Summer’s here and the time is right for a musical evening garden party.
On Saturday, July 5, Yukon Women in Music are coming out of the bars and concert halls and bringing their music to the deck of the scenic Stehelin Ranch on Couch Road.
“The Garden Party is a unique atmosphere because it’s held at the Stehelin Ranch,” Kate Weekes, a YWIM member, explains. “It’s a beautiful location and privately owned by one of our members, Eva Stehelin. It gives us the freedom to create an event all our own, with food to complement the music.
“What has impressed me most about this event has been how it draws the YWIM community closer together, while at the same time expanding it and creating opportunities for people to get involved.
“It takes a lot of volunteers to make this event happen, from the planning stages, to prep-cooking, to set-up, promo, waitresses, cooks, tear-down and on and on. Everyone seems to feel really good about working together to make this happen. We feel like we’re part of a team.”
The evening begins at 4 p.m. In addition to entertaining, the members also prepare and serve the food. There are two sets of music with three performers each, as well as live background music during the meal.
“I love it,” says BJ MacLean, a featured performer at this year’s event. “I have to say, playing there these last two years has been an absolute pleasure, just to work with the gals. It’s a total group effort. It’s a lot of work, but so worth it.”
“I’m looking forward to playing at such a beautiful venue,” Peggy Hanifan, a YWIM member more familiar with playing in bars, says. “It’s great to be able to play outside in the open air in such amazing surroundings.”
As with all outdoor events in the Yukon summer, contingencies are in place for rain.
“Last year, it rained right in the middle of the performance,” Cate Innish recalls. “We moved inside the Stehelins’ beautifully decorated house. Everyone broke into smaller groups and played unplugged. When the rain stopped we went back out on the deck and played as the sun came back out.”
This year’s menu features spanakopita, vegetable borscht, a salad of organic greens with caramelized pecans, apples, in a honey mustard dill dressing. The entrée is a pork roast with morel mushroom in port wine and raspberry reduction, small roasted potatoes with rosemary and a vegetable casserole. Dessert is a Mexican chocolate cake with chocolate ganache and strawberry coulis.
Featured performers are MacLean, Hanifan, Natasha Nettleton, Asheya Hennessey, Amanda Mervyn and Brenda Berezan. Background music will be provided by Innish, Fawn Fritzen, Becky Rique-Law and Sonja Anderson.
“If I wasn’t working it,” MacLean adds, “I would buy my own ticket and go. It’s a classy evening out in the Yukon experience.”
Tickets are $50 individually or $90 for two and are available at Unitech, Arts Underground and Well-Read Books. A vegetarian option can be arranged by contacting Eva Stehlin in advance.