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 light and darkness.
There was also the annual Dawson City Museum Auction, during which the courtroom on the second floor was packed with people wearing pajamas (there’s always a costume theme).
Then there was the open mic/coffee house at the Odd Fellows Hall, a monthly opportunity for those who like to perform or listen to music in a coffee house setting and spend a good two hours or so in each other’s company.
The coffee house on Nov. 7 was particularly good because it was full of young performers, starting with the young fiddlers that the North Klondyke Highway Music Society has been training up here in Dawson for the last several years. These seven kids, and a few older folk as well, put on a fine show to kick off the evening.
Then there were a couple of very young solo acts who were brave enough to face the crowd – estimated at 125 people that night – to show what they’ve been learning to do.
They were followed by a mixed group of high school students, who have been developing skills on guitar, piano, drums and bass and forming themselves into various smaller groups within the larger class. So there were solos, trios and the full quintet filling up the roster for the evening.
It’s great to see the young people coming up doing pretty much the same thing that I started doing when I was about their ages, working with some friends of mine that I reconnected with on my fall trip back east after not seeing them at all since about 1974.
The numbers at this event were amazing. These evenings often start out with 30 to 50 people, but parents and friends will pack the place when the kids are the main attraction.
There were other acts that night. I would normally have been one of them, but there was a full list of performers and I had another event to attend, so I left my guitar back at the coat rack and just enjoyed the performances for the 90 minutes I was able to stay.
The other nice thing about these events is that they raise money for worthy causes. This one raised $625 to help send the Grades 10, 11 and 12 classes on a trip to France later in this school year. Other events have raised money to assist in travel during medical emergencies, and when fires have damaged people’s homes.
The next event will be on Saturday, Dec. 5 and the proceeds will go to the Big Brothers and Sisters organization. I plan to play at least one Christmassy song.