Whitehorse, Yukon

Northern Canada is its own special place. It is our true north, strong and free. You NEED to be strong to bear the temperature (I, personally, have been in a wind chill of -35 Celsius). And the people there are definitely free. They seem free from those big city pressures. A main one being, that sense of urgency, that insistence on being punctual. In the Yukon, they have their own time: they have “Yukon Time”. Things will get done when they get done.

I was up in the Yukon this past week for my big sister’s wedding. She has lived up North for several years now, and it was my third winter visit. Her wedding, to the shock of some of my friends here in Vancouver, did, indeed, include a traditional white dress and me in a short-skirted bridesmaid dress with heels. I do not, though, ever again recommend walking in snow in open-toe shoes- brrrrrrr! Only in the Yukon will one have to clean the snow out of the bride’s shoes before she can walk down the aisle.

The wedding did have typical North American traditions mixed in: bridesmaids in matching dresses, the father walks the bride down the aisle, vows are said, rings are exchanged, a first dance for the newly wed couple. Yet, it also had that fabulous air of relaxation that simply comes with everything in the Yukon. Guests trickled in at their leisure, many popping in to the special back room where the bride “hid” before her grand entrance to walk down the aisle. Photos and conversations with the bride before her entrance are typically unheard of! Our flower girl (daughter to the bride and groom) was one of the last to arrive with an aunt, pushing the ceremony start time well back, as it could not go on without her. She, being just three years old, also spent much of the ceremony dancing around, yelling, and trying to play with her mother’s dress. ┬áThe wedding ceremony was performed by the groom’s long term friend, who also happened to make the cake, who also happened to be their elected government official- as is the case in all good small towns. And, finally, my sister managed to avoid having a slew of toasts and mushy love stories dedicated to the happy couple. Instead, people mingled and kids played under tables.

I will admit though, I could have done with a little less Yukon experience when, at the end of the night, I had to help push our taxi cab, as it was stuck on the snow and ice of the driveway.


About the author

Kelly is a BC girl through and through, but never lasts at home very long before her feet start itching. She has travelled repeatedly to Australia, Europe, and Mexico (and the US, but that doesn't really count). The goal is every continent, but in every place she goes, there is only more to see. She currently fills the days working too many hours with children, writing, and learning Spanish. Though, friends will always find her in a kitchen filled with new recipes from the countries she has visited.