Blog / Old Fire Hall

Add YOUR voice to a national theatre project!

Add YOUR voice to a national theatre project!

The Tale of a Town - a national oral history and theatre initiative that is documenting and celebrating main street stories - will be arriving in Whitehorse this weekend to begin their quest for gathering local stories!

So far, this touring project has visited all 10 provinces, and Nunavut Territory.  This August to September, The Tale of a Town will take up temporary residency here in Whitehorse, before heading to Yellowknife later this fall to complete their tour of the entire country, in time to mark our Canada’s 150th Anniversary in 2017.

During their time here, the company will be conducting interviews with business owners, community leaders, and residents about our downtown and we’d like to hear from you! Interviews will be approximately 20 minutes in length and take place in the “story mobile”, (a.k.a. recording studio on wheels) that will be parked at the Old Fire Hall downtown. For groups of four or more, The Tale of a Town is also able to come to you! Interview questions are informally focused on your own personal memories of our downtown, how you have seen it change, and what your visions for its future. 

We are still booking individuals in for the first round of interviews, which will take place during the following dates and times: 

Friday August 26th:  10am – 4pm
Saturday August 27th:  10am - 4pm
Monday August 29th: 10am - 4pm
Tuesday August 30th: 10am - 4pm

Please email Tatiana at The Yukon Arts Centre: tatiana.carnevale@yac.ca to book your interview time!

These gathered tales will inspire the creation of a site-specific performance downtown between September 15 - 18 - tickets are now on sale! Stories will also be added to The Tale of a Town’s online Storyportal.  To find out more about this national project, please check out their website: http://www.thetaleofatown.com

Together for the first time

Together for the first time

On July 28th, Wendy McNeill will perform at the Old Fire Hall, along with local artist, Sarah MacDougall.

Wendy McNeil resides in Europe, however her roots stem from the Canadian prairies. You can tell the dusky fields of endless land and skies may be Wendy’s inspiration. McNeill’s song writing has been described as “prairie-gothic”. While her lyrics are captivating the music has been described as off-kilter accordion waltzes, that of dreamlike folk tales, and of like cabaret style confessionals.

Wendy McNeill’s newest body of work is titled One Colour More, which highlights the stories of unsuspecting heroes taking on the role of the story teller. The mode of each song varies from character to character. However, you won’t miss a sprinkle of mischievous humour within the lyrics. Each song in One Colour More tells stories of a variety of people, and creatures (and accordions) finding peace in a new place, a theme of immigration and discovery.

Wendy McNeill will be sharing the stage with our very own Sarah MacDougall. Sarah was born in Sweden, and now resides in Whitehorse. This year, Sarah has been nominated for ‘Best Solo Roots Album’ for her newest album Grand Canyon. The songs on the album are about identity, love, fear, hope, growing up, rootlessness, and forgiveness. They are written from the point of view of the hopeful outsider, trying to figure out their place and make sense of the world.

It’s going to be a beautiful occasion to watch these thoughtful artists preform together for the first time; both sharing wispy and soulful voices with lyrics that are heartfelt and endearing.

Wendy and Sarah preform at the Old Fire Hall Tuesday, July 28th, 2015 at 7:30 PM.
Tickets: $25
Available at: YAC Box Office (867-667-8574), Arts Underground andwww.yukonartscentre.com

Behind-the-Scenes with YAC Staff: Kristina Mercs

Behind-the-Scenes with YAC Staff: Kristina Mercs

Over the last five years, the Old Fire Hall has developed into a hub for arts and culture in downtown Whitehorse, providing an intimate venue for a variety of presentations and performances. This unique waterfront site not only offers theatre, music and art offerings through the Yukon Arts Centre, but is also the focal point for a multitude of local festivals and community programming. 

Since YAC’s acquisition of the OFH, Kristina Mercs has captained its day to day operations as venue coordinator, facilitating a vibrant array of events that have enriched both the Yukon Arts Centre and Whitehorse community at large. Through her direction, the OFH has become ‘a place to be’ in downtown Whitehorse.

We talked with Mercs about her eventful occupation in and beyond the Old Fire Hall.


DESCRIBE WHAT YOU DO AT THE YUKON ARTS CENTRE IN FIVE WORDS OR LESS.
I manage the day-to-day operations at the OFH.

WHAT IS A VENUE COORDINATOR AT THE OLD FIRE HALL?
The venue coordinator orients renters to the OFH, our gear, assets and capacities to handle a diverse array of events. I assist them in realizing their goals, in a safe, flexible, beautiful space with technical gear suitable to handle most rentals.

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES?
From initial contact where we share the OFH handbook, communication is key.
Following communication, a keen sense of technical ability is important as I need to be able to assist renters in sound, lights, projection and troubleshooting all of the above.
Once we are at event day, I review with the client their setup, tweak any of that, then organize the setup based on order of operations that is most efficient and effective, delegating and instructing them and their volunteers on what and how to do it. Then we have a show or event. Once patrons are departing I work with the renters to take it all apart and put it away in a timely fashion before cleaning up, filing a show report, then I leave.

WHAT IS THE MOST EXCITING THING ABOUT YOUR JOB?
Seeing the OFH become a de-facto downtown community centre serving many different user groups and welcoming a broad spectrum of patrons is quite fulfilling. And seeing great shows is a bonus!

HOW DID YOU GET INTO THIS CAREER?
I helped run a record label, Caribou Records, for 12 years prior to working for the YAC. So, working with artists, on event planning and management (whether albums, tours, or shows) was a huge part of that world. I have that kind of detail-oriented brain and I love to rearrange furniture!

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT THE YUKON?
Big skies. Clean water. Large, intact tracks of wild space where the vibration of nature still exists. I love being outnumbered by caribou! People who are real.

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVOURITE SHOW AT YAC?
Frankenstein! I had no idea it was a musical until the opening scene!!
Margie Gillis! A fantastic, emotionally literate dancer. Made me cry.
Ride the Cyclone! So fun! Dark, but FUN!
Victoria! Great set, great story, great performance, great use of light and shadow.

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVOURITE SHOW AT THE OLD FIRE HALL?
Legoland! More brilliance from Atomic Vaudeville who brought us Ride the Cyclone.
Dogtown! Even though it was a work-shopped performance, not fully realized, it was hilarious to see our town’s antics and people as interpreted through Roy Ness in this very funny tale.

WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU WERE NOT A VENUE COORDINATOR?
Adventure traveller/writer/photographer.

WHAT ARE YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT?
Mountain bike and Fat bike riding. Baking. Outside time. Dancing and taking in live music shows.

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY @ The Old Fire Hall

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY @ The Old Fire Hall

YUKON ARTS CENTRE
EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY
Assistant Venue Coordinator – Old Fire Hall.

The Old Fire Hall is Yukon Arts Centre’s downtown venue specializing in community events, workshops and intimate presentations.
The Yukon Arts Centre is a not for profit charitable organization that is dedicated to the development of the arts as an important cultural, social and economic force in the Yukon. We intend to be model for the development of the arts in the north and a stimulus for a vibrant and creative Territory. We are seeking a like-minded team player that can help us achieve our goals: an enthusiastic, innovative and skilled individual with excellent people skills who will fill the position of Assistant Venue Coordinator – Old Fire Hall.

The Assistant Venue Coordinator will provide support and guidance to the clients of the Yukon Arts Centre’s Old Fire Hall; including professional artists, community performers and commercial clients.  The Old Fire Hall is a community venue; the Assistant Venue Coordinator should be able work with diverse clients in all aspects of planning their event.  They should also have knowledge and experience with basic lighting design and operation, live sound, video and general stage technical services.  The person will work closely with the Venue Coordinator and the YAC Technical Director.
Duties
1. Assist in all areas of event presentation.
2. Operate the facility independently as required by the rental/ event.
3. Perform regular and seasonal maintenance and upkeep to all theatrical equipment.
4. Meet with clients to establish event requirements and assist in all areas of event planning and execution.
5. Assist in the training and development of local volunteers wishing to assist at the facility.
6. Assist with the occupational safety and health of co-workers, performers, volunteers and audience members.
7. Assist in planning and implementing technical improvements to the Old Fire Hall.

Required Knowledge and Skills
1. Stagecraft or stage management diploma from a recognized post-secondary institution or a minimum of 2 years related equivalent work experience.
2. Experience with assisting and working with community and semi-professional groups with patience, understanding and consideration.  The candidate must have strong communication skills; good time management skills, flexibility and be able to approach each situation with diplomacy.
3. Experience working in a wide range of related production areas including sound, lighting and rigging.
4. Demonstrated ability to work independently with minimum direct supervision and the capacity to work smoothly with other team members and community presenters.
5. Experience working in a community facility with a wide variety of events and short turn around time.
6. Demonstrated ability to work and assist a wide range event types including live music, theatre, dance, variety shows, film presentations, weddings and corporate presentations.
7. Demonstrated ability to establish priorities and achieve deadlines.
8. Demonstrated ability to work in a safe and timely manner.
9. Ability to work at heights, climb ladders, lift up to 50 pounds and skill with basic power tools.
10. Literate with computer systems and software. (Windows 7, Mac OS).
11. A good sense of humour is a useful asset.
This is a 32 hour per week Public Service Alliance of Canada position with a wage range of $19.81 - $20.62 per hour.  Hire Date:  As soon possible.  Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.
Please provide a cover letter with a detailed résumé with related experiences. We encourage all members of the community to apply. The Yukon Arts Centre is an equal opportunity employer. We thank all those that take the time to apply. We will only contact those that best meet the listed qualifications.

Submit résumés and cover letter to:    Josh Jansen, Technical Director.
Email: josh.jansen@yac.ca (preferred). Phone 867 667-8568 FAX: 867 393-6300
Mail: PO Box 16, Whitehorse, YT. Y1A-5X9

Acrylic Painting workshop with Jennifer Walden November 25-27 at the Old Fire Hall

Acrylic Painting workshop with Jennifer Walden November 25-27 at the Old Fire Hall

We are pleased to offer acrylic painting classes with Jennifer Walden, November 25-27 from 5 - 8:30 at the Old Fire Hall . Space is limited to 10 participants, registration is required. The cost of the course is $205 per person, all materials provided. To register email gallery(at)yac(dot)ca or call 393 7109

During this three-day workshop participants are encouraged to experiment, make mistakes, make discoveries and have fun while working with a variety of Acrylic media. We will learn how to layer acrylic glazes to create rich and vibrant colours and use acrylic gels and mediums to create a highly textured painting. We will work on a variety of small pieces simultaneously allowing participants the chance to experiment with different gels, mediums and acrylic materials. We will look at the role texture and relief play in the composition of a painting and how colour and washes can accentuate the relief elements to create a unified and captivating work of art.
Participants will leave the workshop with their own painting on stretched canvas.

Jennifer will be here to install her upcoming exhibition, Land at the end of the sticks, at the Yukon Arts Centre Public Art Gallery in November. The opening reception is on November 28.