Editor's Note ~ Spring 2012 (V6I1)
It goes by in the blink of an eye. Five years ago, the Yukon was a vague idea to me, a mass of land on a map I’d dutifully coloured in grade-school geography class and vaguely conceptualized as a vast block of impenetrable cold somewhere off in the Canadian distance. I was incurious, I must admit. Many of my friends now tell me they’ve always dreamed of coming north, but it never held much pull for me. I never would’ve come to the Yukon of my own accord, and it was only by chance I ended up visiting. In 2006, I came north to cover the Dawson City Music Festival for a Vancouver newspaper and found myself in love with a place I never dreamed could capture my heart. A couple years later, I packed my bags and moved here.
At that same time, Yukon, North of Ordinary, a partnership between Air North, Yukon’s Airline, and Harper Street Publishing, was just getting off the ground. Air North had been serving Yukoners for 30
years, and Harper Street had been publishing Yukon-centric magazines for 14. Both parties knew they wanted to create something special--an inflight magazine that told the unique and wonderful stories of Yukoners. It would do more than just show off the picturesque vistas of the territory--it would allow residents to tell the world and each other, this is why we live here, and this is who we are.
In this special edition of Yukon, North of Ordinary, you’ll find the results of our first- ever “Best of the Yukon Readers’ Poll,” as well as personal commentary from our contributing writers as to what makes the Yukon magical for them. There’s tonnes of insider information, but perhaps the most resonant quote comes from long-time resident Jim Robb, voted “Favourite Yukoner” by our readers. Robb, whose iconic depictions of our people and places have already done so much to shape the territory’s identity, offers up a profound gem when asked “What makes someone a ‘real’ Yukoner?”, a standard question in our “Yukon
Questionnaire” feature. To be a “real” Yukoner, Robb says, is “to believe in the Yukon’s possibilities and to help others if you can.”
It really is as simple as that, isn’t it. Both Yukon, North of Ordinary and Air North, Yukon’s Airline, have lived this philosophy over the years, and, as a result, it’s fair to say we’ve become an important part of Yukon life. Real Yukoners, as it were.
Of course, just as we’ve become a part of Yukoners’ lives, Yukoners’ lives have shaped
what we do and how we operate. Over the years, we’ve been amazed as residents and visitors have shared their stories with us and demonstrated an incredible loyalty to what we’re building. We’ve been embraced with more enthusiasm than we could’ve dreamed of. Yukoners have shown us they believe in our possibility and played an active role in helping us grow. For this, we are eternally grateful.
For myself, this spring marks just my third year in the Yukon. I often find myself still feeling like I just stepped off the plane, perhaps because each day living here teaches me something astounding about this place, something I never could’ve imagined. There is still so much to know about the Yukon’s past and present.
And while I can’t imagine life here 35 years ago, when Air North was a brand-new vision, and I can’t fathom the courage it took to start a magazine in 2007, when almost everyone would’ve advised against it, I can imagine how easy it is to be inspired and fascinated by the Yukon and to go ahead and fall in love with the place even though it’s risky, unprecedented, and defies all reason. The payoff is worth it. The Yukon loves you back.
Here’s to many more years. And, of course, to possibilities.