I am one of the lucky few who will be at Northern Scene for the entire 10 days. I’m here with the production of Leonard Linklater’s play, Justice, for performances May 2to 4 at the Arts Court Theatre in Ottawa.
I am the costume designer for the production and studying under director, Yvette Nolan.
Each day we have been in rehearsal for seven hours in order to remount the play from its original Yukon tour in the Fall 2012. It is hard to say goodbye to new found friends, who are only in Ottawa for a few days, but the connections have been made.
Being a part of Northern Scene actually feels a lot like home. The positive energy is radiating from the volunteers, the performers and everyone in between. Everywhere you look there are the familiar, smiling faces of Yukoners and other Northerners — we have to be a positive people to live in such cold and remote places.
The majority of participants are staying at the same downtown hotel, where there is an information cesbe ave people to live in such cold and remote we found friends, but what is important is that the ion, visual arts, perfo table set up in the lobby and all of the front desk staff are wearing Northern Scene t-shirts. The organization and hospitality of this event has been flawless. Almost every night participants and presenters can gather at the hotel in the Hub, a lounge-type room where a full dinner is available and Scene musicians perform.
The National Arts Centre has gone out of its way to make us feel at home by decorating this room with a large portrait of the Dempster Highway in autumn, pictures of Dawson and the Frostbite House in Whitehorse, and complete with miniature ravens in faux birch trees.
The Hub allows for casual pan-northern conversations regarding future projects: both North—South and Northwest—Northeast. It also gives participants another chance to enjoy each other’s work.
It’s awesome that the festival is bringing the North to the South, instead of the other way round. Northern artists of all mediums: fashion, visual, performance, music, theatre, storytelling and cuisine are gaining national and international exposure. Our communal talent is a gem that has been discovered, and it will not be long until the rest of Canada comes knocking.
And if it is not our artists that draw them, it may well be the cow and bull-moose calls delivered by the Yukon’s Commissioner, Hon. Doug Phillips at the opening ceremonies reception.
It is an honour to be here and I am proud to be representing the Yukon at the first Northern Scene Festival Ottawa has ever seen.