Festivals

A woman performing a traditional Japanese tea ceremony

The Art Of Japan

On Saturday, November 5, the Japanese Canadian Association of Yukon (JCAY) has teamed up with the City of Whitehorse to bring you Japan Fest.

Voices Across The Water

Voices Across the Water follows two master boat builders as they practice their art and find a way back to balance and healing.

ALFF 2022 goes online

A few of the the diverse offerings at the 2022 Available Light Film Festival (ALFF) happening online, and maybe a bit in-person.

Every January we’re Pivoting

Pivot Festival brings laughs sunshine, & much-needed break from the winter blues. 14th year of bringing the unexpected to Whitehorse.

Enjoy Dawson City films from the cozy comfort of your couch

Ever since Available Light Film Festival launched 19 years ago, it has brought to its audiences stories of different ways of life and different perspectives. This year, four films from Dawson City will be featured for online streaming across Canada.

A Sliver of Light

The 2021 Available Light Film Festival launches Feb. 5

How to pivot the Pivot Festival

As with every year, the 2021 Pivot Festival will bring Yukoners surprising work from both national and local performers. Due to COVID-19, the national talent – a comic duo called Folk Lordz – will participate online from wherever they are in Canada.

A delayed Short Film Festival will happen in October

After a few months of working at home, Dan Sokolowski is finally back in his southeast corner space at the KIAC (or Dënäkär Zho) Building. There, he’s busy downloading videos for this year’s late version of the 2020 Dawson City International Short Film Festival, which will take place over two weekends in October.

Dawson’s Thaw di Gras

Dawson celebrates almost spring, sort of end of winter, with a local event called Thaw di Gras. An obvious play on New Orleans’ Mardi Gras.

Spoiled for choice

When coming up with a description of the Available Light Film Festival (ALFF) for the uninitiated, Andrew Connors, the festival director and artistic director of the Yukon Film Society, highlights the festival’s diversity and character. “It’s an intimate festival that celebrates northern, Indigenous and Canadian cinema with some international spice thrown in for good measure, …

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Spice up you January with some variety

If you feel a strong connection to the Yukon and you like variety and fun in your entertainment, or if you’d just like a good excuse to hire a baby-sitter and get together with friends on a cold January evening, you could check out Nakai Theatre’s Pivot Festival 2020.

Festivals

Discover Yukon’s Festivals and Fairs.
The fun experts at What’s Up Yukon can help you plan your time to hit all the best events.

An appetite for stories

The story you tell in a restaurant is going to be different than the story one tells on a bus. It is nice to get unconventional storytellers into the Pivot Festival and into unusual venues for performances.

Coming into the light

  It was in 2011 that the first ever Adäka Cultural Festival was held on the waterfront outside the Old Fire Hall. The festival has grown exponentially since then and is now recognized as the biggest Indigenous music, arts and culture festival in the North. The festival’s mission is to showcase and celebrate the Yukon’s unique …

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Fifty years of Rotary in Whitehorse

The Rotary Club of Whitehorse has been serving the city for 50 years and it is time to celebrate and acknowledge its history and accomplishments. As a service organization, Rotary is well-known in Whitehorse, what with the annual Rotary Music and Dance Festival and Rotary Peace Park. It may be helpful, though, to understand the Rotary …

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Kluane mountain twang

The Kluane Mountain Bluegrass Festival (KMBF) has an unfair advantage. It has never had to work to attract world-class performing acts and is known widely on the festival circuit as “the one to play.” The performers, awestruck by the St. Elias range and the beautiful community of Haines Junction, are grateful for the warm reception …

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Joanna Lilley feels most herself when she’s writing

Joanna Lilley has always loved reading. She’s one of those people that you’ll find in the theatre reading a book before the movie begins. It fits that she would also enjoy writing. “As a child, I also always loved writing in notebooks and diaries and the physical act of writing with pen and paper.” Later on, that …

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Consumed by craft

Heather O’Neill is pleased to be returning to the Yukon this year for another engagement during the Yukon Writers’ Festival and Young Author’s Conference. She was last here In 2016. “I love the sunlight in the Yukon,” she said. “Everything seems surreal to me. I hope to meet more of the people in this strange …

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Sigmund Brouwer says put your character in a problem situation

With over 100 titles and four million books in print, Sigmund Brouwer is a bestselling author of books for children, young adults and adults. He will be one of the mentor authors at this year’s Young Authors’ Conference on May 2 and 3, which is part of the Yukon Writers’ Festival taking place that week. Brouwer …

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David Geary says to “be hungry for other people’s stories”

David Geary is no stranger to the Yukon. He was here to work with Gwaandak Theatre a year ago last February. Now he’s looking forward to seeing what Whitehorse is like when it’s warmer. Geary is originally from New Zealand, where he has mixed roots which he describes as “Maori from the Taranaki iwi tribe, …

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Fear should never be a deterrent

Jan Redford describes herself as a compulsive journal writer who always knew that she would like to be an author. “I remember filling pages with squiggly lines when I was about four or five, pretending I was a writer. As I got older, writing is what grounded me, clarified my experiences, allowed me to trust …

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Focus on photos

The Air North First Light Image Festival will compete with a Steven Page concert this year, but organizer Mark Kelly said ticket sales are already going strong for the photography fest, now in its third year. “We’re not sold out yet, but as of (April 8) the workshops are 70 per cent sold out and …

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What is the Yukon Writers’ Festival?

In 1990, a number of organizations joined together to merge the Young Authors’ Conference (YAC) and the National Book Festival into the more far-reaching Yukon Writers’ Festival. The goal was to highlight Canadian literary arts in the Yukon. Five writers, including one from the Yukon, will participate in a week-long series of events (May 1 …

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Dawson City International Short Film Festival celebrates two decades of short films

Dan Sokolowski is about three weeks away from launching the 20th edition of the Dawson City International Short Film Festival (DCISFF) when we sit down in his corner of the building that’s home to the Klondike Institute of Art of Culture. (KIAC.) A lot of work has already gone into this year’s event. The 85 films …

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Focus on the funny folk

Tokyo-born comedian Aiko Tanaka is one of the visiting performers featured in this year’s Yukon Comedy Festival, in both Whitehorse and Haines Junction Ricard Eden makes no apology for putting the focus of the Yukon Comedy Festival on the performers as much as on the audience. “We obviously want to bring up talent that residents …

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It’s beginning to look a lot like … (you know)

The pre-Christmas season will soon be underway here in the Klondike, actually beginning a few days before this piece can see print. It’s a season of bazaars and open houses that lead up to the actual holidays. It begins with the oldest and largest of the bazaars, the Little Blue Daycare Christmas Bazaar. This will …

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The Junction and JAR (Junction Artist in Residence)

Landing in Whitehorse for the first time, Henry Navarro Delgado arrived in the Yukon knowing nothing about the place. Delgado wanted to remain as open-minded as possible when he settled into the coveted Junction Artist in Residence (JAR) Program in Haines Junction.

The Queer Songbook Orchestra

The Queer Songbook Orchestra is a Toronto-based 12-piece chamber pop ensemble making their Yukon debut on September 30. The group formed in 2014 and has been dedicated to exploring and elevating queer narrative in pop music. “I was at loose ends after several years freelancing in the indie pop music scene in Canada,” said Shaun …

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Magic under the mountains

Haines Junction is gearing up for the second-annual Augusto Children`s Festival. It’s the Yukon’s only arts and music festival for children.

A dystopian life near the Blackstone River

The Wolves of Winter is Tyrell Johnson’s first published novel. It’s set in the Yukon, but he hadn’t actually been here until he came to Whitehorse for last month’s Yukon Writers’ Festival.

Paradise is ‘plugging in’

The Yukon’s annual electronic Paradise Music Festival is back and is set to take off July 27–29 at Kettley’s Canyon, at Marsh Lake.

Indian Horse

Indian Horse will be screened at the  Atlin BC Globe Theatre on Thursday, July 5, 2018 at 7 PM as part of the Atlin Arts & Music Festival.

It’s a cultured Canada Day in Mayo

The Mayo Arts Festival and Canada Day celebrations are highlights during the summer. Everybody is looking forward to the celebrations, and preparations have already started.

Serving laughs straight from the oven

The Whitehorse comedy scene is on a roll as of late. One of the events that has helped cultivate this resurgence has been Baked Laughs, the stand-up nights presented monthly at Baked Café.

Riverside rave

Beginning on May 31, guest DJs will perform on the Whitehorse Wharf, providing a summer dance floor for Yukon families and dance music fans alike.

Zsuzsi Gartner: Aspiring to the darkly tragi-comic

Zsuzsi Gartner built her early career as a writer in journalism, working as a newspaper reporter, then a TV current affairs producer and then a magazine writer and editor, but has been interested in creative writing from an early age.

Shifting perspectives and behaviour

May is Sexualized Assault Prevention month in Canada. Here at home, the Yukon continues to have a disproportionately high rate of sexualized assault compared to the rest of Canada.

Gearing up to explore ideas and the written word

PHOTO: Dan Davidson   The Yukon Writers’ Festival takes place May 2 through 5, with events throughout the Yukon In 1990, a number of organizations joined together to meld the Young Authors’ Conference and the National Book Festival into a farther reaching Yukon Writers’ Festival to highlight the Canadian literary arts in the Yukon. The …

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Café des Voix at Cafe Balzam at the Takhini Hot Springs on Jan 31.

A funky little family

Café des Voix at Cafe Balzam at the Takhini Hot Springs on Jan 31. PHOTOS: courtesy of Elaine Schiman Café des Voix is always looking for new talent Yukon accompanist Grant Simpson helped found Café des Voix in 2016 as an extension of Jazz Yukon workshops that had been occurring since 2011 and as “a …

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Get a feature shot at first light

Jay Gough of Nikon Canada, along with Trisha Gillings of Panasonic Canada (not pictured), will be on site all day with trade show style booths demonstrating their latest equipment, and delivering “Tech Talks” over the lunch hour It’s springtime in the Yukon and our days are getting longer, Yukoners are preparing for the summer season …

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The Winterlong Podcasting Co

On March 24th the Winterlong Brewing Co. will be slinging more than beer when they play host to two popular Los Angeles based podcasts.

A weekend of laughs

The Yukon stand-up comedy scene can be fickle. Some years comics will perform to packed houses that turn people away at the door. Other years, not so much. Whether it’s a lack of comics, audience, or both, northern life can bring a number of challenges that make live comedy difficult to maintain. Richard Eden, George …

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Thaw di Gras is going to the dogs…

Dawson City is gearing up for it’s annual Thaw di Gras spring carnival. One of the most popular events for families is the annual dog show, held at Diamond Tooth Gertie’s.

Stand up for Stephen McGovern

On March 9, Yukon comic Stephen McGovern will be gearing up to take the stage at the Just for Laughs Northwest comedy festival in Vancouver. The 10-day event beginning March 1 offers a wide variety of shows that highlight Canadian and international comedy. McGovern makes his Just for Laughs debut performing in The Outsiders Comedy show, which …

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A Dog Day Rendezvous

A Dog Day Rendezvous

Brooke Rudolph with her howling buddy Timber, 2nd place finisher in 2016 The Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous and the unique relationship between a Yukoner and their beloved canine companion are two of the most enduring images of life in the North. So, it should come as no surprise that man and woman’s best friend features prominently …

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Sharing a love for film

There are meetings. There is paperwork. There are grants to apply for and cheques to sign. But, for Jessica Hall, being the president of the Yukon Film Society is all about… people. “The thing I really like about being on the board is my fellow board members and the staff,” she said. “They are all …

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Let there be light

The 2018 Available Light Film Festival (ALFF) features a strong Indigenous presence in this year’s films – and in the audience, with more than 40 guests attending from Outside.

It’s so bad, it’s good

In honour of James Franco’s upcoming film release of The Disaster Artist, I figured I had to take a look back at where this film actually started, and that meant watching The Room (2003). The Disaster Artist is a dramatization of The Room. The Room is written, directed, produced and stars Tommy Wiseau and is …

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Freezing for the sake of art…

Ask most people what they do during the cold month of January, and they would say, “Stay inside and keep warm.” The (s)hiver Arts Society, however, wants to change that.

Ten days to celebrate Pivot Festival’s 10th year

The Pivot Festival runs Jan. 24 to Feb. 3 with local and national acts Since Nakai Theatre launched the Pivot Festival in 2008, there have been some big names and unforgettable performances that have graced stages and pop-up theatre settings in Whitehorse. The festival has boasted bringing unconventional and award-winning shows from across Canada and …

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Dawson City Music Festival aims for sustainability

The Dawson City Music Festival (DCMF) will be holding its annual general meeting on Thursday, January 18, at Yukon College. The meeting was to have been before Christmas, but analysis of the topics raised at a well-attended membership meeting in mid-October caused the board to decide to refine its thoughts a bit more before presenting …

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Christmas cheer and improving health care

The 15th annual Northwestel Festival of Trees will kick off on Thursday, Nov. 23 with the Business After Hours (BAH) Humbug event at the Yukon government Main Administration Building foyer. The annual fundraising event for Yukon health care concludes on Dec. 2 with the Alkan Air Grand Ball, a formal seated dinner that is already …

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Debaters Bound

Whitehorse comedian Jenny Hamilton will be performing live on the CBC Radio One show The Debaters in North Vancouver on Nov. 22

Good vibes: Blue Feather Music Festival

Blue Feather Music Festival is entering its 17th year and is still holding true to its roots, providing healing, sharing culture and providing positive opportunities for youth to grow.

Symposium to discuss activating history

Every two years the Yukon Historical & Museums Association holds a meeting for the entire Yukon heritage community. It moves around the territory, but executive director Lianne Maitland says that one of the places they like to come back to is Dawson City. The 2017 Heritage Symposium, called Activating Our Communities, will take place on …

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Yukon’s version of Oktoberfest

The Yukon Beer Festival is returning for its fifth year on October 13 and 14, with proceeds benefitting the Boys and Girls Club of Whitehorse. Local beer aficionados will be able to taste beer from more than a dozen brewers and distributors travelling to the festival from across Canada, as well as local Yukon brewers …

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Wines With a Cause

Wine-lovers will descend on the High Country Convention Centre on Thursday, October 19, for the 26th edition of the Rendezvous Rotary Wine Festival. These grape connoisseurs will have over 200 wines available for sampling and tasting. Those lucky enough to hold one of the 100 priority tasting tickets secured one of the hottest tickets in …

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SOVA at 10

When talking about the location of the Yukon School of Visual Arts (Yukon SOVA) in Dawson City, two issues are often raised: What does the location do for students? What does it do for the town? Kyla McArthur, who works at SOVA as the administrative officer and is also a town councillor, spoke of the …

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Hidden Memories Revealed at Fringe Festival

Five years ago Hidden Memories started as a one-act play Lillian Nakamura Maguire drafted to improve her dialogue skills for a creative writing class. Now the full-length version will be featured in the Vancouver Fringe Festival’s Advance Theatre: New Works by Diverse Women on September 13. “It’s the first time Hidden Memories will be read …

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So Good, So Try It

The Yukon Culinary Festival sounds like a good way to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary. “The definition of Canadian cuisine that we use is local, seasonal, sustainable ingredients in the hands of many cultures,” says Eric Pateman, the festival’s main organizer. “This being Canada’s 150th, we have an opportunity to tell this story through the food.” …

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Augusto! Children’s Festival the First of its Kind in the Yukon

“We are proud and excited to be founding the Yukon’s only dedicated art and music festival for children,” says Darlene Sillery, one of the five main organizers of the Augusto! Children’s Festival in Haines Junction this weekend. “We have a great variety of workshops and an excellent group of presenters, including visual artists, performing artists …

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Come As You Are

Paradise Electronic Music Festival is a nonjudgmental space where people from all colours and walks of life are not only welcome, but celebrated unconditionally. “We want people to come out and express themselves and who they truly are,” says festival founder, organizer and local DJ, Kevin Jack, who goes by the stage name of DJKJ. …

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Dawson City Music Festival Amps up for its 39th Year

It may be the 39th year of Dawson City’s beloved annual music festival, but this tried-and-true summer favourite is always sure to include some firsts. This is definitely the case for East Coaster Andrea Vincent, who took over as Dawson City Music Festival Executive Director last August. Though she has been involved in organizing music …

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Canada Day

Make the Most of Your Canada Day!

Summer sun brings with it loads of visitors to the various Yukon campgrounds, especially on the long weekends. Those folks joining the campers for the Canada Day long weekend will be missing out! On July 1, Canada is celebrating its 150th birthday. The festivities, therefore, will be 150 times bigger than they have been in …

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There’s a New Drummer in Town

Meet Lee Campese, Yukon’s most recent import and the latest addition to the groovy rhythmic assemblage, Major Funk and the Employment.

Celebrate First Nations Culture

Take some time off work – that’s the only way you’ll be able to enjoy all the programming offered by the Adäka Cultural Festival this month. That’s the suggestion from Lynn Feasey, director of arts for Yukon First Nations Culture and Tourism Association, which hosts the festival each year. Feasey is joking, but, looking at …

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A Good Old Time in Haines Junction

Bluegrass music goes back to the Appalachians. The 2017 Kluane Mountain Bluegrass Festival headliners are The Boxcars from east Tennessee.

Lobsters for Literacy (And More)

Whitehorse might be the site of the northernmost East Coast kitchen party in Canada this summer. On Friday, May 26, the Mount McIntyre Recreation Centre will serve as the venue for a Rotary Club dinner featuring fresh Prince Edward Island lobster and Celtic tunes, courtesy of Keitha Clark and the Sláinte North band. The event …

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Writing as a Full Time Profession

James Bernard MacKinnon, commonly bylined as J.B. MacKinnon, will be coming to the Yukon from Vancouver to be the Yukon Public Libraries’ choice as a travelling writer to visit a number of communities during the Yukon Writers’ Festival taking place May 2-7. During his Yukon visit McKinnon will do presentations and readings in the Dawson …

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Wild Times

“They’re [cranes] a much more delicate bird, compared to the swans,” says Carrie McClelland, a wildlife viewing biologist with Environment Yukon. “They stand three and a half to four feet tall, with a six foot wingspan, but they only weigh around seven or eight pounds. They’re very slender.” Lesser sandhill cranes migrate each year from …

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A Mentor for Yukon Young Writers

Born in England, but transplanted to Newfoundland when she was very young, Kathleen Winter credits libraries with kick starting her interest in writing. “We moved around a bit and in one village the only library was ‘the bookmobile,’ a van filled with books that came to town once a week – I loved that van,” …

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Less is Definitely More

Dawson City did not have burlesque in its repertoire until long-time local resident Rachel Wiegers decided to take up (or off, as the case may be) the mantle and bring it to town. Wiegers says her journey towards burlesque started when she was young and discovered her father’s girlie magazine stash. “I was too young …

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Celebrate the Art of Filmmaking this Weekend

The cupboard behind Dan Sokolowski’s head is still covered with the multi-coloured Post-it notes he’s been using to assign the 86 short films in this year’s Dawson City International Short Film Festival to various categories for Friday, Saturday and Sunday screenings that will fill up this Easter Weekend. The films were selected by a group …

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A Southern Story with a Northern Connection

The OUT North Queer Film Festival brings film lovers an American documentary with a local twist on April 9. Southwest of Salem tells the true story of four young lesbian women accused of sexually assaulting two underage girls and using them in satanic rituals in the early 1990s in San Antonio,Texas. They were wrongfully convicted …

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Cooking Up a Career

Teresa Kozakewick grew up in Alberta. Raised by a father who had a passion for food, she had always been drawn to cooking. She enjoyed watching her dad cook on special occasions. Now her passion has become a career path. After moving to the Yukon, she enrolled in the Yukon College Culinary Arts program for …

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Arts, Culture and Creation

“Artists show the world unseen,” says Tahltan First Nation artist Rhoda Merkel. “Teachers show students a better form of themselves.” Merkel, who was raised in Whitehorse but lives in Atlin, combines both talents in her newest project, the Sam Johnston Storytelling Festival, which takes place Tuesday, March 7 in Teslin. The festival is a collaboration, …

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Life After Tragedy

When asked about the message she hopes to convey in the film, Ohama responded, “It’s a moving and inspiring story of how people find real joy, love and meaning in life again… even in the face of extreme loss. In our busy, cluttered world filled with stress… we tend to forget how to see and …

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Yukon Stories

Arctic Secrets Directed by Allan Code, a Whitehorse based filmmaker, Arctic Secrets is a symphony of immensely strong and surprisingly fragile elements that comprise the wilderness of the Yukon Territory. Stunning imagery abounds in this visual adventure through its waters, mountains, and forests. Focusing mainly on the more arctic regions of the territory, Code and …

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Writing Down the Soul

Anyone who has ever put pen to paper knows it can be a daunting experience. To stare at a blank page waiting for the strike of inspiration. When something is finally put down on paper, is it something others might want to read? What works? What can be done differently? Brave New Words is a …

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(S)hiver Me Timbers

“The dark and the cold are conducive to creativity,” says Carly Woolner, one of the co-founders of Dawson’s (S)Hiver Arts Festival. Blair Douglas, the other half of the team, chimes in with a smile: “They are also conducive to everyone staying home.” Together these sum up the motivations behind the festival, which has a mandate …

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Triple Threat

The Pivot Theatre Festival – Nakai Theatre’s annual performance showcase – begins a seven-night run this weekend in multiple Whitehorse venues. In addition to smaller-scale offerings such as a theatrical pub walk, an evening of spoken word material and a “speed-friending” event called Stranger Connections, the festival will feature the three major pieces, including: A …

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Calling Aboriginal Artists!

The Yukon First Nation Culture and Tourism Association is looking for artists, artisans, musicians and performers from the Yukon and abroad to be part of the seventh annual Adäka Cultural Festival, which takes place at the Kwanlin Dun Cultural Centre from June 30th to July 6th.   “We generally reach out to the well-established group …

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This is Home

Former Yukoner Jerome Stueart and Yukon author Marcelle Dubé will read together form their books on Dec. 13 at Baked Cafe. It will be an evening about fantasy novels.

Dawson Quilts

An internet search will show that the hottest baby gifts of 2016 include a light-up singing turtle, organic cotton mittens and an infant sized pair of UGGs. But the hottest gift for Dawson City babies is a handmade quilt. It’s been the most popular gift since 1980. That’s the year the tradition started. It can …

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Keeping the Dream Alive

When Jolie Angelina McNabb was buried 16 years ago, Kwanlin Dün elders gave her the name, Blue Feather Eagle Woman. The Bluefeather Music Festival started in 2010 as a tribute concert to Jolie, who committed suicide. She had a dream, that she wanted to do something for youth, something to give them hope so they …

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The Life and Times of Teenage Metalheads, WaRRmAuth

WaRRmAuth is one of the most intriguing bands to be rising out of Whitehorse’s small but strong musical talent pool. At the forefront of the metal scene revival, these teenage stars rock harder than most with talent and ingenuity to back them up. Given their captivating stage presence and extraordinary musical harmonies, it’s a shock …

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For the love of beer

Kaori Torigai loves beer in much the same way others love baseball.  Or World of Warcraft. Like baseball, there are a mind-boggling array of statistics to consider. And, like World of Warcraft, there is a huge cast of characters. And, as in both baseball and World of Warcraft, beer is social, it can be shared …

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Eat Your Art Out

‘Tis the season where giant vegetables are being harvested from gardens and potentially prize-winning jams are being churned out for display in the hopes of gaining a ribbon. This was the case at Dawson City’s horticultural exhibition as part of Discovery Days last week, but you won’t find large or entertaining vegetables adorning the tables …

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The Yukon Culinary Festival Tells a Story of the Yukon, Through Food

The Yukon is filled with culinary hidden gems, according to Eric Pateman. A culinary expert, Pateman had no idea how rich the Yukon food scene was until Debra Ryan, manager of strategic planning for Air North, finally persuaded him to visit.  Now he is a main organizer of the Yukon Culinary Festival, running from August …

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A Love Affair with Photography

Priska Wettstein’s love affair with photography began in 2008 when husband Paul presented her with a camera. “I don’t know why he did that,” she says, “but ever since then, I’m just hooked. So whenever I go for a walk, or drive out of town, or just need some time to myself, I grab my …

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Chronicling the Peace

From her cabin on her parents’ farm near Fort St. John, B.C., Jody Peck can see the broad, meandering Peace River, not far from where her family first settled in 1924. On a recent Friday afternoon, Peck was about to start assembling the merchandise she and her band, Miss Quincy and the Showdown, hope to …

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Bringing Crowds to Dodge

The Dawson City Music Festival (DCMF) is a major draw for audience and performers. It takes place this year between July 22 and 24. Emily Farrell was a venue stage manager for 13 years, and is now in her second year as executive director of the festival. “One of the bands getting a lot of …

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Underground at the Core

By the time Danny Fernandez was 10, he had visited over two dozen countries during six years spent aboard a floating hospital that provided free surgeries and medical care to some of the world’s poorest people. “I don’t think I realized how cool it was at the time. Looking back, I definitely feel being immersed …

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For the Love of Northern Art

Every year for 10 days, northern artists and art lovers gather in Inuvik, a small town of 3,400 in the NWT, to celebrate culture and creativity.   Entering its 28th year, the Great Northern Arts Festival features almost 60 artists from the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut. Running from July 15 to 24, the activities …

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A Cultural Affair

One of the fun things about fermented foods is passing on bits to others, knowing they will grow and spread like a great idea. It required a bit of a mental leap to go from creating my first ferments to seeing this possibility, kind of like going from growing your own lettuce each year to …

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Sharing Words

In 2015 Victoria-based poet Yvonne Blomer paid a visit to Whitehorse and did a reading of her poetry book, As If a Raven. In her poems she described various types of birds and also amused the audience by imitating the call of a peacock. Blomer is returning this month and will read at the Atlin …

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Living Blues Legends

Director Daniel Cross visits the southern United States with his latest documentary I am The Blues (2016), highlighting living blues legends in the heart of American music origins. As it became more ingrained into the South’s economy during the antebellum years in the early to late 1800s, the cultivation of cotton brought a heavy concentration …

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A Feast for the Senses

The Atlin Arts and Music Festival is preparing for a weekend of music, visual arts, film and food, taking place in Atlin, BC from July 8th to the 10th. Kim Winnicky is from Whitehorse. She has been the festival coordinator for six years. “The Atlin Arts and Music Festival is about building community through music …

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Aroused and Ecstatic

Ping pong might be what prevents Shawn Hall from harpooning Matt Rogers, or keeps Rogers from dismembering his musical partner with an axe. The duo known as The Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer discovered the stress-relieving game in London, England during a recent tour. “We went to a night club and there were 75 ping …

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Resisting and Resurging

This year the Yukon Film Society (YFS) returns to the Adäka Cultural Festival with more First Nations programming. The collaboration between Adäka and YFS allows all the screenings to be free. Screenings run July 3 and 4 at the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre during the festival, which takes place July 1 to 7. Screenings begin …

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Polaris goes Polar

Music-industry types mingled with arts funders and a few musicians at the Yukon Transportation Museum on June 15 for a different kind of brown-bag lunch event – a team from the Polaris Music Prize was in town to announce its long-list of 40 candidates for this year’s win. The prize aims to recognize “artists who …

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A Birthday Celebration Worth Driving To

The 14th annual Mayo Arts Festival offers a unique way to celebrate Canada’s birthday. Ring in Canada Day on Friday, July 1 with artists, workshops and musicians from the Stewart River Valley alongside colourful celebrations. This free, homegrown festival showcases talent from Keno City, Elsa, Mayo and Stewart Crossing – some of the best-kept secrets …

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Out of the Rec Room

Scott Wilson doesn’t credit either ’50s TV host Arthur Godfrey or campy falsetto Tiny Tim with the current popularity of the humble ukulele. Instead, the Whitehorse musician thinks it likely stems from a few years back, when Hawaiian singer Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s hauntingly beautiful medley of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and “What a Wonderful World” became …

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5 Must-See Pieces at Nuit Blanche

Back for a third year, the annual Whitehorse Nuit Blanche all-night arts festival brings together national and local artists for an unforgettable solstice weekend. Fancy yourself a night owl? Get ready for 12 hours of engaging and artsy fun as you wander downtown to see exhibits take over Whitehorse. You’d rather go to bed early …

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Chalk It Up

I had a great chat recently with Heidi Loos.  She is organizing the first Yukon Chalk Art Festival for Unlikely Events Yukon.  The Festival will run June 11 and 12, 2016, 10 am. to 5 pm. at the Kwanlin Dun Cultural Centre parking lot.  Two workshops will take place at the parking lot of Dana …

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Follow Our Trails

Audience members with program “maps” in hand will be guided through the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre for a unique performance adventure from Gwaandak Theatre, showcasing the spectacular riverfront and Yukon stories about who we are and where we come from. Gwaandak Theatre in association with the Yukon Arts Centre and Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre (KDCC) …

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I Know What You Did

In Giovanni Boccaccio’s 14th century collection of novellas called The Decameron, seven young women and three young men entertain each other with stories for 10 days inside a secluded villa near Florence as they tried to escape the Black Death. More than 650 years later, Toronto playwright and multidisciplinary theatre maker Jordan Tannahill found himself …

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Major Funk

Big, Loud and Funky

Major Funk and the Employment is a big band with a big sound. It has some big changes since bassist Etienne Girard put the group together.

O Brother, It’s Bluegrass

When Chris Quinn exchanges his banjo for a guitar, and Chris Coole makes the opposite switch, that’s the signal the Foggy Hogtown Boys are about to move from bluegrass to oldtime Appalachian music. Apart from that, and some “subtle nuances” in how mandolin player Andrew Collins approaches the rhythm, you may not notice much of …

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Pickin’ on The Junction

In the pines, in the pines, the Kluane Mountain Bluegrass Music Festival will take place June 10, 11, and 12. It is held annually at the St. Elias Convention Centre and St. Christopher’s Log Church in beautiful Haines Junction, Yukon. The mostly volunteer-run festival is the first of many music festivals held throughout the Yukon …

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Stay on the Trail

“It requires a lot of discipline to stay on the trail – not just the ski trail,” says Gary Bailie, “but the trail of life.” Skiing is definitely a way of life for Bailie, who has been running and coaching the Whitehorse-based youth cross country team the Kwanlin Koyotes since 1999. His hard work and …

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Oh, Beer. Maybe Next Year?

It’s a gathering where you may sip the tingly bitterness of a pale ale, sample salty snacks from the “bacon booth” and lock eyes magically with your future spouse. No wonder tickets to the Haines Beer Fest have sold out faster than ever this year.  The event takes place May 27 and 28, in Haines, …

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It’s Not All Greek

When you think of the Greek philosopher, Plato – if you think of him at all – the expression “party animal” might not come to mind. But Zuppa Theatre Co. would like to change that. The Halifax-based troupe has taken one of Plato’s best-known works, The Symposium, and re-cast it as a modern party – …

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Who’s Out There?

Don’t bother asking Damien Atkins whether or not he believes in UFOs. He won’t tell you. What the Toronto-based playwright and actor will do instead is talk about his one-person play, We Are Not Alone, which he’s bringing to Whitehorse next month as part of the Magnetic North Theatre Festival. “When I do interviews about …

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Life, Love and Trevor

Dogtown: the Musical, a story based on the life and fate of a local dog named Trevor, will be one of the many productions featured during the Magnetic North Theatre Festival, taking place June 9 to 18 Nakai Theatre and the Yukon Circus Society are the co-presenters of Dogtown: the Musical, which will be playing …

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Nothing, Nothing, Nothing… Then Honks Galore!

Sometimes it seems like maybe they might not come. Then you hear them: the faint, high-pitched croaking, growing louder and louder. Then the sky fills with hundreds of sandhill cranes, flying in huge Vs that morph and swoop as the birds soar to catch rising thermals. Everyone in Faro drops what they’re doing to look …

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The Next Act

Longtime Yukon teacher Mary Sloan and rapper Eminem have something in common. They both got their careers started in Detroit’s notorious 8-Mile district. However, Sloan’s teaching environment from the beginning to the end could not have been more different. Growing up in Michigan, Sloan was just 20 years old when she began her first teaching …

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Intimate, Insightful and Non-Traditional

It’s 1929, Virginia Woolf publishes her famous extended feminist essay, called “A Room of One’s Own,”  exploring the gender disparity between women and men. Fast forward to 2016 and discussion around gender politics has widened to include people living beyond the male/female binary. Cyn Lubow’s documentary film A Womb of Their Own asks the question, …

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National Theatre Festival Comes to Whitehorse

“It’s the only national theatre festival in Canada,” Selene Vakharia tells me. She, along with a handful of other local creatives, are working on the Yukon end of the traveling theatre festival: Magnetic North, based in Ottawa, which moves to a different Canadian town every second year. “This year they picked Whitehorse,” Vakharia says. With …

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The New Girlfriend is French filmmaking at its best

The New Girlfriend (Une Nouvelle Amie), a French drama from acclaimed director and screenwriter François Ozon, had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2014. It has received several international award nominations and won best picture at Spain’s San Sebastián film festival. The New Girlfriend is loosely based on the 15-page crime …

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The Danish Girl Attracts Controversy on Several Fronts

At some point, perhaps, acting credentials and not gender identity, will dictate who gets what role. Until then, high profile films like The Danish Girl and Dallas Buyers Club will continue to raise hackles in the transgender community for having cisgender (a term coined in the 1990s to denote a person whose self-identity matches their …

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Year 17 sees an abundance of Yukon Films at the Festival

On Easter weekend the ballroom of the Oddfellows Hall will be filled with hundreds of short film fans celebrating the 17th edition of the Dawson City International Short Film Festival (DCISFF) and cramming in as much as they can of the 500 hours of screen time that will fill up the days. This is the …

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OUT North Queer Film Festival Turns Five

Freeheld Throughout Freeheld we are reminded of how people are so often a combination of the ordinary and the extraordinary. A fictional account of the Oscar-winning 2007 documentary short of the same name, Freeheld is the true story of police detective Laurel Hester (Julianne Moore) and her fight to transfer her pension benefits to her …

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A Room within a Room

The intensely charged film Room was the Winner of the Audience Choice Award for Best Canadian Feature at this year’s Available Light Film Festival. If you missed it in February, The Yukon Film Society is bringing it back to the screen March 20th. Adapted from Ireland-born writer Emma Donoghue’s Booker Prize nominated novel of the …

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Valentine’s Events for the Discerning Singleton

Sometimes I think we could skip February. I mean, January has got the cold and dark covered, and the wonderful triad of snow, sun and skiing find their fullest expression in March. Weird warm winters aside, February seems like a little more of something I’ve had enough of, and not enough of something I’m eagerly …

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Soul Migration band members

Frostbite is Back

Yukon’s winter music festival, Frostbite is back for 2016, finally. A small group of volunteers have been working hard to make this happen.

Hone Your Craft

This year marks the 14th anniversary of the Available Light Film Festival. Each year, the festival seems to grow and attract greater talent from a variety of places. This year also has a substantial amount of filmmaking workshops, some free and others requiring tickets. The festival’s keynote address will be from Dylan Marchetti, chief creative …

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Cinema for Lunch

The Available Light Film Festival running Feb. 6–14 there will be showing films during the daytime, right in the middle of your lunch hour. So pack a sandwich or a smoothie and head over to either the Yukon Arts Centre or the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre for some truly fascinating cinema. Here is a rundown …

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Art Crawl Dawson Style

Blair Douglas and Carly Woolner are hoping you’ll join them outside to have some fun this weekend. They are organizing the second annual edition of The (s)hiver Winter Arts Festival, taking place in Dawson City on Jan. 30 and 31. “We want to get people out to celebrate when everything is shut down and quiet,” …

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The Must-See Guide to the Pivot Theatre Festival

By La Compagnie L’Immédiat/Camille Boitel Jan. 27-29, 8 p.m., Yukon Arts Centre Co-presented with the Yukon Arts Centre, this European classic comes all the way from Paris, France. Perhaps more exciting than the distance travelled, or the point of origin, is that its Yukon debut will also be its North American premiere. Yukon audiences will be …

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Awesome Canadian Films

For years Canadian cinema was referred to as invisible cinema for its lack of global impact and struggle to compete with Hollywood’s massive export of blockbuster films. Each year film festivals around Canada aim to disprove this notion and push the potential and visibility of Canadian cinema to other parts of the world – and …

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Available Light Film Fest shines on Canada’s North

This year’s Available Light Film Festival (ALFF) features a series of films draw audiences’ attention to the experiences of life in the Canadian Arctic and sub-Arctic regions. The North on Screen series comprises a third of the Yukon Film Society’s 14th Annual film festival, which runs Feb. 7 to 14 in Whitehorse. Nunavut Inuk filmmaker Zacharias Kunuk (Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner) returns …

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Perogy Blessings

Perogies have always been a part of my life. Every meal that includes homemade perogies is a special occasion. Learning the best way to make them has been a lifelong process. I am the child of first generation Canadians. My mother’s family emigrated from Finland; my father’s from the Ukraine and Poland. My father, who …

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The Gold Sisters

Making Plans for the Midnight Sun

Rumour has it the 2015 lineup is the Kluane Bluegrass Music Festival’s best yet. No shortage of interest in headlining 2 decades in.

Holiday Gift Guide

As we enter the holiday season where advertising, social media, and storefronts are shouting at us about all the things there are to buy, one might wonder whether all this shopping will lead to anyone’s happiness. Researchers out of Cornell University had a similar thought. Thomas Gilovich and  Amit Kumar published their research in the …

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Invitation for an Authentic Experience

Yukon First Nations are planning ways to offer authentic cultural experiences for visitors. The plan to bolster cultural tourism among the Yukon First Nations has been in the works for a while, but this week people from across the Yukon Territory are getting together for a conference in Whitehorse to discuss ways to strengthen this …

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Folks Rocking the Blues with Soul

Whitehorse-resident Selina Heyligers-Hare, or as she’s billed in the upcoming Blue Feather Music Festival, Selina H., is only 18 years old. She just graduated from high school. However, she has 13 years of experience making music and can hold her own on a big stage. When Heyligers-Hare was five years old she started playing the …

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Blue Feather Turns 15

Gary Bailie has taken a personal tragedy and turned it into the fuel that powers him to produce the popular Blue Feather Music Festival. Now in its 15th year the annual music event was never meant to be the large-scale music festival it has become. It initially began as a celebration of life for Bailie’s …

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Telling stories

Sharon Shorty and I first met back in 2005 when I worked at the Yukon College Library with her awesome husband, Derek Yap. Sharon was born and raised in Whitehorse and is a member of the Teslin Tlingit First Nation. She is a storyteller, beader, regalia maker, wife, playwright, mom, and actor. But what I …

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Deep Ecology

The year was 1971. Three Dog Nights’ “Joy to the World” became RPM’s top chart hit alongside The Stampeders’ “Sweet City Woman”. Pierre Trudeau was Prime Minister and James Smith was Commissioner of the Yukon. Smith was instrumental in creating the Kluane National Park and Reserves and designating the Chilkoot Trail as a National Historic …

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Taking His Music Around the World

Homegrown singer-songwriter Gordie Tentrees is releasing his sixth album, Less is More, with a Northern tour this month. Tentrees is playing in Skagway, Dawson City,Keno City, and two shows in Whitehorse. This Northern tour follows his recent tours through British Columbia, the United States and Australia. In the next six months he plans to tour …

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Good beer is like fine wine

“Tasting beer is a very similar process as tasting wine,” says Kaori Torigai, president of the Yukon Beer Festival Society.

Unravelling the layers of existence

A brilliantly layered and sensitive look at the contrasting stages of life, the 2014 film The Clouds of Sils Maria stars Juliette Binoche as Maria Enders, an accomplished stage actress who becomes painfully aware of the relationships between herself and the characters she portrays when she is asked to perform in the play that kick-started …

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The beauty and the decay of life around the planet

Since being presented the Palme D’Or and Best Director credits at the Cannes Film Festival for Paris, Texas (1984) and Wings of Desire (1987) respectively, German filmmaker Wim Wenders continues to be intrigued by the human condition has ceased to allow his intrigue of the human condition to weaken. Wenders’ more recent films Buena Vista …

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Revisiting the Klondike Big Inch

Each year during the Riverside Arts Festival, the ODD Gallery sponsors a paired set of exhibitions called The Natural and the Manufactured, each dealing with some way in which people and their plans have had an impact on the environment around them. This year one of those exhibits, the one indoors at the gallery itself, …

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The Paradise Beat

“Welcome to paradise,” Kevin Jack says. Thus begins my tour of a property that edges onto the swampy back of Marsh Lake. An old gold mining site, it is a refuge for old gold mining things: a tiny log cabin with grass growing out of the roof; metal drums sunken into the ground on a …

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Wild Cards

The fourth edition of the Dawson Daily News Print & Publishing Symposium, part of the annual Yukon Riverside Arts Festival, is taking a walk on the wild side. This year, the symposium’s popular Dawson Daily News Postcard Story Competition will challenge writers to capture the theme of “gone wild” in just 150 words scratched out …

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Boulder On!

Do you like climbing rocks? Do you enjoy hiking in a gorgeous valley? What about making friends? Walking a tightrope suspended between two giant boulders? Do you like having fun and being happy? If you answered yes to any of these, you’re in luck. This Saturday, the local climbing community will host a revival of …

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Concierge at Large

Most youngsters try on adult roles from time to time, but few go from role-play to reality as seamlessly as Eric Pateman moved into a career in hospitality. The founder and president of Edible Canada has photos of his 5-year-old self with a waiter’s towel draped over his arm, serving lunch to his grandparents, complete …

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Pop-up Fashion

Jessica Vallenga has an eye for quality-made clothes; she is an artist trained in textiles, and she makes clothes. She turns embroidery into pendants and earrings, and she makes lingerie. As well as making clothing, Vallenga keeps her eyes peeled for second-hand finds wherever she goes. Most recently, it was Seattle, where she found a …

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Ian Tyson

Atlin’s Ian Fest

Ian Tyson, iconic minstrel of life in the West/North. 68yr old hearing an 81yr old singer at Atlin Arts and Music Festival felt young again.

Festival Fare

Festival season is in full swing, and every weekend sees crowds descending on another Yukon community for a bit of all-night sun revelry. My personal favourite, and often my only festival of the summer, is the Atlin Arts and Music Festival. This year’s festival had an impressive array of food vendors who seemed to be …

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Frolic for Foodies

At the end of July, foodies from across the country will travel north to take part in the 2015 Yukon Culinary Festival. Now in its third year, the festival will showcase and celebrate the Yukon’s local food movement to visitors and locals alike. Taking place over four days, from Thursday, July 30 to Sunday, August …

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Rambling North for the Dawson City Music Festival

The Slocan Ramblers often get asked how it happens that four lads who live in Toronto came to be interested in bluegrass music. Bass player Alastair Whitehead says there’s a fairly vibrant bluegrass scene in Toronto and even a lot of interest in really old time bluegrass. “There’s been a weekly gathering with groups at …

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Media Arts on the Waterfront

A few years ago the Yukon Film Society (YFS) unsuccessfully bid on a lease for the Hatch House in Shipyards Park, in hopes of hosting an artist residency. Although that didn’t work out, it planted a seed that has borne fruit this summer. Throughout the spring, summer, and fall YFS will support an artist residency …

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Writing Across the Borders

An ambitious pan-Northern ensemble of seasoned musicians from all three territories will make its debut in Whitehorse next week as one of the performance highlights of the fifth annual Adäka Cultural Festival. The New North Collective will bring together the songwriting and performing talents of four Yukoners, two residents of the Northwest Territories, and a …

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Playing With Fire by Theo Fleury

I heard Theo Fleury speak at the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre in Whitehorse last summer during the Adäka Cultural Festival, but hadn’t had a chance to read his autobiography, Playing With Fire, until recently. I finished it quickly. He writes forcefully about his addictions and the abuse and neglect that underpinned them. Much of the …

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When the Darkness Bleeds Daylight

From June 17 through 21 Dawson City will host the Midnight Sun Camera Obscura Festival. This is the follow up to last year’s Dawson City Solstice Symposium, which took place from June 18 through 22. Through much of May, Donald Lawrence, along with some students of his from Thompson Rivers University, in Kamloops, B.C. have …

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More than just music

Meet Jordi Mikeli-Jones — a renaissance woman. She is the owner of the popular Triple J’s Music, Tattoos and Piercing. She is president of Kona’s Coalition, a non-profit organization that works towards improving animal welfare in the Yukon. She was the first female resident DJ in Whitehorse, and she is the founder and promoter of …

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Ancestral Ways

Juanita Growing Thunder-Fogarty lives in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, in the tiny community of North San Juan, on the same property her paternal ancestors settled during the California Gold Rush of 1849. But her heart is inextricably linked to the Great Plains territory of her Sioux and Assiniboine forebears, and the beading …

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Full Circle

On June 12, the Yukon’s annual bluegrass bash is heading back to Kluane Country, where it all began. After a three-year sojourn in Whitehorse, the Kluane Mountain Bluegrass Festival will celebrate its 12th anniversary next week in what artistic director John Faulkner calls its “ancestral home” of Haines Junction. “It’s feeling good to everybody,” he …

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Girls Rock Camp

The closest I’ve come to being in a band was brought about through my love of the Spice Girls. When I was eleven, my friends and I entered a big impersonation contest at the mall, practicing our dance moves and lip-syncing for weeks beforehand. As we grew older and our tastes evolved, we began visiting …

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Cranes Fly High Up in the Sky

The thermals above the town of Faro may account for the “tens of thousands” of sand hill cranes that fly above it each spring. Or so Rose Fulton speculates. Fulton works for the town, and is the Faro Crane and Sheep Viewing Festival coordinator. She says she’d be the event coordinator, but there aren’t enough …

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Flowers in the Concrete

Rich Hill, playing at the Yukon Arts Centre on Sunday, is a poignant observational snapshot of three boys on separate, but similar, journeys through the early days of youth, as spent in America’s povertystricken heartland. Poverty is crushing. But it’s always amazing to see that the human spirit, especially in children, is remarkably diffi cult …

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OUT North comes of age

Contemplating what to write about this weekend’s OUT North Film Festival, which runs from April 17 to 19 at the Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre, my brain landed on the word “age”, and stubbornly refused to budge. So, with apologies for the occasional reach, what follows is a quick tour of how the thread of age, …

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Her Next Plan is Coming to a Television Near You

A television mini-series is being shot in Dawson between April 7 and 17. The two episodes of Her Next Plan are being produced by the newly formed Big Plan Pictures Ltd. Dawson filmmaker Lulu Keating (Red Snapper Films) and Max Fraser (Hootalinqua Motion Pictures), formed the new partnership to bring this short series to the …

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Meds to Media

Dawson City has created a filmmaker out of a doctor. So says Suzanne Crocker, creator of All the Time in the World, a full-length feature film that is making waves around the country. It will be screened in Dawson City at the Odd Fellows Hall on Thursday, April 2 at 7:30 p.m.The film documents the …

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The Wild & Scenic Film Festival Makes a Whitehorse Debut

The Wild & Scenic Film Festival (WSFF), screening at the Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre on March 5, aims to create a space “where activism gets inspired”; it is the largest environmental film festival in North America. The group behind this festival, the South Yuba River Citizen’s League (SYRCL, pronounced “circle”), is California based organization that …

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East Coasters Come North

When I reach Jon Mckiel he’s in the middle of a New Brunswick snowstorm. I’m in the Yukon, where the temperature has dipped below -30°C. We talk about what to expect when he arrives in Whitehorse to perform at the Available Light Film Festival on February 13. He’s never been here, and I’ve never been …

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ALFF Breakdown, Part Two

Thursday, February 12th The day kicks off with the festival’s final installment of the Fire Hall Film Talks, a series of free lunchtime discussions between filmmakers and artists about behind-the-scene development of projects. Thursday’s talk is on the changing face of music videos and narrative film. Panelists are singer-songwriter John Southworth; Violent director and member …

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The Many Faces of Claire Ness

I’m in the ‘98 drinking water (sober January) and waiting for Claire Ness to arrive. “London Calling” by The Clash is playing, which, for some reason, doesn’t feel out of place here. Once Claire arrives, the first topic we land on is her upcoming adventure with her Frenchman: they are looking for the sweet chassis …

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Tanya Tagaq Reclaims Stories of her People

For those who missed Tanya Tagaq on stage at music festivals in Dawson and Atlin, the Available Light Film Festival (ALFF) is giving Yukoners another chance to experience this acclaimed musician’s work on February 10 at the Yukon Arts Centre. Tagaq rocketed onto radar-screens last year when her newest album, Animism, won the 2014 Polaris …

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Two 4 One Breaks New Ground

Move over Ben Affleck and Julia Roberts, the Canadian filmmaking world would like to thank you for solidifying conventions for the romantic comedy genre, so Two 4 One can break those conventions into a million pieces. This progressive look at real-life love is refreshing and accessible: a movie about a transgendered Canadian in which an …

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The Wooden Sky Kicks Off ALFF

For Yukoners who miss having a music festival in February, the Yukon Film Society has stepped up. This year, the Available Light Film Festival (ALFF) has expanded to include musical performances. Andrew Connors, ALFF director, explains: “It’s twofold. We realized that the way we configure the Yukon Arts Centre for cinema, we move the screen …

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Dan Mangan is Back in Town

Dan Mangan is almost as excited to see the Yukon again as Yukoners are to see him. In 2010, Mangan played both the Frostbite and Dawson City Music Festivals and was impressed by the local cultural scene. He says, “it seems to me like there’s a really good music community up there, a really strong arts …

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Music for the community

I’ve been the opening act at the last two monthly coffee houses. We meet on the first Saturday of every month in the Odd Fellows Hall ballroom. We’ve been doing these evenings for the better part of a decade. I know because I was still teaching during the first couple of years, and this month …

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(S)hiver Festival

A brand new event will be taking place in Dawson City on Saturday, January 24. The (s)hiver festival promises a night of art, light, and creativity in response to the dark cold of a northern winter. Originally from Vancouver, festival organizers Blair Douglas and Carly Woolner arrived in Dawson last summer. Both are artists; Douglas …

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Imagination and pain on display in Newfoundland yarn

Joel Thomas Hynes’s blackly tinted, yet poignantly observant perspective, brings you his best film yet. Cast No Shadow, playing at the Yukon Arts Centre on February 10, is a beautifully filmed narrative about the most terrifying demon of all: the one within. Set in the ever-shadowy outport Newfoundland, a world of dilapidated musty kitchens and …

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Kluane Mountain Bluegrass Festival returns to the Junction

The summer of 2015 will see the Kluane Mountain Bluegrass Festival, which went on temporary hiatus last year, returning to its old stomping grounds in Haines Junction. “ We’re really excited to go back there, and the Junction is excited to have us back as well,” says Robbyn Chiles, president of the Yukon Bluegrass Music …

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The Web of Family

Two distinctly different takes on the theme of family are among the highlights of this year’s Nakai Pivot Festival, which kicks off on Saturday, January 17 . Ralph + Lina is a two-handed “acrobatic comedy” performed by the husband and wife team of Dan Watson and Christina Serra, who first conceived the project while they …

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Coffeehouse Folks

Twenty-five years ago, the Folk Society of Whitehorse (FSW) began as an event for people of all ages to enjoy. Today, it is on a roll — hosting monthly events. Paul Davis is the president of FSW, but he admits that he can’t do it on his own. “ We have about 20 volunteers, which …

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People Will Always Need Stories

 “ One hundred writers from around the world in 86 events”, was the motto of the 2014 Vancouver Writers Festival. It kicked off with an author many were looking forward to hearing from: Karl Ove Knausgaard, a literary sensation from Norway, who has published an autobiographical six-book-series called My Struggle. He writes about big issues …

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Premium Suds

2014, craft beer options were the T & M lounge or the Yukon Beer Festival. Brainchild of Andrea Pierce now Kaori Torigai will be president.

The Scientific Lens

The Yukon Film Society and Yukon Arts Centre present the return of the Available Light Cinema series on Sunday, September 21 with two films of the scientific variety. The science fiction film screening at 9:00 p.m. is Jonathan Glazer’s chilling parable Under the Skin. Scarlett Johansson stars in it, and it has been compared to …

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Northern Exposure

My first time skinny-dip comes among a swirl of firsts. It happens in Atlin, my first time in that pretty town, in my first month living in the Yukon. It’s my first time taking my clothes off where strangers can see me, my first time standing tall and nude in the unshielding bright of day. …

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Busy Weekend in Dawson City

“This weekend is an iconic celebration of what’s great in Dawson,” says Paul Robitaille. Discovery Days, the Riverside Arts Festival & more

Whirlwind of Yukon Flavour

It all began with fireweed pepper jelly. I did not know such a thing existed, but I am very glad I discovered it. I arrived at Rivendell farms at 6:00 p.m. for the Feast of Farms, the closing event of the Yukon Culinary Festival. As I made my way across the parking lot, I was …

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Not Easy Being Green

If you’re heading out to Circle D Ranch for a few days of music and food this weekend, you’d be well-advised to bring your own eating and drinking gear, or at least a toonie to “rent” a plate. The three-day outing, now known as the Frog Food Festival – Served with Music, is being billed …

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A Foodie’s Dream Come True

Birch syrup, fireweed jelly, juniper berry shortbread, and low bush cranberries are a few of the ingredients that will rise to the occasion for the Yukon Culinary Festival. Among the festival events is the Tastes of Whitehorse food crawl, beginning July 31 at 5:30 p.m. It will encompass the tasty delights of five local restaurants …

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Pig-roaster with Serious Cred

Chris Irving has cooked for Queen Elizabeth II and the royal family of Spain. He’s made sushi and fried chicken for the four “just normal kids” of David and Victoria Beckham. He’s cooked on luxury yachts and in fancy hotels, not to mention the private mansion of master chef Gordon Ramsay. Now he’s coming home …

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Atlin Arts and Music Festival

A long-time favourite for local families, the Atlin Arts and Music Festival is an institution. Now in its 11th year, the event draws visitors and performers from across Canada and beyond.  Taking place July 11 to 13, this year’s festival will feature guest performers like Gord Downie and The Sadies, David Francey, Danny Michel, and …

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Makushan-maker

Florent Vollant’s first exposure to music was in his family’s cabin on a trapline in Labrador. After a successful caribou hunt, the family would celebrate with traditional songs and dances, in the Innu tradition of the makushan, or pow wow.  “I was four or five years old the first time I remember the sound of …

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Feels Like a Celebration

First, she says, it allows artists, performers and cultural sector workers “to come together once a year to share inspiration, to share ideas, to learn new skills, to inspire each other.” Alexander is a co-founder and executive producer of the four-year-old festival, which runs this year from Friday, June 27 through Thursday, July 3 at …

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The Sunstroke Music Festival is a Sign of Summer

Solstice is nearly upon us, which means the annual Sunstroke Music Festival is almost upon us, too. For those who are new to the festival, it’s a non-profit fundraiser for Kona’s Coalition. The coalition helps animals in the Yukon by educating people, advocating for animals, and providing financial support when needed. It is a two-day …

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Taxicab Theatre

Gab in a cab, do time in the hole, or ponder what lies behind schoolyard shootings. These are just some of the options available to audience members as Nakai Theatre presents version six of its Homegrown Theatre Festival next week at the Guild Hall. The lineup of 12 local shows runs the gamut from a …

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Around the world in a weekend

This coming Easter weekend, along with their turkey dinners, Dawsonites will once again gear up for gluttony of films. From April 17 to 20, the Dawson City International Short Film Festival (DCISFF) will be showing films of all genres from around the world. The DCISFF started in 2000 as a Klondike Institute of Art and …

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A Flood of Activities

The middle of March is important for more than just spring break — it also marks Canada Water Week. Described as the week to celebrate water across the nation, Canada Water Week is held annually in the third week of March, coinciding with the United Nations’ International World Water Day on March 22. Heather Jirousek …

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Films from the Out-side

The Yukon Queer Film Alliance are hosting the third annual film festival OUT North this weekend at The Old Fire Hall in Whitehorse. The eclectic festival delivers a variety of lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender-related films. “The first OUT North was in 2012,” says festival co-producer Debbie Thomas. “We take it a tiny bit at a time and try …

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Finding the Essence of Experience in Nature

Yukon artist Helen O’Connor’s textural, organic, large-scale sculpture, assemblages, and installations beg the viewer to reach out and touch them. The works seem as though they are part of the natural world, not made by human hands. Indeed, O’Connor’s works are made with reverence to nature. However, instead of literal depictions, she tries to find …

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The Boost a Battle Can Give

For many bands the step to a big stage is challenging. That’s the Battle of the Bands in Whitehorse has been a continued success.

Iskwé performs at the 2018 Frostbite Music Festival

Filling the Frostbite Void

For 35 years the Frostbite Music Festival has been bringing bands to Whitehorse to showcase new music to an appreciative audience. Year after year organizers chose acts that were a combination of emerging talent breaking onto the music scene in a big way, as well as established musicians and unknowns. Except not this year. They’re taking …

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The Dawson City Music Festival Focuses on Quality over Quantity

While two of the Whitehorse-based music festivals, Frostbite and the Kluane Bluegrass, are taking the year off to think about their futures, the Dawson City Music Festival (DCMF), founded the same year as Frostbite, soldiers on. DCMF has managed what is sometimes known as the succession issue, with apparent ease. Most of the people who …

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An Invitation to Experience the Thrill and the Grit

The mix of open-flowing creativity, with a dash of fear, makes for a high that’s addictive for  theatre performers — and especially for playwrights who perform their own plays. Usually the audience goes home with ideas swimming around, but we’re not buzzing the same way. Next week we can come close. The Pivot Theatre Festival, …

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Lanterns, Costumes, Action: Winterval lantern workshop and parade takes place Nov. 30

“It’s all about magic,” says Maryne Dumaine, the production and marketing manager for this year’s Winterval festival. The event has become a regular part of the Christmas season, and Yukoners can expect a unique take on holiday cheer from the Yukon Educational Theatre (YET). “We want to make art fun and more accessible for people …

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Poignant Labour Docs Screen in Whitehorse

The Canadian Labour International Film Festival (CLIFF) celebrates its fifth anniversary in the Yukon on Wednesday, November 20. CLIFF is an initiative of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), presented locally by the Yukon Employees Union (YEU). Designed to showcase the realities of working life in Canada and around the world, CLIFF will present …

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Clowns running amok at Yukon Arts Centre: Humour in the finest traditions of Bugs Bunny

Skating on wash buckets, pratfalls, explosions and fart jokes – Fart jokes! What can be better than fart jokes? – combine for a rollicking fun circus show. “It’s the funniest show I’ve seen on a Canadian stage in five years,” says Eric Epstein, the artistic director of the Yukon Arts Centre. He had heard good …

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The three faces behind the Yukon Film Society: There’s more than one way to eat popcorn

A group of movie lovers gathers on a frigid Sunday in Whitehorse. In an apartment living room, they watch movies and eat popcorn. They laugh with a good comedy and are swept away with a gripping drama. But the home of Yukon Film Society president Michael Vernon is not being used just for a good …

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Frostbite brings music from all over the world: It’s the Thrill on the Hill

Brenda Barnes knows that the best way to get rid of cold is to get lots of bed rest. But the Frostbite Music Festival begins Friday, Feb. 11, and she is its producer. But, two weeks ago, it was Day 12 of her cold and the list of her emails (the ones that arrived before …

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Short films advertise short films: For the Dawson City International Short Film Festival

DAWSON CITY — CBC North is looking for short films to advertise a festival about short films. The Dawson City International Short Film Festival is again looking for the best public service announcement to be aired on CBC North. The winning entry will receive $100. “Story, story, story,” Lulu Keating tells people who are looking …

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The Good, the Old and the Creepy: A look at the Available Light Cinema’s eclectic new season

Andrew Connors has you in mind. All of you. And it isn’t even creepy. Well some of it is — like Upstream Colour — but most of it is just harmless fun. “Diversity in programming was the point,” says the Yukon Film Society’s executive director about this fall’s Available Light Cinema roster. “We are trying …

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Exploring his American side: Canadian artist Pat LePoidevin

Pat LePoidevin is coming to the Yukon to debut his latest album, American Fiction, which will kick off his Canada-wide tour. On August 23, LePoidevin will be playing at Bombay Peggy’s, a local Dawson City pub, and on August 24, the official launch will be held at the Yukon Arts Centre in Whitehorse. LePoidevin has …

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The Word is Art: Arts festival and publishing symposium take place in Dawson next weekend

The festival season isn’t over yet in Dawson City. From August 15-18, the 13th Annual Yukon Riverside Arts Festival will take place at various venues around town. The Festival features workshops, live music, guest lectures, artist talks, exhibitions, special events, public art projects and a gallery hop throughout the downtown core. Writers will also have …

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Bluegrass From the Heart

Real music for real people, that’s the Gibson Brothers’ philosophy. “You have to believe what you’re singing about,” says guitarist/vocalist Leigh Gibson, who plays with his brother Eric. “I hope that people, when they listen to us, even if they don’t love what we’re doing, they think we’re being true to ourselves and are real.” …

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A Front-Row Seat into the Lives of Musicians

Each summer the population of Atlin, B.C. swells from its normal 400 to 2,500, as the Atlin Arts and Music Festival swings into gear for a weekend in mid-July. This year, the festival’s tenth anniversary, will be no exception. The Yukon Film Society has scheduled free showings of music and arts-oriented films at the town’s …

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Available Light Film Festival promises great stories, great film

For the sixth year, Northern film buffs will have the chance to “reconnect with the world and immerse themselves in great film”. Andrew Connors, the director of the annual Available Light Film Festival (ALFF), is satisfied he and his volunteers have found enough feature films to satisfy its mandate of telling great stories. If one …

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A ‘little something special’ in the Rotary Music Festival

For the past 40 years, the Rotary Music Festival has been as dependable and as anticipated as the advent of spring to the Yukon. “We wanted to put in a little something special,” says Edith Belanger, the Festival’s first coordinator in its 40-year history. And, that little something special that Belanger is speaking of is …

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Down Under to the Top of the World: Why Dawson City’s Film Fest Draws International Attention

It’s a little festival with a big handle: Dawson City International Short Film Festival, March 20 to 23, 2008. But compared to festivals I’ve attended from Toronto to Chicago, from Tromso, Norway to Cannes, the DCISFF offers a plethora of programs, an exhilarating assortment of guests and the fun and flavour of a Yukon celebration. …

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Staging local talent

As the sunshine creeps into the evening and temperatures slowly rise toward double-digits, some art organizations’ seasons are winding down. One of the final accomplishments in focus for Nakai Theatre is a barrage of local performance artists. Also affectionately known as the Homegrown Festival. “It’s emerging artists, first-time artists and artists who are devoting their …

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Faro’s sheep and cranes ready for their closeup

Faro’s Crane and Sheep Viewing Festival has attracted international attention before as it grows yet again in its fifth year, but this time the International Crane Foundation will help attract even more attention. The Wisconsin-based organization has a crane preserve that protects representatives of all 15 known species. It has a global mandate and has …

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Giller prize winner attends Writers’ Festival

Giller Prize winner Elizabeth Hay is among five authors taking part in this year’s Yukon Writers’ Festival which starts April 30. The five writers will be reading their work at public events in Whitehorse and Haines Junction and will also spend two days with school children at the Young Authors’ Conference on May 1 and …

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The Adäka Cultural Festival Aims to Include Everyone

The Adäka Cultural Festival will kick off for the third time in Whitehorse on Friday, June 21, which is also National Aboriginal Day. Adäka (pronounced Aw-daw-kah) means “coming into the light” in the Southern Tutchone language and each year this festival continues to expand, like the sun rising on a new day, spreading its light …

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Morse of the North: First Nation poet featured at Poetry Festival

“Fool that I was, for many years, I tried to reject any notion of an artistic life,” says poet Garry Thomas Morse. “For me, a poet is not just someone who pens pretty lines or teaches theory or hangs out with poets. You can blame my Native background for my shamanistic viewpoint [but] for me, …

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Making New Tracks

In the past 10 years more and more First Nation dance groups have been popping up. People have decided it’s pretty cool to learn their traditional drumming, singing and dancing. Bracken Hanuse Corlett calls it de-colonization. Hanuse Corlett is an audio-visual artist with the group Skookum Sound System, which uses current technology and traditional sounds …

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Pelly Dancing

After their initial inception, the Selkirk Spirit Dancers had a hiatus, and some wondered if they would ever dance again. Started by Carmen Baker, the dance group is based in Pelly Crossing and is now comprised of 45 dancers. The large number in itself is enough to set the group apart, however what makes the …

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African, French and Japanese Groups Showcase Their Culture

They are not always featured in history books, but since the Klondike Gold Rush people of many ethnic backgrounds have called the Yukon home. On Sunday, June 23 the Adäka Cultural Festival will host the Sharing Our Spirit Community Celebration, a day of events bringing together the culture of these different groups that have put …

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Healing and Transformation: Ravenstail Weaving

“A woman needs to have an art form,” says Tlingit Tutchone master weaver Ann Smith. And she feels a responsibility to pass on the art of weaving to the next generation of First Nations women – which is exactly what she and Alaskan Tlingit Chilkat master weaver Clarissa Rizel will do during the Adäka Cultural …

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Keeping the Stories Alive

Tammy Lee Josie was literally pushed onto the stage at 14 years old. She was watching her grandmother, Edith Josie, perform her family’s Vuntut Gwitchin stories at the Yukon International Storytelling Festival in 1998 when festival coordinator Louise Profeit-Leblanc asked if Tammy Lee knew Edith’s tales. “Then my grandmother pointed at me and said ‘Your …

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You have to be Badd to be good

What started off in 2010 as a one-off event showcasing Dawson City musical talent has now become a yearly ritual that rings in the summer season with a bang. Cover Me Badd is a partnership between Dawson City Music Festival (DCMF) and the Klondike Institute of Art and Culture (KIAC). The original intention was to …

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The thinking-man’s folksinger

There’s a new folksinger passing through the Yukon … and he’s prepared. He may never have been North before, but Cort Delano’s “got my tin pan and gunny sack.” This Albertan roots musician, like many who make their first journey north, has a friend he grew up with, Darren Van Langen, a friend who has …

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Small Town, Big Arts Festival

MAYO The Village of Mayo, named most astutely after a certain Alfred H. Mayo, one-time circus acrobat, is hosting, for the fifth year in a row, a back-bendingly large assortment of homegrown artistic and musical talent. Set this year on summer solstice, June 21, the Mayo Arts Festival, along the banks of the Stewart River …

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Artrepreneur: Art to Share Spirit

SYANA’s first annual Yukon First Nations Arts Festival will have a strong visual arts and crafts focus. That’s what the society’s members asked for. Executive Director Sonny Voyageur had SYANA members fill out a questionnaire. Most said they would like to see the society’s activities focus on visual arts and crafts. Voyageur finds that arts …

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The boulder you get

The sport of bouldering does not end with “conquering” a boulder but, rather, “understanding” it. The sport’s founder is a mathematician and accomplished gymnast, while its most successful participants do not necessarily possess great strength. The Ibex Valley Bouldering Festival (not “Competition” … but “Festival”) is a good chance to see this sport and to …

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Atlin Festival Keeps Growing

Busy, hectic and crazy like always,” says Rick Newberry bluntly when asked how preparation is going for this summer’s Atlin Arts and Music Festival. “It’s always a wild ride but it’s always fun and, after six years, we’re getting the hang of it.” Newberry is the performing arts director for the festival and, speaking with …

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From his Basement to the Stage

If you’ve had your ear to the Yukon ground in the past year, you’ve probably felt a vibration shaking from 86Heaven – they’re an informal conglomerate of Yukon hip hop artists headed by Warren Strand a.k.a. Abstract Original. Strand is of Southern Tutchone decent, representing the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations and the majority of …

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Brewmasters Get Hugs Once a Year

On July 18, while Yukoners were probably enjoying Dustball and the Dawson City Music Festival, there was one other thing to celebrate: International Brewers Day. The idea for the makeshift holiday came from a well-established beer blogger who, not long ago, saw a sticker on a San Francisco brew pub’s door asking, “Have you hugged …

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Laughing at the unlaughable

Bruce Horak no longer needs the catharsis that his play, This is Cancer?, has been for him. But other people do and, so, he will continue accepting invitations to travel with the play he wrote and stars in. Indeed, having only just been here for one show this past winter for the Pivot Festival, Nakai …

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The Yukon flag

The Yukon is Not Just a Place

Naturally, I miss the Yukon. To be specific, it certainly wouldn’t be the weather (heh … sorry), but far more importantly, the people.

Variety Is The Spice Of Francophone Film Festival

Le secteur culturel de l’Association franco-yukonnaise is bringing north some of the greatest cinematographic creations of the year in the world of francophone film, Canadian and foreign. From Oct. 16 to 19, the Francophone Film Festival is coming to Whitehorse. Once a year, this event provides the rare opportunity to view new, independent French films …

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Provocative Fringe Theatre

When it comes to theatre, David Skelton says he believes Whitehorse audiences are “brave and sophisticated”. As Nakai Theatre’s artistic director, Skelton admits that last year’s Pivot Festival came with a small dose of controversy. However, he’s ready for another go this January when the avant-garde performance event hits the stage for its second run. …

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“… just a tiny thing with a huge voice”

Krystal Dawn, recently returned from touring with the North Klondike Highway with Yukon Women in Music, has been gracing musical stages from an early age. At 2, she stood on her coffee table singing her mother’s favourite music and now she graces the stage at Flipper’s Pub on Whitewater Wednesday. “My first real performance was …

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Music To Your Ears is in the Eye of the Beholder

Here’s a new game for the territory’s impending dinner party season. Next time you trudge over to the neighbours — gluten-free pasta salad in tow — have a look at your host’s CD rack. Or, if they’ve advanced into more modern areas, skim their iPod playlist. Scrutinize enough music libraries in the Yukon and you’ll …

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The many ‘faces’ of the Pivot Festival

When David Skelton discusses the upcoming Pivot Festival, he keeps coming back to the example of Joseph Tisiga. The young Yukon First Nations artist is ready to burst out and Skelton likes to think his Nakai Theatre helped him along the way. That is, after all, the purpose behind Nakai Theatre. “We develop local artists,” …

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Sasquatch Prom Date will have fun at Frostbite

The bearded man shrugged on his Carhartt jacket and then levelled a gaze at Genesee Keevil. She was sitting by the window, wearing a cover-your-eyes bright-pink wig, and her slightly too-loud voice only added to the spectacle. “Where are you playing?” came the unexpected question. “Frostbite, next weekend,” was the cheery answer from Keevil. “I’m …

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Pretty and Witty and Gay

The Old Fire Hall in downtown Whitehorse will host the second annual Out North Film Festival on the weekend of April 19-21. Buoyed by last year’s successful debut of the only Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual,Transsexual (LGBT) film festival North of 60, organizers Fiona Griffin and Debbie Thomas have assembled a package of five features and six …

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‘How People Got Fire’ premieres at ALFF

It’s been three years, but How People Got Fire is ready for its world premiere at the Available Light Film Festival. “I started calling it, ‘How People Finally Got Fire’,” says Daniel Janke with a tone of weary fun. Janke, the writer/composer/director, is better known as a composer of contemporary music and creator of the …

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2009 ALFF is bigger and better

Andrew Connors is very pleased with his 32-page program for the upcoming Available Light Film Festival. “Last year, it was 24 pages,” says the festival’s director. He explains that there are only slightly more films being presented this year. The difference is in the “value-added events”. Connors says these include panel discussions, information sessions and …

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For the Love of Jazz

The guitar adjudicator at the 2009 Rotary Music Festival, in Whitehorse, is Manitoba resident Dale Normandeau. He graduated from Brandon University as a guitar major with a Music Education degree and a special interest in, and love for, jazz. Why did he choose guitar? “The guitar is just a cool instrument. It is unique in …

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The Hordes Will Gorge on Film

The roar of the sand grinder is enough to give anyone a headache. But Dan Sokolowski, producer of the Dawson City International Short Film Festival, likes the sound. The sanding of the new ballroom floorboards is the second last step. After that is the varnishing and – fingers crossed – the ballroom will be ready …

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Digits comes to Dawson

When Alt Altman, a.k.a. Digits, had the chance to participate in the Dawson City’s Songwriter in Residence program in February, he jumped at the opportunity. “I knew someone who had already done it and they said to absolutely do it,” says Altman. “I heard lots of good things about Dawson. It seemed like a once …

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World of Words: Poetry Festival reached for the stars

When local poet Michael Reynolds reads at the 2009 Whitehorse Poetry Festival, he’ll join a closely connected group of guests that includes Michael Ondaatje, Don McKay, CD Wright, Adam Sol and Erin Mouré. “It’s exciting that we will all meet in Whitehorse!” said Mouré from Montréal. Organizer Clea Roberts said the June 19-21 festival attracts …

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P-Wing: Not your daddy’s cover band

Pegasus Wing beckons listeners to recall the profound messages and blissful sounds made by artists whom (unbeknown to them at the time) stood at the 80s doorstep of strange musical wonder, having just come off a 70s classic rock high. André Gagné, Fiona Solon, Ken Hermanson, Micah Smith, and Mike Millar (with an “a”) collectively …

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Battling for the Right to Rock Main Stage

A staple of the Frostbite Music Festival will kick off this year’s event and showcase the multitude of young talent in the territory. The annual Battle of the Bands competition will take place Friday, February 15 in the Yukon College’s woodshed and will feature eight bands, six of whom will be competing for a coveted …

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Good music, good cause

For 20 bucks, you can enjoy 12 hours of live music at Shipyards Park this weekend and support the Yukon Humane Society. The Sunstroke Music Festival, one of three weekend festivals that make up the Solstice Festival, first ran in the summer of 2006 as the brainchild of Jordi Mikeli-Jones, also the proprietor of Triple …

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The Music Fest Two-Step

Are you ready? Have you done your lunges? Assembled a method of attack? Bought your tickets? Studied the various MySpace sites? Another music-festival month has arrived in the Yukon and, while you don’t necessarily need to be a yoga master or have a stringent preparedness plan, it is highly recommended. After all, you don’t want …

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The audience-friendly DCMF

“Last year there were lineups,” says Amy-Lynn Karchut, Dawson City Music Festival’s producer. “And that is against our mandate; we are not about lineups.” And so, St. Paul’s Anglican Church will be used by DCMF on a Saturday evening, for the first time, to help take the pressure off the Palace Grand Theatre. This is …

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The cozy, friendly music festival

The intimate “anti-stadium” music festival, that is the Atlin Arts & Music Festival, has gotten even smaller this year, July 10 to 12. The performing arts director, Rick Newberry, says this is a good thing as organizers were responding to the wishes of performers and audiences. “They both said they want to spend more time …

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World of Words: A Poet shares her diverse sense of ‘Place’

Montreal poet and essayist Erin Mouré is an Albertan with roots in Galicia, Spain. “I think in three languages all at once and every day,” she said: Galician, her father’s language, French and English. Mouré, also a professional translator, mastered Galician, a root language of Portuguese, “to preserve the richly poetic culture” of Spain’s mountainous …

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Local Filmmaker Chronicles Extraordinary Journey

Mike Faughey-Scraggs is an orthopedic surgeon at Leeds Teaching Hospital in England. He’s a former high diver and an experienced mountaineer, having scaled Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. In the summer of 2008, he participated in the grueling Yukon River Quest, paddling his one-man kayak from Whitehorse to Dawson City. Added to these impressive qualifications is …

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Down by the riverside

Throughout history, rivers have been associated with life. It seems appropriate, then, that those who create would celebrate alongside the Yukon River. The Yukon Riverside Arts Festival, in Dawson City, is going into its ninth year and Jenifer Rudski shares festival highlights over the phone from KIAC, in Dawson City. She is coordinating this year’s …

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Lights, Camera, Action!

On January 18, Yukoners have the opportunity to make a film in 48 hours. Sound impossible? Not according to Dan Sokolowski, co-organizer of the Yukon 48 Hour Filmmaking Festival. “It can be daunting to think about making a film,” says Sokolowski. “This challenge is a kick-start for people to realize they actually can make films, …

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Indo-Canadian Filmmakers Shine a Light on Contemporary India

Tickets are on sale now for the Yukon Film Society’s annual Available Light Film Festival, which takes place Feb. 4 to 10 at the Yukon Arts Centre in Whitehorse. Among the lineup are two films by Indo-Canadian filmmakers delving deep into the culture of contemporary India. Midnight’s Children Midnight’s Children is Deepa Mehta’s newest effort. …

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An Evening of Wine Tasting

Over the past several weeks, a number of my friends have been asking me when this year’s Rendezvous Rotary Club’s Wine and Fine Food event will take place. (In the spirit of full disclosure, I am a member of the Rendezvous Rotary Club and love working on the event each year.) This year, the event …

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The accordion tells it like it is

Geoff Berner is an accordion player. If you think this might make for a boring evening at the Old Fire Hall, Friday night, then you don’t know Geoff. With such songs as “Half German Girlfriend” and “We All Gotta Be A Prostitute Sometimes,” he has been described as “politically inflammatory”. But Berner would not take …

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World of Words: History as a Smörgåsbord

“Think of our history as a smörgåsbord, upon which there is more than you can possibly eat,” says Michael Gates, author of the new book, History Hunting in the Yukon, published by Harbour Publishing. As Gates’ popular History Hunters column in the Yukon News shows, he gets personal about Yukon history: “I have always delighted …

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The ‘Brave New Words’ of filmmaking

Creative magic—the kind that turns charcoal-pencilled drawings into animation—that’s the magic of KINO (the German word for “film”). Edward Westerhuis says he’s the “official unofficial organizer” of KINO. He’s also the momentum behind KINO Returns, after boasting a sold-out audience last December. “It’s a movement that originated in Montréal, Québec, an incentive to help filmmakers …

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Available Light Film Festival shines on unique films

A powerful film about grassroots-level punk music in a religion not traditionally open to diverse musical tastes, Islam, blends with a heartfelt, passionate documentary following a young woman with cystic fibrosis. On the surface, these films are unrelated, but their beauty and truth have led to them being carefully handpicked for the Available Light Film …

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The Many Genres and Venues of Marg Tatam

Every community has its hidden gems. Some are inclined to sit quietly in the showcase and sparkle, while others are more like butterflies, travelling from flower to flower ever seeking to learn more. Marg Tatam definitely belongs in the latter category. This piano and violin teacher (who also plays organ, accordion, cello and pennywhistle) has …

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Nina Arsenault talks about the pursuit of beauty and truth

Nina Arsenault warns me that she’s not about to tell the “typical” transsexual story to Nakai Theatre’s Pivot Festival audiences. You know the story, she says, “Her name is Barbara, she used to be Markus, she never felt right in her own body, she met a doctor and now she’s getting boobs. It’s the same …

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The 3rd annual Pivot Festival: Floating, swimming, flying

The Pivot Festival is upon us — and with it comes a huge ton of theatre. You have six shows you can see at multiple times, all wildly different, appealing to both broad and specific audiences. It’s like a carnival of mad, wonderful theatre taking over the town for a week. Feeling a bit like …

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Film Festival Goers will be Reeling On Easter Weekend

On the day we met to discuss the 11th Dawson City International Short Film Festival, producer Dan Sokolowski was just finishing getting the 40-page program into final shape to go to the printers. He looked a little tired, but I was on deadline and showed him no mercy. “What’s new this year?” I snapped, clicking …

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The many scars of Terry Sawchuk

Night Work: The Sawchuk Poems, opens with the autopsy report of hockey great Terry Sawchuk. It ends with a photo of his face, a jigsaw of quick stitches. In between, author Randall Maggs creates a biography of poems that takes readers on the roller coaster ride that was the life of the greatest goalie of …

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Electronic music gets its turn

It started out with the purest of intentions: for the love of music. Five years ago, it was called Booms Day, an all-night concert of electronic music. There were a couple of a hundred fans, who would hear about it from friend to friend, and they would converge at “Paradise”. It is a hospitable piece …

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Preschoolers get their own festival

With the Atlin Arts and Music Festival taking the summer off, to re-tool and re-tune and re-fresh, Atlin residents may have suspected the second weekend of July would be relatively boring. Instead, the streets will be filled with three- to five-year-olds looking for a good time on Friday, July 9. “Overrun with three- to five-year-olds?” …

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