January 16, 2018

2008 Symposium

Mark your calendar a year ahead for the 2009 symposium: October 9–11, 2009.

2008 ADMA International Sled Dog Symposium

October 10–12, 2008 • Pioneer Park, Fairbanks, Alaska

Sponsored by the Alaska Dog Mushers Association, Fairbanks Junior Dog Mushers Association, and the Fairbanks North Star Borough Parks & Recreation Department Pioneer Park.

Welcome to our 21st annual International Sled Dog Symposium, hosted by the Alaska Dog Mushers Association (ADMA). Mark your calendar for October 10th, 11th, and 12th, 2008. The symposium will again be held at Pioneer Park (formerly Alaskaland) in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Along with the usual informative sessions, we’ll hold our Working Dog Trade Fair (admission free and open to the general public), the second annual and wildly popular “Best Invention” contest, and our annual fundraising auction. We’ll also have a weight pull competition and a winter camping exhibition. Our exciting program includes a celebrity visit from famous lead dog and distance mushing phenomenon Zorro, who will be hanging out on Saturday at the trade fair, accompanied by Lance Mackey. Our keynote presentation is the Mind of the Bird Dog, with John Lunseth, and we’re holding a second plenary session, Arctic Expeditions by Joe Henderson. Other speakers as of late July include Jeff Conn, Mark Cooper, Bill Cotter, Steve Darby, Curtis Erhart, Hans Gatt, Kelley Griffin, Dave Klumb, Tarika Lea, Sonny Lindner, Gar Morey, Jacques Philip, Alyssa Quaile, Joee Redington, Brent Sass, and Mitch Seavey. Keep an eye on our preliminary schedule for updates. Friday evening will include two free sessions: a junior mushing presentation on practical, hands-on skills and a Mush with PRIDE presentation. The schedule for Saturday and Sunday includes a very special film-and-commentator presentation by the University of Alaska Fairbanks Film Archives and Joee Redington, along with panel sessions on the evolution of distance racing and on high-tech sleds, as well as two sled repair sessions, and of course much more. We’ve tried to provide something for every kind of musher and working-dog owner, from experienced distance
or sprint racers to recreational mushers, as well as non-mushing dog enthusiasts involved in agility, search and rescue, retrieving, and other canine activities.

Nearly every presentation will include time for questions and answers, so this is a great opportunity to get the expert advice you’ve been looking for. Our preliminary schedule of events has more details, and we’re posting speaker biographies as we receive them. Please check back often for updates.

Our three-day Working Dog Trade Fair, which is free to the general public, will feature vendors offering the latest in mushing and winter equipment, clothing, dog food, supplements, artwork and crafts, and lots of other goods and services. See our list of vendors, which will be updated regularly.

There is no better way to start the season. Join us in Fairbanks on October 10–12 for the 2008 ADMA International Sled Dog Symposium.

Registration fees

Friday night’s presentations are free.

  • Advance registration for Saturday and Sunday: $55 for two days, $30 for one day
  • Onsite registration: $65 for two days, $35 for one day
  • ADMA member discounts: $5 per day discount for 2008–2009 ADMA members(Last year’s members must renew their membership to receive this discount.)

Download a copy of the complete program mailing (150 KB PDF).

Download the advance registration form, which must be mailed by September 26 or faxed by October 1.

The trade fair is FREE and open to the general public.
Vendors, please see our trade fair information page.


The Comfort Inn is offering a special symposium rate of $75 plus tax for a standard room (while rooms are available); includes full breakfast. Call (907) 479-8080 and ask for the 2008 sled dog symposium rate.

Dog policy

No dogs are allowed in the Civic Center without prior approval. Contact Ami Gjestson (see contact information below).

For more information

General information

Contact Ami Gjestson by email or (907) 488-5621.

Program, speakers

Contact Amanda Byrd by email or (907) 458-0888.


Contact Bonnie Borba regarding mail-in registration, (907) 457-1016.

Working Dog Trade Fair

Contact Lori Wilson, 488-2297

ADMA Annual Fundraising Auction

Contact Nancy DeWitt, (907) 322-5537 [cell]

Best Invention Contest

Contact Lynn Orbison, 488-9685.

Symposium recordings

Sled Dog Studio will be recording this year’s symposium and has previous years’ symposium recordings available for purchase. Visit their website or contact Sled Dog Studio.

During the symposium, streaming audio of the presentations in the theater will be available. Visit the streaming audio web page for more information.

Mailing list for symposium flyer

To receive a symposium flyer for the 2008 symposium or future symposia, send your name and postal mailing address to Carol Kaynor.

Last year’s symposium

For information on last year’s program, visit the 2007
symposium website

Organizing Committee

Ami Gjestson, chair
Dale Anderson
Bonnie Borba
Amanda Byrd
Scott Campbell
Kriya Dunlap
Laura Katucki
Carol Kaynor
Don Keily
Deb McGrath
Lynn Orbison
Dave Partee
Jennifer Probert
Bridget Schwafel
Andy & Sue Seitz
Ken Severin
Andrea Swingley
Lori Wilson