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The colorful 5 percent was a term coined by Yukon artist Jim Robb. There is also a book by the same name which contains a collection of his drawings. It refers to the motley crew of individuals that reside in the area and are a little more than eclectic. These individuals are not only not on the same page as the rest of us, they are in a completely different book.

Because the vast majority of tourists to this northern land arrive in the summer, they are never confronted with the colorful 5 percent. These individuals, some of whom are artists, hermits, seers, unknown, are generally reclusive and spend the summer months away from the crowds and out of populated areas. One might call it a reverse hibernation.

I, myself, was a summer import to the Yukon in 1996. The following year I returned in May and decided to give the land of the midnight sun a longer try. In October, I started to notice people at the local bars and restaurants that I hadn’t previously. Noticing newcomers to the area at the beginning of the winter months is in itself strange because the territory experiences a mass exodus at this time. I was told soon afterwards that what I was witnessing was the return of the colorful 5 percent to the land of the living.

It is difficult to describe the colorful 5 percent as a entirety because the group is not really a group. The expression simply seeks to label a random collection of people that defy labels. Hence it is difficult to say that the colorful 5 percent is this or that. It will simply have to suffice to say that the colorful 5 percent is what you would never expect and then some. It would also be apt to use this expression in many other communities to describe those people who really do not fit in and who stand aside from the rest.

To read about one of the Yukon’s infamous colorful 5 percent, please see the Elvis Aaron Presley node.

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