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Jim Robb

Jim Robb, Yukon artist, was born in Quebec City in 1933. He and his family moved to Montreal 6 years later where he resided until the lure of the north pried him away.

It was 1955. It was off to the Yukon Territory. Working various jobs over the next 5 years eventually led Jim to his true passion, that of gathering, recording and promoting Yukon history.

His earliest artwork was primarily done on raw moosehide. The hide would be stretched into all kinds of different shapes, most often by Annie and Harry Silverfox along with their son Billy, and drawn in pastel and charcoal. Harry's knowledge and friendship led Jim to become the first person to use the insides of snowshoes as frames.

Dawson City, the summer of ‘61, saw Jim beginning to use pen, ink, watercolour and photography as his mediums of choice as he continued his artistic development. In 1971 he started writing & illustrating a column, "The Colourful 5%", for the Whitehorse Star, which primarily dealt with the life of historical buildings and 'Yukon characters'.

Over the years Jim has had 3 books published, and yes, 'they are read in all the better cabins'. They are comprised of short stories, photographs and drawings mostly about interesting and colourful Yukon personalities, the 'Colourful 5%'. The first volume has been reprinted and is available here.

In 1975, well known anthropologist Julie Cruickshank, with Jim's participation, put out a book on the Yukon's First Nation peoples.

In recognition of Jim Robb's magnificent contribution of gathering and preserving Yukon history he was awarded Canada's highest honor "The Order of Canada" in 2003.

Jim Robb


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