Live-streamed concerts have become the norm. In year three of the pandemic, full-scale concerts have yet to make a complete return to many parts of Canada. When they have, it hasn’t lasted long. Only a couple years ago, live-streamed concerts were a fun, although seemingly temporary, way for fans to see and support live music in some capacity. In 2022, it looks as though live-streamed events are here to stay, at least for a while longer.
Music From the Edges of Canada is a new series presented by Maverick Cooperative, in partnership with several venues across the country, including the Yukon Arts Centre (YAC). The series is made up of 11 live-streamed concerts featuring artists from rural Canada. Each show features two different bands or artists. The series began last October and will run through March. Among the 22 artists are many Yukon acts, including Soda Pony, Speed Control, Diyet and Ryan McNally. These Yukoners are teaming up with artists from as far away as the east coast for their virtual double bills.
Music From the Edges of Canada and YAC have several mutual interests, according to Michele Emslie, YAC programming director.
“Our purpose at YAC is to engage our community through live performing arts, to support Yukon artists and to present artists from across Canada and internationally,” she said. “This of course has been made very difficult at times over the last two years, so the goals of the project align perfectly.”
Emslie said she hopes this series is an opportunity for some of the Yukon’s artists to be seen and heard by fans who may be too far away to have experienced them in-person, or even to have heard of them at all. Viewers can watch the performances from anywhere in the world, giving artists the chance to perform on a somewhat global stage.
“I do hope that our artists get exposed to new audiences and that these Canadian presenters become familiar with artists from the North,” said Emslie.
While the Yukon’s arts community is known for being tight-knit and supportive, when it comes to presenting concerts to a potentially global audience, challenges arise that don’t typically exist on the local level.
“We are nervous about online concerts and attendance as online content is so vast,” said Emslie. “It makes marketing virtual events very difficult for all of us in the arts sector.”
While some performing artists may choose to wait out the pandemic before returning to the stage, it’s important for many creatives to find ways to still practice their craft and bring their work to the masses. With the sponsors and venue partnerships secured by Music From the Edges of Canada, all involved are happy to be making it possible for fans and artists to remain connected in some way.
“Artists reflect ourselves back to us, help make sense of our world and all of our experiences living on this Earth. Live art sustains us in times like this and can take us out of ourselves for brief periods … [it] helps make us feel not so alone, which, when you are sharing an experience together, is what good art can do,” said Emslie. “It’s imperative we keep supporting the live performing arts for these reasons and many more.”
To read more about the series, as well as to see the full schedule and purchase tickets, visit www.musicfromtheedges.ca.