Skookum Jim Friendship Centre is doing something different this year with its 2009 Folklore Show on Saturday, Jan. 31: it will be A Night of Blues.

Well, it is always a little different from year to year. This 36th edition’s theme emerged after Chris Nash, the producer, and the Folklore Committee saw which acts were available.

“We have new-age blues, not traditional,” says Nash.

One of three headliners will be Art Napoleon, who has three CDs: Miyoskamin, 2006; Mocikan, 2007; and Siskabush, 2008.

“His is bushland blues,” says Nash. “Country blues, folk, rock and First Nations traditional.”

Then there is DiggingRoots, young singer/songwriters who combines traditional indigenous influences with hip hop, folk, reggae, blues and roots.

“I had never heard DiggingRoots before,” says Nash. “So I checked them online and I was really impressed.”

Raven Kanatakta and ShoShona Kish met in school in 2004 and began touring the country. They now have a CD, seeds.

The third act will be the local group, Klukshu Flats.

“We tried to sneak in more acts, but then it goes too late for those from the communities.”

Nash says they must be careful with expenses because Skookum Jim Friendship Centre is a non-profit organization and it is always a big challenge.

Even so, prices are kept as low as possible – the most expensive seat is $12 – so that the most amount of people can enjoy the show.

“We want to acknowledge our local and international First Nations performers,” says Nash.

In the past years, 70 per cent of the audience has been First Nation: “It would be nice to see more white people,” says Nash.

This is Nash’s sixth year as producer and, this year, he will have a new stage manager to help him: Sam B. Good.

“It’s good to have him because I’m a sport-and-rec guy.”

Again this year, the Keish Elder Award will go to the person who made outstanding contributions to their community.

This year’s winner is May Roberts of Carmacks.

New this year will be a partnership with Nakai Theatre and its Pivot Festival. Specifically, the Nakai For Kids Festival.

Comedian Don Burnstick will be entertaining adults Thursday night, and then he will perform a very different act for children on Saturday, Jan. 31, at 11 a.m., at the Yukon Arts Centre.

A Night of Blues will be that night at the Yukon Arts Centre.

Tickets are available at the Yukon Arts Centre Box Office and Arts Underground.