It’s not enough to say that I am excited to bring our show, Tomboy Survival Guide home to the place I was born and raised. It’s so much more for me than just exciting.

I’m going to try and put it all into context for you. I planted the trees and shrubs outside of the Yukon Arts Centre, in the summer of 1992, I think it was, when I was working for Iditarod Landscaping. I helped lay the bricks in the little outdoor amphitheater just in front of the big glass doors, I laid the sod and watered and mowed the grass there. I was 23 and working on my first book. I remember sitting there on my lunch hour, looking out over my hometown and dreaming that one day I would be an artist and a writer, and one day I might get to perform there, inside on that big fancy stage.

From the YAC archives: a crowd gathers in the garden for Yukon Arts Centre's opening day, 29 May 1992.
From the YAC archives: a crowd gathers in the garden for Yukon Arts Centre's opening day, 29 May 1992.

Well it’s 23 years later and those little shrubs are well rooted trees now and my eleventh book is due out next fall and I’m bringing three of the best musicians I know with me to perform on that stage on September 17th. Tomboy Survival Guide is the most intimate, personal show I have ever written. The stories are rooted in my Whitehorse childhood, in my Yukon blood, they are written in the clay cliffs and the Qwanlin Mall and the alleys behind my grandmother’s old house on Alexander Street.

Coyote, Willekes, Zori, and Gorman perform as Tomboy Survival Guide. Photo courtesy of Ivan Coyote.
Coyote, Willekes, Zori, and Gorman perform as Tomboy Survival Guide. Photo by Fubarfoto.

None of the other members of my band have ever had a chance to see Whitehorse, Sally was born in Iraq and grew up in the Middle East and then Toronto, and Pebbles hails from Amsterdam.

I am bringing the far-flung parts of my life and art home, and telling stories born and raised in Whitehorse, just as I am so very proud to be. Most of my family will be there with us. I hope you can come and be there, too.

-------------------------------------------

Ivan Coyote was born and raised in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory. An award-winning author of eight collections of short stories, a collection of essays, one novel, three CD’s, four short films and a renowned performer. 

Tomboy Survival Guide is made up of Ivan Coyote, bass player Pebbles Willekes, drummer Sally Zori, and trumpet player Alison Gorman. They are bringing the show to the Yukon Arts Centre on September 17, 2015.