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Arts Underground Exhibit: "Life in Whitehorse 1946 - 1969"

Originally published in Moccasin Telegraph, November 21, 2010

View article online: http://www.moctel.org/2010/MT323.html


by Donna Clayson


Yukon History Hougen Group On November 5, 2010 Bryan and I attended the unveiling of a photo exhibit titled ‘Life in Whitehorse 1946 – 1969’ located at Arts Underground, lower level of the Hougen Centre.


It is a selection of Rolf & Margaret Hougen’s own photographs. The photos can be viewed until the end of January at which time the collection will be moved to the second floor of the Hougen Centre to be on permanent display. As Rolf Hougen mentioned to the crowded room, he and his wife have many hundreds more that he hopes will surface as well.


These photos are stunning – a story in every single image. I could hear whispers around me as I jostled for a viewing spot, “I remember that gas station, I remember ….”.


I would like to thank the Hougen’s for this special gift to the residents of Whitehorse and the Yukon. I wish I would have had the forethought throughout the decades to record my observances in photographs. Thank goodness Rolf & Margaret were thinking ahead.


Yukon History Hougen Group

Dennis Fentie & Rolf Hougen
Photo courtesy Donna Clayson

Arts Underground was a perfect location for viewing these invaluable photographs. The evening was introduced by Diane Chisholm, President, Friends of Yukon Archives. Premier Fentie spoke (see his notes below) as well as Rolf himself. We all enjoyed the delicious snacks and wine, making it all a perfect exhibit a perfect event. Gentlemen Hank Karr filled the room with sounds of the Klondike. To the Hougen’s – THANK YOU!


Diane Chisholm
Photo courtesy Donna Clayson

Yukon History Hougen Group


Yukon History Hougen Group


Hank Karr
Photo courtesy Donna Clayson

Sharing Decades of Memories
Longtime businessman Rolf Hougen speaks at last Friday’s opening of Life in Whitehorse 1946-1969 at the Arts Underground in the Hougen Heritage Gallery. The photos are from the Hougen collection donated to the Yukon Archives.


Photo by Vince Fedoroff on November 12, 2010


Yukon History Hougen Group



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I would like to thank the Premier for permission to use his notes. (below)

Speaking Notes for Premier Dennis Fentie
Life in Whitehorse 1946 – 1969
Selected photographs from the Rolf & Margaret Collection
Arts Underground
Friday, November 5, 2010 beginning at 5:30 p.m.

    ·
  • Welcome, and thank you for coming.
  • ·
  • I am pleased to be here, to share this evening’s celebration with you—the opening of the Rolf & Margaret Hougen photo exhibit titled: Life in Whitehorse 1946 – 1969.
  • ·
  • The selected photographs from the Rolf & Margaret Hougen Collection displayed in the Hougen Heritage Gallery are an impressive collection documenting a unique time in Whitehorse history.
  • ·
  • It was a time when Yukon was just beginning to find its legs to promote its identity within Canada’s national fabric as a nation coming out of the Second World War.
  • ·
  • Yukon First Nations were beginning to gain strength to make positive strides in the important impact they too, would take in shaping Yukon of today.
  • ·
  • Yukon’s arts, culture and heritage communities were just beginning to capitalize on the rich history of the Klondike, and First Nations cultures and traditions.
  • ·
  • During that time, from 1946 through to 1969, Rolf Hougen was a young man with a vision. He had an aptitude for business, for community development, and for entrepreneurial insights, · and Rolf had an eye for capturing images on film.
  • ·
  • Today, we can view his work, preserved in these impressive photos, and truly enjoy a small part of Yukon’s past rooted in a sense of community pride and community spirit.
  • ·
  • Not only did Rolf do all that, but he is also known as a man of vision who spearheaded many business ventures in town, more recently, his important role in helping to launch Arts Underground, which opened its doors in 2005.
  • ·
  • Since that time, many activities and events have taken place at Arts Underground. This important venue is a vibrant member of Yukon’s arts and culture community.
  • ·
  • The space you see around you is used for arts programming and home to the Hougen Heritage Gallery and the Yukon Art Society Gallery, both featuring informative collections year-round for all to enjoy.
  • ·
  • Thank you to the Hougen family for their faith and support in realizing the creation of Arts Underground, and the Hougen Heritage Gallery, curated by the MacBride Museum and Friends of the Yukon Archives Society.
  • ·
  • The Hougen’s family significant contribution and long-standing support of Yukon’s cultural community shines as an outstanding example of corporate philanthropy and leadership we hope others may emulate in years to come.
  • ·
  • A special thank you to Rolf and Margaret for donating their precious collection of thousands of photographs to the Yukon Archives, working in partnership with Friends of the Yukon Archives Society so that we all may enjoy and appreciate this legacy documenting an important timeline in Whitehorse history.
  • ·
  • I understand many of Rolf’s personal negatives were donated to the Yukon Archives more than 25 years ago, with a recent donation of another thousand images as a precursor to many more to come.
  • ·
  • Rolf’s engaging images can be seen at the Yukon Archives, if anyone is interested in viewing more of Rolf’s impressive collection.
  • ·
  • To Arts Underground, an innovative partnership that combines heritage, arts, youth and business, offering services to Yukon’s Whitehorse community in support of cultural economic development, we thank you for your good works these past five years, and wish you every success in the years to come.
  • ·
  • To the Yukon Archives, and Friends of the Yukon Archives Society, thank you for organizing this evening’s event. Your collective efforts help to broaden the scope of making available Yukon’s unique heritage to all Yukoners and visitors who come to view the many exhibits such as what we see this evening, on an on-going basis.
  • ·
  • Congratulations, Rolf, to you, Margaret and your family. I am sure many people will be into the gallery over the coming days, and they will truly enjoy your images captured on film, for all to appreciate.
  • ·
  • Good evening.

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View article online: http://www.moctel.org/2010/MT323.html