Behind the Man Who’s Behind the Camera

It’s Christmas Eve and Vince Fedoroff and I are drinking happy hour beers at the Gold Rush. The place is packed. We chat for a bit before we begin the interview. Crystal Ball by Styx plays on the satellite radio and I admit to Vince that Styx is one of my favourite bands. He cites The Beatles, Peter Gabriel, and Genesis as a few of his own faves.

We get down to business so that I can learn about Vince’s rock’n’roll history , and my first question stumps him — he can’t remember the name of his first band! We get a good laugh out of that before moving on.

His second band was called Union Jacks. He remembers his father teaching him to play the piano, his first instrument. When Vince decided that he didn’t want to continue with piano, his father bought a drum kit. Using reverse psychology, his father told Vince he bought the kit for himself so, of course, Vince wanted to play it all the time.

He tells me how he learned to play: He had a vinyl record by the drummer of The Partridge Family on how to be a drummer. This audio lesson was quite rudimentary , and didn’t even teach one how to hold the sticks.

Vince still considers himself a “struggling drum student”. He has been the drummer of Yukon Jack since 1990. I get goose bumps when Vince talks about the honour he feels playing with the “road warriors” of that band. It’s his favourite musical endeavor to date.

Vince Fedoroff and I were both born at the Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster, B . C. He lived in Hope, B . C ., where his family owned and operated the Mount Hope Hotel. When he was in elementary school, his father traded their hotel for the Penguin Hotel in Dawson City! The Penguin used to be where the Midnight Son Hotel now stands. Vince and his family spent a summer in Dawson , and then wintered in Swift River. After that they moved to Whitehorse.

Vince went to Whitehorse Elementary and F.H. Collins and, with the exception of a three-year Vancouver hiatus in the late ‘80s, has lived here since.

As the music playing in the bar got better, the crowd dispersed and Vince reminded me of how me met. Back in 2005, I told Matthew Grant that I had never been inside the log skyscrapers. He informed me that one of his co-workers at the Whitehorse Star lived in one , and we went a’visitin’ Vince. I remember seeing a collection of Vince’s raven photos that day.

I ask Vince what keeps him in the Yukon. His reply? “Who would leave?”

Almost immediately after he says this, Howard Chymy comes over to wish us a happy holiday. It’s perfectly timed in a way that happens in the Yukon often, reminding us of how lucky we are to live here.

Vince Fedoroff was the winner of the 2013 Yukon Rendezvous Society’s coveted golden razor for best moustache. His favorite colour is purple. This may have something to do with his mother’s name, Violet , or maybe it’s just because purple brings out the colour of his eyes. Either way, he looks real good in purple .

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