Yukon School of Visual Arts (SOVA)

Student discussing project in art's studio

World-class instruction in a unique, historic, subarctic community

The Yukon School of Visual Arts (YSOVA) offers a rigorous eight-month Foundation Year Program in the sub-arctic community of Dawson City, Yukon, situated within the Traditional Territory of the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in. World-renowned faculty, small class sizes, custom-designed studio spaces, and a vibrant arts community support YSOVA’s Foundation Year Program. YSOVA is a unique option for the first year of art school, or, as a stand-alone program, a great place to start working as an artist. 

Visit the YSOVA website

Program description

Dawson City Arts Society, Yukon University and Tr’ondek Hwech’in have designed an accredited visual arts program, which offers students the opportunity to explore a wide range of materials and mediums and learn critical theories, histories, and contexts relevant to a contemporary arts practice.

The Foundation Year Program is offered in Dawson City, Yukon, through the Yukon School of Visual Arts (YSOVA). The program is accredited at Yukon University and is equivalent to the first year of an arts degree. After graduation, students can complete their BFAs at YSOVA-affiliated art schools across Canada, including OCAD University, NSCAD University, Alberta University of Art + Design, Emily Carr University of Art + Design, the University of Ottawa, and Mount Allison University. 

Foundation Year disciplines include painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, video, sculpture, installation and performance. English courses are specifically catered to the visual arts program and focus on how language can be used as part of an artist’s creative and professional development.

The program’s integrated approach to studio and academic practices offers the learner the opportunity to make connections between:

  • art making, art history, art theory and art criticism
  • a variety of materials, techniques and modes of expression
  • practicing art within the specific context and community of Dawson City.

Foundation Year students are each assigned an individual studio space in a shared studio environment for the duration of the program.

Throughout the year there are scheduled field trips to important Trʼondëk Hwëchʼin heritage sites, visiting artist lectures and workshops, and many opportunities to get involved in the vibrant arts community of Dawson City.

Visit the YSOVA website

Admission requirements
  • Minimum 65% in English 12 or ENGL 060 or EAP 060, or acceptable equivalency score on Yukon University assessments; OR mature student status with an acceptable score on Yukon University assessments.
  • An art portfolio, submitted directly to Yukon SOVA

Application deadlines:

  • Early acceptance: January 31
  • Applications close: July 15
Yukon First Nations Core Competency

Yukon University recognizes that a greater understanding and awareness of Yukon First Nations history, culture and journey towards self-determination will help to build positive relationships among all Yukon citizens. As a result, you will be required to achieve core competency in knowledge of Yukon First Nations.

For details, visit Yukon First Nations Core Competency

Money matters


Tuition for credit programs is calculated per course credit. See money matters for more information.

Some programs and courses have additional fees - see ancillary fees chart.

Student financial awards

Education is an investment in your future, your family and your community. Yukon University is pleased to support that investment by offering some of the most competitive tuition rates in the country, as well as several student financial awards to help offset your educational and living costs.

Financial assistance

There are government programs, scholarships, bursaries, awards and First Nation funding available to financially support you throughout your academic career.

See money matters for more information, or talk to our financial advising staff in the Student Services Centre. Email or call 867 668 5209 to make an appointment.

Program Guides

A program planning guide lays out the courses and requirements needed to graduate from a particular program. It guides you through course selection options for each term, provides a sample program pathway and acts as a tool to track your progress.