French Toast: Traditional Music Containing OMG

As everybody knows, the Dawson City Music Festival 2010 is coming this weekend, July 16 to 18.

This year, the Francophone voice of the festival is Bette and Wallet. The duo from Nova Scotia (Antigonish) and Québec promises to present an original and bilingual music performance.

Its traditional sing-along tunes are livened up with modern sounds and rhythms.

Mary Beth Cary, lead singer, accordionist, guitar player, bassist and percussion; and Gabriel Ouellette, voice, violin, electric guitar, banjo, bass, bouzouki; have created their first album, Voici, recorded at home.

Both of them learned music at a very young age, exploring different kinds of sonority from rock, progressive, world music to traditional folk of Québec and the Maritimes.

The music is an eclectic mix of influences: Joan Baez, La Bolduc, Fairport Convention, Elevetor, La Bottine Souriante, Jimi Hendrix, Grimskunk … and Tool.

They are considered an iconoclast Arcadian duo as much for their lyrics as for their music by the Longueur d’Ondes French magazine.

The duo is singing text and poetry with the song style of call-and-response. The lyrics are sometimes almost activist in their traditional sound which creates an uncommon musical atmosphere.

The band calls its own music “culturally-ecological”, recycled music for fighting the cultural-imperialism.

Bette and Wallet sing about OMG, imass consumption, issues of modern life, pollution, etc: ” … the little coffee cup containing OMG, how can we stop it? …“.

Cary is the lead singer most of the time, while the voice of Gabrielle Ouellette joins hers once in a while for singing vibrant harmonies on traditional Canadian, Eastern Europe, Scottish and Irish traditional rhythms.

Parks Day

It is the 125th anniversary of Parks Canada and it is also the year of astronomy. Several activities are organized throughout the country at this occasion. Parks Canada is also celebrating the International Year of Biodiversity.

For Parks Day, on Saturday, July 17, Parks Canada collaborates with l’Association franco-yukonnaise to present a special day of activities. There will be animation for children, games, face painting, storytelling and music from Hélène Beaulieu and Lana Rae at the SS Klondike in Whitehorse from noon to 5 p.m.

Summer Art Exhibition at l’AFY

From now to September, l’AFY is featuring the work of art of a few talented Francophone visual artists. A variety of creations made with acrylic, collage, water colour and pieces made of recycled materials are at the Community Hall of l’AFY.

Virginie Hamel is a regular contributor to What’s Up Yukon who keeps tab on events in Yukon’s francophone community.

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