President’s Report

Greetings Everyone!   It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as President of the Northern Cultural Expressions Society since March 11th of this year.  First and foremost, I want to thank the staff for all of their hard work, patience and integrity and for hanging in there to move this organization forward in a good and positive manner.

Secondly, I welcome our new Board members and I look forward to a positive working relationship with you.  We have since completed a Board Training session so that our roles and responsibilities are clear.  We have had a few emergency Executive Board meetings to address the budget matters for the past and present fiscal years with success.  We have also had two Board meetings to address the operations matters.   The meetings have been long but progress has been made!

We have also moved our location to the Yukon Inn Plaza where we have more room, more parking and a good working atmosphere to fulfill our mandate.  The Staff and Students have worked very well together in making the move fun and positive.  We are still in the process of creating individual offices for the Executive Director and Managers and hopefully this will be completed soon.  We look forward to an Open House on May 15th to showcase our new workplace and art gallery.

We anticipate meeting our goals and objectives through a strategic planning workshop to be held this spring.  We also look forward to holding our annual general meeting on the land later on this summer.

We thank our funding agencies, the Yukon Government –Department of Tourism and Culture and the Federal Government – National Crime Prevention Program for their financial contributions to the operations of the Northern Cultural Expressions Society.

Finally, we thank our Participants for their contributions and hard work to a positive future and a better life for themselves and society as a whole. 

Pearl Callaghan

President – Northern Cultural Expressions Society


A.           Executive Director’s Report

Norman Eady has been the Executive Director since the start of January. Norman says the experience “has been a rewarding experience with periods of stress thrown in for good measure.” His initial emphasis was on programming and getting a new Human Resources policy for the Society. The Society elected a new Board in early March and moved to a new location late in March. Throw in numerous meetings with funders, partners and staff and times can be hectic for an Executive Director.

Norman believes the Northern Cultural Expressions Society makes a positive difference in young people’s lives.  He states “There are many success stories in our community, be they advanced carvers, successful artists or young people pursuing artistic expression in their own ways.  I appreciate the support I have received from the Board, NCES staff and carvers.”

Please contact Norman at any time at or at 393-6570 to discuss Society activities, plans or ideas.


B.            Board Members and Activities

NCES held a Special General Meeting on 11-Mar-2013 and elected a new Board of Directors. The new Board undertook a Board training session on 2-Apr-2013. The new Board plans to follow a governance model that features monthly meetings and accountability of the Executive Director for key deliverables. It is expected that the interim Board would serve until July or August when an Annual General Meeting is held.   The next Board Meeting is scheduled for 1-May-2013 at 5:30 PM at the Society’s offices. Members are welcome to attend.


President Pearl Callaghan
Vice-President Timothy Cant
Treasurer Cheryl McLean
Secretary Eileen  Melnychuk
Elder Ann Smith
Director Wayne Jim
Carver Rep Ben Gribben
Carver Rep Blake Lepine









C.            Vision and Mission

The Northern Cultural Expressions Society provides programs for youth to enhance cultural resilience, artistic expression and healthy living. Its vision is that of “A network of artists who are living healthy lives, have strong self-esteem, and are contributing positively to their families and communities, to a vibrant First Nation culture, and to a diverse Yukon cultural industry, through sharing traditional arts and customs.” The NCES mission is “Helping emerging artists develop the artistic, cultural, social, and business skills required for personal success.”


D.            Staff

Although it may not feel like it Spring is here and with this brings a new beginning with refreshing new energy!


The Resiliency Program at the Northern Culture Expressions Society is pleased to introduce two new staff. Ramesh Ferris has taken on the role as Program Supervisor. Ramesh comes with experience in fundraising, community & government relations, and a wealth of great experience from the Social Work field. Leslie Knight has recently been hired as the new part-time Resiliency Counselor. Leslie will assist the organization in setting up counseling services to youth at risk & carvers. Lesley has a great track record working with youth at risk, and building frameworks geared for counseling success; Many Rivers Counseling Services and the Community Outreach Van are just a few of Leslie’s past accomplishments!


The workshop coordinator is Naomi Crey. Naomi has been busy developing and organizing therapeutic engagement opportunities for our youth at risk within the Yukon Territory. Naomi successfully organized a movie-making course, the native dress regalia course as well as a highly active Spring Break program.


In February of this year, NCES re-established the Beginner Carving Program, led by Colin Teramura. Fifteen students enrolled in the program and have been mentored by 3 advanced carvers. Beginners have been instructed in the basics of formline and design, concept development, paddle making, knife making and silkscreening. Students are now preparing for a soapberry spoon workshop, block printing workshop and preparing art for the up coming Adaka Cultural Festival, and the Atlin Music Festival. This year we will host two on the land retreats followed by an intensive silver jewelry workshop for Advanced Carvers in the early fall.  Colin states “It is a pleasure to work alongside such talented young people and be apart of an organization dedicated to changing lives, one wood chip at a time.”


The Shop Coordinator is Dave Epp. Dave prepares carving materials for the carving program at a shop located on Ogilvie Street. Dave recently produced four work tables for the program.


The Administrative Assistant is Julie Gilbert. Julie helps with the administrative functions of the office.  Julie can be contacted at or at 633-4186. Please contact Julie to update any email or mailing addresses.

E.            Open House Wednesday 15-May-2013 from 3PM to 7PM

Northern Cultural Expressions Society will be holding an open house to show members and the public it’s the new premises in the Yukon Inn Plaza.  The open house will be Wednesday, May 15th, 2013 from 3pm-7pm. There will be a BBQ, Prizes and Fun!!

F.            “Awakening Spirits”

Northern Cultural Expressions Society is producing a table top book entitled “Awakening Spirits” authored by Heather Finton and Dianne Villeseche. It is expected that the book will be available for purchase in late May 2013. It features beautiful photographs of carvings and other artistic works accomplished through the carving program.  Short biographies are included that highlight young First Nations artists.

To order a copy please send an email to  . Members can support NCES and the work of the Society by purchasing a book (or two).


G.           New Premises and Signage

In April the Northern Cultural Expressions Society moved into the Yukon Inn Plaza (across from McDonalds). The new location features a bit more space, an improved gallery, his and hers washrooms and lots of parking. If all goes to plan three new offices will be added later to fully complete the space.

The carvers have carved a large sun-shaped sign and several spectacular road signs to help draw traffic into the new location. The gallery features art produced by young artists in the program. Art is sold on a commission basis and any art sold supports both the artist and the Society.