It’s all about the performance

Prep your pipes: Klondike Karaoke is back. And even if you’re not onstage at the finals, you could be cheering from the crowd.

For the second time this year, the Yukon Arts Centre (YAC) and the Canadian Filipino Association of Yukon (CFAY) are co-hosting a sing-off that will see one Yukoner crowned karaoke king or queen.

Michele Emslie, community programming director at the YAC, said the first Klondike Karaoke event that was held in August drew 100 people to each of two qualifying rounds at The Old Fire Hall, and 200 people to the finals at the YAC.

“The Arts Centre approached the Canadian Filipino Association of Yukon and asked if they wanted to engage community through karaoke,” Emslie said. She pointed out that while karaoke is a great way to connect with people, it often happens in private homes or licensed establishments, which is limiting. “CFAY was absolutely into it and so we developed this format.”

The format includes holding the event at all-ages venues, arranging catering from local Filipino business Kit’s Kitchen, and focussing on more than just the music.

Emslie said on all three nights, emcee Oshea Jephson introduces each singer and does a little interview, so audience members get to know the performers as people, too. Emslie said one of the best moments from the August competition was when it came out that one of the singers competing was the first Filipino to pass the bar in the Yukon.

In programming for the qualifying fall shows, which took place on October 7 and 13, Emslie extended the hours to give more time and space to all singers. She also added a youth category for singers age eight to 12.

Celebrity judges for the first two rounds included radio personalities Dave White and Moira Sauer, as well as Nesty Paron, who won the contest in August.

The 12 adult competitors who made it through qualifiers will take the stage at YAC on October 27. They include Evan Manning, Rene Minguito, Charmaine Dawal, Paige Galette, Rachel Nunez, Kayla Dewelney, Jealyne Minguia, Fabrizio Rayo, Elyssia Sasaki, Taylor Karpyshun, and Irish Cherryl Maitland.The youth category will feature Julianne Rost van Tonningen and Brooklynn Macdougall, Chloe McLements and Isabella Twigge, and Jaidan Curteanu. During the finals, the winner will be chosen by Yvonne Clark, president of CFAY, Mayor Dan Curtis, and Minister of Tourism and Culture Jeanie Dendys. Votes will be tabulated by local accounting firm Estrada and Tan.

The grand prize is cash, estimated at $750, and three hours of recording time at Green Needle Records, a studio in the Whitehorse area.

Emslie has one piece of advice for singers heading into the finals – people love a good costume.

“It’s not about the lyrics, it’s about the performance,” she said. “It’s about confidence onstage. It’s about how you present yourself and, boy, if you come in costume you make an impact on the judges.”

The finals begin at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, October 27 at the Yukon Arts Centre. Tickets can be purchased at the door, or online by visiting

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