Sister City Programs
The City of Whitehorse enters into Sister City relationships to promote economic development, educational, cultural and friendship exchanges between cities. This enables the residents of Whitehorse to participate, and benefit from such exchanges. It provides them with a better understanding of their own community by interpreting their way of life to people of a different city, culture and/or country. It can also lead to economic growth within the City.
Whitehorse and Juneau officially began their Sister City Relationship by signing a joint proclamation on February 27, 1993. Each year, we raise their flag (and vice versa) on the second Monday in August.
Whitehorse, Yukon and Lancieux, France began a Sister City program in 2000. The two cities honour their friendship by flying the flag of their Sister City once each year.
The City of Whitehorse and the Association franco-yukonnaise (AFY) invite you to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Whitehorse-Lancieux Sister City connection. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, a virtual celebration will occur in place of a community gathering.
A video featuring Mayor Dan Curtis, AFY President Jeanne Beaudoin, Lancieux sister city relationship initiator Yann Herry and Whitehorse youth reciting Each Day a Life, a poem by Robert W. Service, highlights iconic Whitehorse scenery and represents the poet’s favourite theme, nature.
A Short History about Becoming Sister Cities In 2000, AFY agreed to carry out a project to establish ties between Lancieux, in France, and Whitehorse, in the Yukon, two adoptive lands of the “Bard of the Yukon”, Robert W. Service. In order to make the pairing of the two cities official, a delegation of French-speaking youth from the Yukon brought a proclamation to France and read it in both official languages during a signing ceremony. To this day, Whitehorse and Lancieux still honour this bond and proudly fly the flag of their sister city once a year to mark their friendship. Robert William Service is a British poet who is especially well-known for his works about Canada. He was born January 16, 1874, in Preston and passed away September 11, 1958, in Lancieux.
Check out our special Anniversary messages to Lancieux, August 2015 (partly in French).
These two cities are connected through the life and work of poet Robert W. Service, a British poet especially renowned for his writings about Northern Canada. After leaving the Yukon in 1912, Service moved to France and bought a cabin in Lancieux. It is the great affection he had for these towns that still brings the sister cities of Whitehorse and Lancieux together today.
Lancieux and Whitehorse have organized several youth exchanges since 2000, when a delegation of Yukon Francophone youth read the proclamation in both official languages at the signing ceremony in Lancieux.
The City proudly flies Ushiku’s flag on the fourth Monday of June, in recognition of the strong relationship between our communities over the past 37 years.
What is the Ushiku Exchange Program?
The Sister City Exchange Program with Ushiku, Japan, began in 1985, providing opportunities for Whitehorse student ambassadors and adult chaperones to visit Ushiku, Japan. In turn families in Whitehorse host Japanese students every other year as the program alternates. Students and chaperones must cover airfare and spending money while meals and accommodation are covered by host families.