Dawson City Music Festival – DCMF

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 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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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.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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.

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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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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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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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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“… 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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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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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 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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“Accessible” is the Word for this Year’s DCMF

Counting down to the Buffy Sainte-Marie concert that will be the prologue to this year’s Dawson City Music Festival, producer/artistic director Tim Jones is feeling very satisfied with what he and the board have assembled for this year’s event. “I’m really happy about the lineup,” he says. It’s the first one I’ve gotten to program …

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Face it, Yukoners Like Booze

American liquor connoisseurs have Canada to thank for keeping their palates wet during Prohibition, as it was Canadians who made sure they didn’t go thirsty. In fact, in its heyday Canadian-based Seagrams was the largest distiller in the world. It’s no wonder than that Canadians are always near, if not at, the top when it …

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A Simple Binary Equation: Snooze = Lose

It was a plaintive little e-mail, familiar in both theme and tone. No, it wasn’t the weekly missive from the executor of some unfortunate Nigerian’s estate, seeking an accomplice to help liberate the dearly-departed’s billions from who-knows-what dire consequence. It was the kind of e-mail that inevitably begins, “Does anyone know where I can get …

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Growlers: Not Just For Pirates

Canoeing to the DCMF? You are probably already concerned about the rattling of beer bottles in your canoe (to be safely consumed, of course, by your campfire and not while out on the water). We hear your pain. If drinking from a can doesn’t float your boat (i.e., lack of a good inhale upon drinking …

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A Festive Summer

The cultural branch of l’Association franco-yukonnaise (AFY) presents a double St-Jean-Baptiste festival this year. The calendar is so generous that it made the two days of the St-Jean-Baptiste happening a Friday and a Saturday. The event will take place June 24 for Dawson City and June 25 for Whitehorse, this year at Marsh Lake. The …

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Musical Months in Dawson

Dawson City is famous for the Dawson City Music Festival, which covers a long weekend in July. However, if that’s all we had happening here, the town could be considered musically impoverished. Not to worry, we do our best to bring in talent from elsewhere. And when we can’t do that, we play for ourselves. …

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Remembering the Lost Patrol

One of the last big weekends of this Dawson City summer will be built around an RCMP Regimental Ball, to be held here on August 27. The force has held a number of special events and anniversary celebrations in Dawson in the past, but this one, organized to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Lost …

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Feeding Bodies, Hearts and Minds

Just had a call from the folks at the Community Gospel Hall to tell us that there were 90 people at this week’s edition of the transients/summer workers/summerdoughs’ Tuesday night dinner. That’s sharply up from the 55 to 60 that St. Paul’s Anglican played host to last week and still more than the group St. …

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Cool Tunes, Swell Suds

Dawson Music Festival (DCMF) is billed as a music event, but there happens to be a lot of beer action in the midst of it. My friend Lee, who didn’t have the foresight to purchase music tickets beforehand, kept calling it Dawson beerfest from his vantage point in the beer gardens. And arguably, beer does …

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Live from the Sticks

At the 2012 Dawson City Music Festival (DCMF), attendees are in for a treat. With a lineup that became progressively more exciting as it was leaked over the early months of spring, one of the bands that stands out is The Deep Dark Woods. Well, to me anyway. You see, a strange thing happens when …

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The Joys of a Good House Concert

Here in Dawson we’re into the second year of working with the Home Routes organization to stage a series of House Concerts. These help to tide us over between music festivals by bringing festival quality acts into town. They’re called house concerts because, with a few rare exceptions, they take place in peoples’ homes and …

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