Oddfellows Hall

Jen Hodge

Big, driving quarter notes

Jen Hodge had just spent five hectic days in Asheville, North Carolina, rehearsing every day and performing late into every night as part of the massive celebration of swing music known as Lindy Focus XVI. Despite the grinding schedule, the Vancouver jazz bassist and singer considered the Christmas-week event “a really incredible experience” that allowed her …

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Congratulations SOVA!

Any discussion of the Yukon School of Visual Arts begins with a couple of questions: What is it? Why is it in Dawson? The first question is easily answered: the Yukon SOVA is a post-secondary art school with excellent facilities and dedicated staff, offering a foundation year (first year) of a Bachelor of Fine Arts …

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When the Land Has a Character

Bestselling Canadian author Lawrence Hill pursues a lifelong interest in African diaspora narratives. As a part of the research for a book he’s writing about the contribution of African American soldiers to the construction of the Alaska Highway, Hill is travelling the Highway from northern B.C. through the Yukon. His first Yukon stop was in …

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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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Need Some Good Advice?

Basia Bulat is returning to the Yukon. Bulat is a multi-instrumentalist – she plays guitar, autoharp, banjo, ukulele, charango, hammered dulcimer, saxophone and flute – and has a powerful voice. She comes by her musical interests naturally, having a mother who was a music teacher who taught both piano and guitar. She has said the …

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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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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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Good Music for Good Causes

November 7 turned out to be an incredibly busy evening for anyone involved in community events in Dawson. There was the closing banquet for the Youth Art Enrichment program, which I mentioned here a few weeks ago. There was an outdoor art installation on the dyke and waterfront called The Deep Dark, involving contrasts of …

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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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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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A Subversive Singer-Songwriter Comes to the Yukon

While Martha Wainwright began her current tour a year ago to promote her latest CD, Come Home to Mama, she says the North American portion of the tour has evolved into something a little more wide-ranging. “At this point we’ve moved from promoting the latest album to doing songs from the previous two or three …

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The Community That Sings Together

The community that sings together … My personal songbook is getting bigger every month. That’s thanks to the energy of a departed Dawsonite educator, named Nijen Holland (or just, Nijen, as everybody called him), who thought up the idea of having monthly coffee houses at various locations around town and encouraging local musicians to contribute …

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Art Enrichment Time

The first Youth Art Enrichment (YAC) week in Dawson City was inspired in the early years of the Klondike Institute of Art and Culture (KIAC) by the long-running Youth Authors’ Conference that takes place in Whitehorse. It’s so successful in its own write – so to speak – that now it seems it’s just the …

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Making Music in the Ballroom

The last of the monthly winter coffee house and open mic nights at the Odd Fellows Hall ballroom occurred on May 5. They are a tradition that goes back five or six years now, having been started by an educational assistant at the Robert Service School who wanted a place for the student band he …

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Roofalanches

You might not expect to have to worry too much about falling snow in the Klondike in April. After all, this is not Alberta, where blizzards in the middle of April are common events. Yes, it snowed on the morning of Easter Sunday here in Dawson, but it had turned to drizzle by noon when …

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What is Thaw di Gras, Anyway?

Thaw di Gras (sometimes misspelled Thaw di Graw, especially in Manitoba) is the peculiar name Dawson City gives its spring carnival. The event will be held from March 15 to 18. The name is, of course, a reference to the Mardi Gras, which actually took place on February 21, the Tuesday before the Christian religious …

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A Gift from the Odd Fellows

Last night I attended the delightful Dawson City showing of the David Mamet play, Boston Marriage. Two days earlier the KIAC Christmas Art and Craft Extravaganza filled a room with handicrafts and artwork. On the same date there was a Karaoke Night with visiting artist-in-residence Curtis Grahauer. Two nights before that Grahauer offered a showing …

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