YWIM Celebrates a Decade

On Saturday, May 29, a special concert is being held to celebrate a decade of YWIM (Yukon Women In Music).

In truth, it has actually been 12 years since the YWIM idea first came about.

In 1998, at the home of Lucie Desaulniers, a small but passionate group of women musicians started meeting to address the need for community, support and more venues for their songs and, in May 2000, the ideas thrown around at that first meeting came to fruition with YWIM becoming an official society.

Today, looking at the extensive list of artists who have been associated with YWIM and have enjoyed successes musically over the years, it is fair to say one would be hard pressed to measure just how important YWIM has been to so many.

“I owe a lot of the success I have had in my career to the support YWIM has provided me with over the years, especially early on when I was just beginning to perform,” said Kim Beggs, who recently returned from a successful tour throughout Western Canada, one she calls the best of her career.

“The great thing about YWIM is it continues to grow and there always seems to be new musicians getting involved. The amount of work the board puts in does not go unnoticed.”

It is the diversity in its members that YWIM takes the most pride in with a diverse mix and emerging and professional artists making up the YWIM alumni.

In addition to Beggs, a Canadian Folk Music Award winner with three albums under her belt, there are now more than 20 Yukon women recording artists with multiple releases, some of whom are touring both nationally and internationally.

It is a testament to the growth of the society as in 1998 there were just three women — Barbara Chamberlin, Kim Rogers and Lucie Desaulniers — with CDs released.

Rogers was one of those in attendance at the inaugural meeting in 1998 and just recently re-joined the board.

“I’m so proud to be part of this collective of such talented women,” said Rogers. “The most memorable gigs I have played over the past 10 years have been YWIM concerts and it’s an invaluable part of my musical history.”

Fitting then, that it is a YWIM concert that is being put on to celebrate their decade together.

On Saturday, May 29, in the United Church basement, more than a dozen of the Yukon’s most recognized female musicians will be performing including the likes of long-time members Barbara Chamberlin, Anne Tuner, Andrea McColeman and Nicole Edwards.

Edwards, who has sat on the board for eight of the past 10 years, is looking at the concert as a chance to say thank you for the support she has received from both her fans and her fellow YWIM artists.

“It has been such a pleasure working with a committed, nurturing and supportive collective of women, women who have such varied combined experiences and skills,” said Edwards.

“Together we have accomplished so much. Over the years we’ve gained and shared our experience with touring, performance, song-writing, producing, promoting, coordinating and our personal lives. With YWIM, I feel inspired, accepted and supported – professionally and personally.”

The YWIM 10th Anniversary Concert is Saturday, May 29, in the United Church basement at 601 Main Street. Doors Open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available at the door.

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