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2014 Conrad Boyce Award presented to Scott Wilson

2014 Conrad Boyce Award presented to Scott Wilson

Conrad Boyce is best known for his love of theatre and great dedication to the arts in the Yukon. In recognization as a crucial member of the community, the  Conrad Boyce Award is annually presented to a new recipient, this year it is Scott Wilson. Similar to Boyce, Wilson has been an integral part of the arts community in the Yukon and is best known for his commitment to Jazz Yukon and as a band member in the Whitehorse based group Second Cousins, that preforms a medley of bluegrass, roots, and alt-country music.

Initially not having known much of Boyce's history, Wilson first heard of his participation in the Yukon arts scene as a board member of and director for the Golden Horn Music Society (GHMS). When Wilson first arrived in the Yukon the GHMS was spearheading performances such as Man of La Mancha, Annie, and Sound of Music to name a few. Boyce and Wilson first met while playing in the pit orchestra for Annie, which Boyce directed. Wilson recounts on story from the opening night:

The show was well on its way, when Boyce came out from the curtain and said "Is there a doctor in the house?"  Everyone laughed, but he was serious.... My friend Rachel was directing the pit orchestra and she pointed her baton at me and said, "I think you are needed back stage".  I ran back stage to find Daddy Warbucks (Mark Smith) writhing around in the wings with a dislocated shoulder, a recurring problem, and provoked by a very quick costume change trying to get into a jacket. My dear friend Dorothy Martin (an ER nurse who was in the play) was on the wing when I arrived.  As the band played on and the actors improvised on stage... we looked at each other... didn't really say much and just did our nurse-doctor thing and reduced the dislocated shoulder, strapped him up, put Daddy Warbucks in his next costume change and sent him back on stage... to complete the evening's performance. Dorothy and I resumed our respective spots in the cast!

Boyce first arrived in the Yukon by way of the Alaska Highway in the summer of 1977 from Grande Prairie, Alberta, where he was living at the time. He enjoyed the Frantic Follies to the point that he decided to audition, was accepted, and returned to the Yukon to work for them in the summer of 1978. Boyce began to explore his love theatre at an early age while in high school in Edmonton, Alberta. Apart from the Follies, his first theatre experience in Whitehorse was that winter of 1980/81, when he directed some of the first productions held at the Guild Hall and Man of La Mancha at FH Collins. La Mancha is one of Boyce’s most memorable productions along with and Godspell, also at FH Collins, Annie and The Wizard of Oz held at the Yukon Arts Centre, and a Bevy at the Guild Hall. Boyce recounts what he suggest may have perhaps been his favourite production "Romeo and Juliet for the Whitehorse Drama Club, in 1989 at the old Indian Centre in Riverdale (no longer there). I had two young teenage Juliets who were amazing. One of them, Kelly Hayes Milner, still lives in Whitehorse."

Risky Business: Inside Look at how Performing Arts directors choose what you see

Risky Business: Inside Look at how Performing Arts directors choose what you see

If you've ever wanted to know the kind of vision that goes into developing a festival or a performing arts season--now is the time for you to find out?  How DO these few people decide WHICH shows will sell in the Yukon?  What helps make their decisions?  Do they hand out surveys asking YOU questions?  Or do they have an insight to Whitehorse patrons that we don't know?  Is it a Crystal Ball?  Or is it a lot of planning and  designing that goes into making these decisions?

When putting together a major festival like Frostbite, or ALFF, or Pivot---is it just a combination of artist availability and price? 

How would you decide which music acts might be popular in the Yukon? 

Is Taste shared?

Can one person KNOW what YOU might like? 

Well, someone has to make those choices in organizations.  You have to have someone(s) in every performing arts organization that makes the kind of fortune-telling guesses that create a successful season.  How do they do it?  What are they thinking about when they decide?  Are they trying to mold your preferences, or are they molded BY your preferences? 

Get inside the minds of four Artistic Directors from Nakai, Yukon Arts Centre, Frostbite, Yukon Film Society and Gwaandak Theatre (yes, four people, five organizations).  Find out how they make choices. Remember, all five are non-profit organizations that exist on grants as well as on ticket sales, aiming to please granting agencies, boards as well as patrons. 

Maybe you'd like to be an Artistic Director someday.  Maybe you just want to know who's to credit for bringing in a show you LOVED (or why they brought one you HATED).  Maybe you just want to know WHAT THEY'RE THINKING.

The Mind of the Artistic Director.  It is a fascinating place.  Starring Eric Epstein, David Skelton, Patti Flather and Andy Connors--moderated by Miche Genest.

For this panel discussion, the Artistic Directors may reveal their tips, their tricks, their thoughts, their fears, their best and worst moments, and how complicated it all is choosing what comes to the Yukon.

Come join us!  Bring questions!  Find out HOW IT ALL WORKS (or doesn't).... WEDNESDAY, MARCH 6, 5:30pm, OLD FIRE HALL.