27 February, 2016

Yukon Achieves a Trans Canada Trail Connection Milestone

Deb and CIBCJoly and Deb

In late February 2016, the TCT proudly celebrated the Yukon’s Trail connection milestone, in excellent company! The Yukon became Canada’s third province or territory—after Newfoundland & Labrador and Prince Edward Island—to reach this milestone.

This achievement was marked at the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous Festival, the territory’s renowned annual winter festival, where CIBC also officially unveiled a $750,000 gift destined to accelerate the development of the TCT across Canada.

Government representatives in attendance included the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage and the Honourable Doug Phillips, Commissioner of the Yukon, among many other TCT Partners, donors and volunteers.

“The TCT is on a bold mission to connect Canada in celebration of the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017, to unite the second largest country in the world via an interconnected recreational trail that showcases our spectacular natural landscapes and our vibrant and diverse communities,” said Deborah Apps, TCT president & CEO and event emcee. “This achievement in Canada’s magnificent Yukon brings us much closer to our goal, which would not be possible without the support of the government at all levels, our partners, volunteers and all of our donors, including CIBC, for their generous support of Trail development across Canada.”

CIBC made its contribution via the TCT’s Chapter 150 fundraising campaign, which calls upon Canada’s business and philanthropic leaders to contribute towards the achievement of a fully connected Trail by 2017, and the realization of a magnificent natural stage connecting Canadians from coast to coast to coast for Canada’s 150th anniversary celebrations and well beyond.

“CIBC is proud to help mark the completion of the TCT in the Yukon and to connect this majestic trail to the rest of Canada,” said Mike Stevenson, Senior Vice-President, Region Head of BC and Northern Territories, CIBC. “Our rich history goes back as long as Canada’s with strong pioneering roots here in the North, so it’s a natural fit for us to support this important milestone and help connect and engage Canadians in time to celebrate our shared 150th birthday with Canada in 2017.”

CIBC chose the Yukon connection milestone celebration as the site for announcing its Canada-wide gift because of its strong history of ‘firsts’ in northern Canada. CIBC is well known as ‘Canada’s bank of the North’ as it was the first to offer banking services to remote northern communities with the introduction of the ‘flying bank’ in 1970. CIBC maintains the largest banking network across the territories of any Canadian bank.

All gifts to the TCT are generously matched by the Government of Canada, as part of a matching funding program approved in 2014 to support TCT’s 2017 national connection goal by contributing one dollar for every two raised by the TCT. This support allows for Trail development across our country, benefitting Canadians and strengthening communities.

“Nearly 25 years ago, in 1992 – the year of Canada’s 125th birthday – the Trans Canada Trail initiative was created. Since then, the Trail has grown to become a national legacy for all Canadians and, once connected, will unite us from coast to coast to coast. It is truly emblematic of the richness and diversity of our great nation,” said the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage. “Today’s milestone celebration in the Yukon is another important step toward the Trail achieving full connection in time for the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017. I encourage all Canadians to support the continued development of the Trail. It is a wonderful representation of our history, culture and natural heritage, one that will continue to thrive and be cherished for generations to come.”

Now connected, the TCT’s route in the Yukon spans just over 1,600 kilometres from the border with British Columbia at Watson Lake, to the border with the Northwest Territories. Its uses range from mountain biking, cross-country skiing, mushing (dogsledding), to snowshoeing and snowmobiling.

To learn more about the TCT in the Yukon, please visit our Yukon Connected page.