties, and more. Fun, laughter, diversity and inclusion, visibility, trans and Indigenous rights, and expressions of love and togetherness are all feelings and emotions that can be felt at Yukon Pride.

It’s time to put Yukon Pride on your bucket list of Pride events to attend in 2024! In addition to being a fabulous event, it’s also one more reason to plan a trip to the incredible Yukon territory in northern Canada. 

Make the Yukon Part of your Gaycation Travel Plans 

The Yukon is home to epic landscapes, the tallest mountain in Canada, and nature’s most coveted light show, the aurora borealis. Moose, caribou, mountain sheep, black bears, grizzlies, and wood bison roam the sweeping expanses. Indigenous culture, a burgeoning culinary scene, thrilling outdoor adventures, historic sites, and welcoming communities abound in the Land of the Midnight Sun.

Known as the “Wilderness City”, Whitehorse has the great outdoors at its doorstep. Beautiful, energetic, and entertaining—Whitehorse has all the makings of a big city. Exciting outdoor adventure, live theatre, a variety of dining options, deep roots, and riveting gold rush history.

Whitehorse is a captivating mix of coffee shops, museums, and quirky heritage buildings, blended with a capital city going about its business. Creativity runs deep—with public art, inspired cuisine, live performances, and inviting cultural explorations. Small shops offer everything from fine local artwork to fireweed jelly.

Plan your trip with the help of Travel Yukon.


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