Wanted down south

Summer may be drawing to a close, but there is still a great music festival that you can catch. Taking place in Victoria, B.C., the Breakout West festival takes place Sept. 17-20.

The festival has been going for 13 years strong. It started as the Western Canadian Music Awards. Now the performances have broken away into the Breakout West, and the awards portion takes place on the last day of the music-filled weekend, as the Western Canadian Music Awards gala. This year’s event will feature more than 60 performers, nominated in such categories as best classical composition, country recording, jazz, and children’s recording.

Four years ago Whitehorse hosted the festival. This year six Yukon acts are representing: bilingual singer Claire Ness, female band Dana Jennejohn and The Bennett Sun, rock band The Midnight Sons, jazz artist Ryan McNally, folk singer Sarah MacDougall, and roots singer Kim Beggs.

This year Beggs was slotted in last minute, but in the past she has been nominated a total of six times, including for her most recent album, Beauty and Breaking.

“Attending the conference may be an opportunity to promote my upcoming record and meet with music supervisors about licensing my music into film and TV,” Beggs says.

Once Beggs returns from Breakout West, she will be focusing on a tour which will cover the Yukon, Alaska, Alberta, and Northwest Territories. Her tour kicks off Oct. 9 at the Ice Palace. But the performing does not stop there. Nex she’ll be heading to Toronto to record a new album.

Music Yukon is supporting the performers attending the festival.

“We have obtained funding from the Yukon Film and Sound Commission to develop promotional materials for the artists, and to develop one live performance video for each performer,” says Kim Winnicky, the new executive director at Music Yukon.

Winnicky has been following Breakout West for many years and is thrilled with the representation the Yukon has.

“Since the fist festival, the amount of Yukon performers have increased,” she says. “Six was the most we have ever sent, but we are very pleased with this years selection.”

Music Yukon strives to support Yukon artists who have a love for music and are trying to make a name for themselves. The organization is well equipped, but sometimes needs a little help from other organizations. “We are grateful for the support of the Yukon Film and Sound Commission and the Department of Economic Development,” Winnicky says. This year Breakout West takes place in conjunction with the annual music festival in Victoria called Rifflandia. The main difference between the two festivals is that Rifflandia is for profit, whilere Breakout West performers do not get paid. Despite not making any coin, performers at the Breakout West festival gain exposure and networking opportunities.

For more information go to  www.BreakoutWest.ca.

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