Blog / Tag / "performing arts"

YAC Patron Survey

YAC Patron Survey

The Yukon Arts Centre wants to know: why do you participate in YAC experiences? How do you get involved? Do you attend at all?

If you’ve got thoughts about our exhibitions, performing arts, Old Fire Hall events, public programming, communities tours, or anything else we do, we’d love to hear them. Please take a few moments to fill out our YAC Community Survey, and help us make your Arts Centre experiences the best they can be. Even if you’ve only attended once, your feedback is extremely appreciated. Interested participants will be entered into a draw to win a $100 YAC gift certificate (if you’d like to be entered, please leave your email address so we can let you know if you’ve won!).

Find our survey here:

CMA Conference

CMA Conference

Last week, the Yukon Arts Centre had the pleasure of hosting a number of events for the 2013 Canadian Museums Association annual conference. Conference delegates were welcomed on Tuesday with a Yukon Showcase featuring several northern artists, including the Dakhká Khwáan Dancers, Kim Barlow, and Soir de Semaine. Many of you asked how can we buy their CD or find out more about them? Well we hope this blog post will help!

Dakhká Khwáan Dancers at Yukon Arts Centre - Yukon Government photo

Dakhká Khwáan Dancers

The Inland Tlingit and Tagish dance group, Dakhká Khwáan Dancers, was founded by Marilyn Jensen in Carcross in 2007 and has since gained significant acclaim. Although originally the group intended to tell the Tlingit creation myth through performance, by the end of their first summer in Carcross they had decided to expand their repertoire by learning more songs. Today the group has performed across Canada and Alaska, including two performances at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.


Kim Barlow performing luckyburden at Yukon Arts Centre - Yukon Government photo

luckyburden: Kim Barlow with film by Andrew Connors

Whitehorse-based, folk singer-songwriter Kim Barlow currently performs both solo and as a part of three ensembles, all-girl Canadian roots band Annie Lou, banjo-ukele duo Spring Breakup, and eclectic trio Blue Hibou. Her second album, Gingerbread, garnered her a 2003 Juno nomination for Roots and Traditional Album of the Year (Solo). During the Showcase, Barlow performed her moving concept piece luckyburden, combining videoby filmmaker Andrew Connors and song to tell the story of former mining community Keno City. The luckyburden album can be previewed or purchased through Barlow’s website.


Soir de Semaine at Yukon Arts Centre - Yukon Government photo

Soir de Semaine

Soir de Semaine is a Whitehorse-based music group founded in 2003 that blends Franco-rock with ska, reggae, folk, and funk in a unique music and stage experience complete with costumes and face-paint. The release of their first album, Toi du monde, in 2007 led the band to playing at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and other major events. While the band plays mainly at music festivals, it also offers outreach programs for schools, providing education through music.

Toi du monde, as well 2011 album Faire de Voeux, can be previewed or purchased through Soir de Semaine’s website:  (English) or (Français).


The following day, the conference’s keynote speakers and fellows lecturer were introduced with style by the multi-talented Claire Ness, who acted as Master of Ceremonies. Ness is a Yukon comedian, singer-songwriter, cabaret producer/director, and circus artist/instructor. Ness performs in a variety of festivals, from music to burlesque to circus, as well as at comedy nights and in theatres. She recently launched her first album, Hopeless Romantic, at the Arts Centre on April 24. Examples of Ness’s work and performance dates can be found on her website.



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.

We Look For Fire

We Look For Fire


We are compelled to gather around fires.  Ever since the dawn of mankind, people have been gathering wherever they see a fire—it signified community, food, warmth, survival.  In the wilderness, a fire was the difference between life and death.  But it was also a place where we shared our community, our culture—and shared stories that lit our imaginations. 

We are compelled to gather in the dark around these fires.  Going to the theatre has become a way for us to sit back in the dark, anonymous, not on stage, but still receive something personal and intimate from the lights and the performance, still feel the community in the flickering stage lights.  It’s primal, this gathering—and we will do it in high school gymnasiums, in living rooms, at bonfires, at summer camps, at bars—and yes, when we kindle the desire to create a permanent space for the Arts, we gather there—in those halls, galleries, black boxes, stages and cinemas. 

And there, we still look for fire. 

We look for something to inspire us.   To make us excited.  To make us smile.  Or cringe, or jump, or dance, or remember, or change.  We look for a mirror and we look for a portal and we look to travel there and back again.  What happens on a stage transforms us because it’s in our cultural and historical DNA---we are ready to receive story, ready to recognize ourselves, ready to meet new ideas, ready to open our hearts to change, ready to rally in support of a future we couldn’t imagine as perfectly as when someone, lit by fire, tells us about their visions of what could be.  Or sings of what they feel.  Or dances what they’ve discovered.  Or paints what they have dreamed.

The Arts are a bonfire of remembrance and reckoning and resurrection, celebration and community, and by that heat and light we survive.  We pass down to the next generation all that is important in our culture when we gather around these fires, wherever they are. 

We invite you to celebrate our fireplace.  The Yukon Arts Centre was created 20 years ago.  Come hear the story again for the first time…first in these blogposts, and then on our special March 23rd 20th Anniversary show. 

Come share our fire with us.  It was always yours to begin with.


(photo by Tristan Schmurr)

Yukon Arts Centre offers a MYSTERY PASS for Art Lovers!

Yukon Arts Centre offers a MYSTERY PASS for Art Lovers!

All the Art Lover’s shows--SIX shows-- for $99, only you don’t know which shows they are! 

August 22, we will reveal the whole fantastic 20th Anniversary Yukon Arts Centre Season in a blowout BBQ and presentation—and release WHICH shows will be a part of the Art Lover’s Series.

We will then set the Pass at $126.

BUT-- Till the 20th of August—it’s a Mystery that you can get for $99. 
Here’s how to get your Art Lover’s Mystery Pass. 

  1. Come in person to the Yukon Arts Centre to purchase.  The Mystery is only happening up here!
  2. Choose the seat that you want for all six shows
  3. Pay $99 for your pass
  4. Find out on Aug 22 what you’ve got! 

The Yukon Arts Centre’s 20th Anniversary Season promises to be its greatest yet!  The Art Lover’s Pass includes the most intriguing theatre, dance, and music offerings, and this year is no exception.  We think you’ll be pleased if you follow our MYSTERY to its conclusion.

All will be revealed soon! Get your Mystery Pass now BY August 20, here at the YAC Box Office only! 

Take part in the MYSTERY!