Yesterday we drove down HWY-2 to Whitehorse, stopping in Stewart Crossing and Carmacks along the way. After living in Dawson for only nine days, I have joined Dawsonites in considering Yukon’s capital the Big City. It has traffic lights, and cement sidewalks! (Dawson has wooden boardwalks, coated with a layer of ice and then scroinchy snow) Also, fun diagonal recycling receptacles, as pictured.
Last night there was a Frostbite meet-and-greet at the Yukon Arts Centre, where I met some other performers and the organizers, and had my photo taken for a giant panorama that will feature all the artists. Not much else to report yet, but tonight is my first performance in Whitehorse, so send me supportive vibes, and if you’re in town, please come on by!
This blog wasn’t yet configured when I was settling into Dawson City, so I’ll recap here:
On Friday the 6th, I played my official concert as songwriter-in-residence. It was held in the beautiful KIAC Ballroom and was split into two halves with intermission. Adding to the classiness was the fact that I played a Steinbach piano dating back to the Gold Rush, in a room with its original dance floor! As it happened, there were two competing events happening in town that night, so the audience was intimate, but included the illustrious and multi-talented mayor, John Steins.
Fun coincidence: My friend Eric brought over a 1981 record, “Midnight Light,” for me to listen to before heading up north. It featured a two-piece from Ontario who had been sufficiently inspired by the Yukon to write an album’s worth of music about it… and one of them was John Steins! I’m going to get him to sign the sleeve when I dine at his house later in the month. Yup, having dinner at the mayor’s house! Can’t do that too often in Toronto.
After the concert, I wandered over to the Dawson Curling Club to catch a bit of the bonspiel, and there were still two games happening after midnight. It was a refreshing change to see curling-related clothing worn completely without irony, and the game itself was frenetic in a way televised games have never quite expressed to me.
Wednesday of this week, I played a mini-concert for a kindergarten class at Robert Service School. It went pretty well, considering five-year-olds don’t have the largest attention spans, but maybe I shouldn’t have suggested they close their eyes to focus on the music. They ended up pretending (?) to fall asleep, and fake-snored all the way through a profanity-free version of “Robot Ponies,” though there were two kids who giggled like crazy each time I uttered the eponymous phrase.
I also hung out with the grade ones, accompanying their story-telling and recording it for a later project, when they’ll be using computers to edit audio. The highlight of both classroom visits was when the kids played the kalimbas themselves. It really took me back to my first days of exploring the instrument, joyously cacophonous and experimental.
And that’s the highlight reel – more on the weekend!