You might know Dustin Milligan from his breakout role in the reboot of the teen drama 90210. Or maybe the popular films Extract or Me Him Her. Or maybe you’ve seen him on Schitt’s Creek or Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency. However you know Dustin, chances are you also know (and are proud) he’s from Yellowknife.
On a particularly warm fall day in Los Angeles, Dustin sat down and spoke with us on how he first heard of the Yellowknife Community Foundation, giving back to the arts community and on what’s next.
How did you first hear of the Yellowknife Community Foundation?
Milligan: I was 21 and had just booked a job where I was getting paid real money for the first time. I had heard of the Yellowknife Community Foundation through teachers at my high school and was looking for a way to give back. The more I looked into it, the more I appreciated the overall community oriented focus.
Because success in acting can be fleeting, I felt that if I didn’t do something right away, there may not be an opportunity down the road.
Why was creating a scholarship so important to you?
Milligan: I felt really grateful for the support from the Yellowknife arts community. So many people were behind what I was doing, so I wanted to take some of my success and reinvest it back into the community that had given me so much. I wanted to invest it back into other young artists.
Through your arts scholarship, Enough Talk, Hurry Up and Do It Already, how does it feel to support so many young and aspiring artists?
Milligan: It’s really rewarding. Getting to know the students, experiencing their creative gifts first hand and getting to meet when presented with the scholarship is meaningful and
It reminds me of when I was that age, filled with hopes and dreams and getting to play a small part in that is very rewarding
Why is it important for you to come back every year to present the scholarship?
Milligan: Even though my family has moved away from Yellowknife, I still consider it my true home. It’s important to me to maintain that long-lasting, permanent link to the City.
Also, coming back every year reminds me of the journey that I am on, the journey that other young artists are on and the power of the support that the community gave me when I was that age.
Do you keep in contact with any of the students? Can you tell us how they are doing?
Milligan: Making a career in the arts can be difficult. This scholarship was set-up to help the students explore possibilities, but ultimately, it’s amazing to see where each and every one of the past recipients has gone and play a part in helping them go after their dream.
I know Kira Hall is a constant creator and doing lots in the theatre in Toronto.
What’s next for you?
Milligan: I’ve got lots on the go at the moment. I’m on a couple of TV shows, Schitt’s Creek and Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency. In my spare time, I’m writing a lot and expanding my creative portfolio.
There may be a puppy in the future, but for now, I’m home until next spring when we start up again on Schitt’s Creek.
About the Yellowknife Community Foundation
The Yellowknife Community Foundation was formed in 1993 to provide interested individuals and organizations with a means of supporting projects in our community for the enduring future. The Foundation is not singularly dedicated to any specific area of support. It embodies a simple concept – that people working together can make a difference for all. For more information: https://www.ykcf.ca/
About the Enough Talk, Hurry Up and Do It Already Arts Scholarship
Established by Dustin Milligan to assist École Sir John Franklin High School graduating students pursuing post-secondary studies in the performing arts, film, music or writing. For more information: https://www.ykcf.ca/portfolio-view/enough-talk-hurry-up-and-do-it-already-arts-scholarship/