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Newsletter - Summer 2023


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Welcome to our Summer 2023 newsletter! Yellowknife has experienced an incredible summer so far, and work continues on the museum project in anticipation for opening sometime this fall season.


The big news of the summer was the return of the Beer Barge, on June 17! Thanks to the co-organizing efforts of the Society and Fishy People Inc and NWT Brewing Company, Beer Barge was made possible despite a very short time-frame. Society director Diane Baldwin did a wonderful job coordinating the event. This year it was held at the Fishy People restaurant, aka The Garden, located at the Aurora Bayside Inn. East Arm Freighting (Dave Smith and Fran Hurcomb) donated their barge which was docked for the evening on the waterfront and made an excellent entertainment stage.

Beer Barge

Chef Niki Mackenzie prepared a wonderful spread of food items for purchase, the NWT Brewing Company had an assortment of their locally-brewed beers, and a number of entertainers provided music and dance. The event was sold-out and everybody was in great mood as we brought community spirit back to the Old Town waterfront. We even had a silent auction which raised over a $1,000 for the Society!

Costume prizes were awarded in three categories: Men, Women, and LGBTQ/Group of any kind. Congratulations to the prize winners!

Thank you to all who supported Beer Barge 2023!

Sponsors: Fishy People Inc (Niki Mackenzie and staff), NWT Brewing Company (Fletcher Stevens, Miranda Stevens, and Michelle Gowing), Quality Furniture (Jeannie Rocher), YK Seniors Society (Kim Doyle), Dave Smith and Fran Hurcomb, John St. Lewis, Northern News Services

Silent Auction Sponsors: Epicure (Carolyn Cronk), Pamela Taylor, Walt Humphries, Buffalo Airways, Sheila Hodgkinson, NWT Brewing, Fishy People, Quality Furniture

YK Historical Society Organizers: Diane Baldwin, Helmut Epp, Pamela Taylor, Marie Adams, Ryan Silke, Walt Humphries

Entertainment: Quincy Thomas, Johnny Mac, Grace Clark, Jenna Blanchard, Cat McGurk, Parkas and Pasties, Harrison the DJ

Volunteers: Susan Epp, Mike Borden, Ron Kapicki, Norah Higden, Anita Reiss

Summer Activities


All major components of the interior construction were completed in June, with the exception of the kitchen equipment which is ongoing as of early July. The back deck is now completed and work is underway on finishing the ramp and staircase for the main entrance. Volunteers helped to move display cases back into the rec hall, and exhibits are being constructed. Thank you to all our project contractors who continue to do good work for us - Kasteel Construction, J&R Mechanical, DT Electric, Elite Flooring, and Guy Architects.


We received a $100 donation from Tom Hall in May 2023 which will go towards our museum project. Tom was raised at Giant Mine and has good memories growing up at the townsite - now being demolished. Tom is also a frequent sponsor for us through the 100 Men Who Give a Damn, the group that donated $10,000 in 2018.

Thank you to the Giant Mine Remediation Project and Eddie Paul for the donation of the A-Shaft Powerhouse Dominion diesel engine. The powerhouse building was torn down last fall and in June the engine was unbolted from its foundation and moved down to our parking lot as part of our outdoor display. The 1946 engine was one of two 400-horsepower units that powered the Giant Mine when it first started operations in 1948. It was originally connected to an electric generator. It makes a wonderful addition to our displays.

WB Water Services has agreed to donate all water deliveries to the museum this year! An incredible act of charity from the Bromley family, who settled in Yellowknife in the early days of the 1940s.

Paddle IT (Adam Pucek) has set up the museum’s internet and tele-communications network (Starlink) free of charge!

Lisa Tesar has donated an antique cash register and the old Miner’s Mess sign that once hung in the popular Yellowknife coffee shop, in memory of Scott Wright. 

Elite Flooring (Carey McKiel) donated some flooring for use in our diorama displays.


The Society’s annual meeting was held on June 27 at the recreation hall - the first time we have been able to host the meeting at the nearly completed museum building! Members were given a tour of the building followed by Society business, snacks, and a bit of work - erecting two massive display cases. 

We regret to inform the membership that Mike Vaydik, 20-year board member, has resigned as a Director of the Society. Mike was born and raised in Yellowknife, and for many years was the City’s greatest advocate for the minerals industry - both prospecting and mining - in his role as general manager of the NWT Chamber of Mines. We wish him the best of health in his retirement years.

Joining the Society’s slate of board members is Conrad Schubert, who came to Yellowknife in 1994 and is active as civilian advisor at the Military headquarters. Conrad remembers using the recreation hall in the late 1990s as a cadet leader. Back then the building was no longer being used by Giant Mine, but the cadets and rangers had free use of it for their activities. He is happy to see it restored to its former glory. Welcome Conrad!


We are still on the lookout to hire a candidate for ‘Museum Manager’! The manager’s position will be responsible for facility operations, including admissions, sales, programming, sub-contracts, and coordinating other staffing/volunteer needs. Reporting to the Board of Directors, the manager will be the face of the Museum and our conduit to the public. 


The new Old Town Walking Tour is now available and can be picked up at a number of Old Town businesses and the City’s Visitors Centre in the mall. The guide contains summarized information on a number of points of historical and cultural interest on Yellowknife’s waterfront peninsula we call “Old Town”. It is full of archival images showing the community in its younger years, and a number of interesting facts about geology, geography, and history.


Our new website was launched in May 2023. The website, which contains the same content, had to be rebuilt on new software. One change is the elimination of the website store and a new online sales platform using Square and Weebly, located at Memberships can also be purchased at the new online store.


The Society would like to hear your ideas for Exhibit content! We are planning a ’Yellowknife Hall of Fame” gallery and would like to crowd source this content from you. Who would you like to see nominated? Submit a 100 to 150-word biography of the person, outlining their importance in local history, together with a photograph of them. Email content to the address below.

We are also looking for old Yellowknife ballcaps, corporate coffee mugs, and hard hats of a variety of colours for display ideas!

Yellowknife Historical Society

Box 1856 Yellowknife NT X1A 2P4