Mitch Miyagawa, Derek Crowe, Brian Fidler,
Mile 497, 2004 - 2005
Brian tells us that Mile 497 is actually at Mile 496.5; Trapper Ray insisted, for potential marketing purposes, on calling it Mile 497 because it rhymed with "heaven." And while it might not be most people’s paradise, the north is always an interesting place to live and work.
Many people in the Yukon say the "Colourful Five Per Cent"—the free-spirited characters that came to the territory starting 100 years ago in the Gold Rush—are disappearing. I disagree. People like Trapper Ray continue to find strange, dark and wonderful places to exist along the Alaska Highway. Elvis lives in the Yukon in a log cabin, visited by aliens. This past year, he ran for the leadership of the Yukon Liberal Party. In that same year, a Whitehorse musician won a Taiwanese Grammy, two biologists pretended to be caribou, and the trial of the murderer of gold miner "Two-By-Four Bob" in Dawson City made the national news.
What connects my collaborators and me, in our work in print, photography, film, and theatre, is an interest in the characters of the contemporary north. Mile 497 is a true-life, modern-day northern adventure, part of that ongoing interest for all of us. Who knows? Maybe someday we’ll be called "characters" too.