Among Whitehorse’s talented music scene are Madi Dixon and Sarah Ott. Since their early teen years, Dixon and Ott have been staples of the local artistic community, performing as part of grand scale events and intimate gigs alike, and each possessing a multi-stylistic skill set. The duo will be playing selections of indie, folk and country covers.

This past year, however, they have been noticeably absent from the showcases and festivals held in Whitehorse.

“It was nice to be around a lot of other musicians who are into the same things as me,” says Dixon, who is studying for a diploma in music and technology at Selkirk College in Nelson, British Columbia. “But I did miss performing here. I’m excited to play some gigs in town this summer,” she adds.

Ott has been studying stage and screen at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.

“[Being away has been] really helpful, in a way. Kingston has a big music scene with a variety of styles,” Ott says.

While both musicians have ventured out into places with vibrant music communities, neither one has forgotten what a crucial part their beginnings in the Whitehorse scene have played in their musical careers.

“It’s harder to get gigs [in Kingston],” Ott says. “It’s nice to be back and have more opportunities to perform.”

Madi Dixon and Sarah Ott have played together as part of various ensembles before, but this summer they will be teaming up as a duo for live performances, mostly consisting of cover songs. Their first gig as a duo will be on July 1s, as part of the Canada Day Celebration at Shipyards Park.

Whitehorse’s annual Canada Day concert is gearing up to be a big event this year. With local performances running all day, from 9 a.m. until 11:30 p.m. and a headline appearance from Juno Award winning group July Talk.

Some of Whitehorse’s best known and some emerging acts will also be performing. Admission for the concert is free, and everyone is welcome. There will be free transit all day. Food vendors, children’s activities and other celebrations will also be going on.

“It’ll be great to be able to share the stage with the Leaping Feats Dancers,” Ott says. “Leaping Feats was a big part of how I got started and they’ve given me a lot of opportunities.”

Dixon and Ott are enthusiastic to kick things off at such a prestigious event.

“We’ve got some country, some indie and some folk songs,” Dixon says.

Dixon will be singing and playing guitar, and Ott will be singing and playing piano. “We can’t wait. It’s our first time performing together this summer back in Whitehorse,” Dixon says.

“The first of what we hope will be many!” Ott adds with a laugh.

More information of the Canada Day Celebration can be found at www.Whitehorse.ca.