The fall has arrived with a multitude of cultural activities. It is also a tremendously busy time on the Francophone musical scene.

Yukon Women in Music (YWIM), in collaboration with the cultural sector of Association franco-yukonnaise, have organized a Café-rencontre — the traditional Friday dinner with the Francophone community — followed by a show featuring female Yukon musicians performing in French especially for the occasion.

Some of the participants are Francophone, while others are English-speakers used to performing only in their native language. It’s a chance to discover different interpretations of well-known French songs as well as original compositions.

While it will be a new experience for the audience, it’s interesting work for the performers, too. “Singing French lyrics stretches me artistically,” says Susan Phillips, music teacher at Whitehorse Elementary and performer with YWIM.

Susan, a composer, worked in musical therapy in Quebec a few years ago. There she developed her taste for Francophone Canadian music: “I have a few disks of music from Quebec that I really love to listen to.”

Susan will perform the Francis Cabrel song Je l’aime à mourir.

Other YWIM performers include Danielle Bonneau, Fawn Fritzen, Hélène Beaulieu, Nicole Edwards, Andrea McColeman, Selina Heyligers-Hare, Sonja Anderson, Sylvie Painchaud, Caroline Watt, Virginie Hamel and France Robert. This special musical event takes place Friday, Oct. 1 at the Centre de la francophonie. The Café-rencontre is at 5 p.m. and the show starts at 7:30.

Chant’Ouest

In related news, Sylvie Painchaud, one of the YWIM performers, is performing at the 10th annual Chant’Ouest in Winnipeg on Sept. 23. She is the third artist to represent the Yukon at this Francophone music contest for the Western provinces and territories.

In May, Sylvie participated in the Pacifique en chanson, a music contest for Francophone artists from BC and the Yukon, where she won three prizes out of five.

“Chant’Ouest is a big step in my career as a musician,” says Sylvie. “When I won at the Pacifique en chanson, I realized how much people like what I’m doing. It’s great, but it’s a lot a pressure for me in the future.”

Even before Pacifique en chanson, a big part of the community discovered Sylvie’s unique talent in the show Me voici she did last March, featuring her lyrics on piano melody.

Chant’Ouest is the last step before the biggest Francophone Canadian music contest, the Festival international de la chanson de Granby, in Quebec.

“I know there will be a lot of important representatives from the music industry and a lot of really professional musicians [at Chant’Ouest] on Sept. 23, and it’s exciting,” says Sylvie. “I’m mostly going to present my lyrics.

“I would like to find some good interpreters for the texts I’m doing. I realize the urgency for myself to collaborate with other artists.

“For the same reason, I’m very excited to participate in an event like the YWIM show at the Centre de la francophonie: it’s a great opportunity to connect with other wonderful local musicians!”