Alaska Highway 75th Anniversary Events

The Alaska Highway Road Show–Become a Part of Highway Livin’

The Alaska Highway Road Show is a must-see event, taking place along the Alaska Highway this summer. Weaving oral story telling, music and photography, the show takes viewers through the Highway’s history with stories and anecdotes from the people who called the Highway their home.

“The Alaska Highway was our Main Street,” notes Kathy Jessup, creator of the show, “I wanted to blend the stories I grew up with, about the construction of the highway, the struggle and the marvel of it, with modern stories about the people who lived right next to it.” Jessup understands their lives intimately as she grew up along the route herself. Her mother was a pioneer of Fort Nelson when it was just a village, her father was one of the first commercial truckers when the highway was under American army control, and her uncle was a guide as a hunter and trapper.

Jessup’s keystone story about the building of the highway, mixes personal stories from her father and uncle with archival research. She also brings humor with personal reminisces, such as her family’s 70s road trip down the dusty, gravelly road with no air conditioning. The question, “Are we there yet?” repeated often.

Bill Nolan entertains throughout the performance with original songs like “The Trail of ’42”, about the Alaska Highway, and old favorites like “Moose Hunter Blues,” a trapper song about the north, the highway and Canadian life. A music contest in honor of the 75th anniversary of the highway was given earlier this year, and some of the winning songs will be performed as well.

Alison Tubman provides insight through her photographic slideshow that flickers throughout. Her First Nation great-grandfather, Charlie McDonald, was a renowned Alaska Highway guide. The lives of her ancestors, a resilient and self-sufficient people, are part of the presentation, showing how their lives drastically changed with the arrival of the bulldozers.

The 90-minute show debuts July 5th, 2017, at the Provincial Archives of Alberta as part of Edmonton’s Historic Festival and then travels to 11 other locations with the grand finale in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory. Tickets are $10, and some performances are free.

Show Schedule

Alberta

  • July 3, 7:00pm, Smith
    Preview Performance—Smith Community Hall
    Advance ticket sales: sheila.willis@fhnas.ca
    $10 cash only at the door: 1019 10th (Main) Street.
  • July 5, 7:00pm, Edmonton
    Provincial Archives of Alberta: Tour Launch (Free)
    Seats must be reserved in advance: 780-427-1750.
  • July 7, 7:00pm, Grande Prairie
    Grande Prairie Musuem
    Tickets $10 cash only. In advance from venue: 10329 101 Avenue and cash only at the door.

British Columbia

  • July 7, 7:00pm, Dawson Creek
    Kiwanis Performing Arts Centre
    Tickets $10 cash only. In advance from venue: 10401 10 Street and cash only at the door.
  • July 8, 7:30pm, Fort St. John
    North Peace Cultural Centre
    Tickets $10 + fees. Available online, in advance at Box Office: 10015 100 Avenue and at the door.
  • July 9, 7:30pm, Fort Nelson
    Phoenix Theatre
    Tickets $10 + fees. Available in advance at venue: 5319 50th Avenue S. Credit card sales: 250-774-2241, and tickets sold at the door.
  • July 16, 6:30pm, Toad River
    Toad River Community Hall
    Tickets $10 cash only at the door. Mile 422, Alaska Highway (ask directions at the TR Lodge). Advance sales: sheridafulton@gmail.com.
  • July 17, 12:30pm, Lower Post
    Denetia School: Matinee performance (Free)
    Host: Daylu Dena Council
  • July 20 , 6:30pm, Muncho Lake
    Northern Rockies Lodge: Dinner Show (special price applies)
    Reserve in advance or call toll-free Canada/US 1-800-663-5269. Mile 462, Alaska Highway.

Yukon

  • July 17, 7:00pm, Watson Lake
    Morgan Chaddock Community Hall
    Tickets $10. Advance tickets: 867-536-8020. Cash only at the door. 912 Lake View Avenue.
  • July 18, 1:00pm, Teslin
    Tlingit Heritage Centre: Matinee performance (Free)
    KM 1248, Alaska Highway—watch for signage. Host: Teslin Tlingit Council.
  • July 19, 7:00pm, Whitehorse
    MacBride Museum of Yukon History
    Tickets $10 http://www.macbridemuseum.com in advance at venue: 1124 Front St, by phone 867-667-2709 and at the door.