Yukon North Of Ordinary

News archive for September 3, 2013

Musician to migrate back to her eastern roots

After two decades in the territory, Kim Barlow is leaving the Yukon for her native Nova Scotia.

By Ainslie Cruickshank on September 3, 2013 at 3:10 pm

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Photo by AinslIe Cruickshank

MEMORABLE SEND-OFF PLANNED – A variety of local musicians are set to join Kim Barlow (above) when she holds her farewell concert Sept. 29 at the Yukon Arts Centre.

After two decades in the territory, Kim Barlow is leaving the Yukon for her native Nova Scotia.

The well-known local musician will play one more show at the Yukon Arts Centre Sept. 29 before setting off two days later for the East Coast.

The arts centre has been a “focal point” of Barlow’s musical career in the territory.

As she put it during an interview late last week, she’s developed a “love/hate relationship” with the stage.

“I’ve always gotten on that stage and gotten really nervous,” she told the Star.

“I don’t know why, I think it’s because it’s really formal. But I also love playing there because it’s a beautiful room and it sounds nice, and they’ve got a great crew up there, the tech crew.

“This is kind of symbolic in a way to do one more show up there,” she said.

In a show not to be missed, Barlow will be joined on stage by other local musicians with whom she’s collaborated over the years.

They will include Andrea McColeman, Dave Haddock, Lonnie Powell, Micah Smith, Helene Beaulieu, Kim Beggs, Natalie Edelson, Bob Hamilton and Daniel Janke.

Barlow moved north after completing a music degree and spending one more rainy winter in Vancouver.

She’d played shows previously, but it wasn’t until she was approached by the former Caribou Records in the ’90s to produce a record that she seriously began to pursue a music career.

Her first album, Humminah, was released in 1999.

“The community was really supportive and nurturing, and it helped me develop,” Barlow said.

Launching a music career in the Yukon is an interesting undertaking – both more difficult and easier than down south, the performer said.

“Because it’s a smaller population here, there’s more space, there’s more room for people to do things and try things out because it’s not as competitive as if you lived in Toronto or somewhere else.

“It’s harder because we’re so far away from all the venues. Touring in Canada is crazy even if you live in Toronto, because everything is so spread out, but then if you’re starting from the Yukon, it just makes it that much more challenging,” she explained.

Barlow is keen to check out the music scene in Halifax and to collaborate with more musicians.

She’s also excited to garden in a milder climate, and already has dreams of growing apples, corn and tomatoes.

With two new babies, she said, it’s time to move closer to her family, noting too that her parents are getting older.

“I love it there; I really love Nova Scotia and I’ve always missed it,” she said.

But, she’ll miss the Yukon.

“I’ve had a huge connection to these people for 20 years. There’s a bunch of us who all arrived at the same time when we were in our early 20s,” she said.

“I’m going back to be closer to my family, but I’m also leaving my family.”

She said she’ll also miss Yukon winters.

“The skiing, the northern lights, the beautiful crisp blue days, and the consistent snow.

“It’s not going to be like that in Nova Scotia. The winter’s there are kind of terrible, but they are shorter,” she said, laughing.

In a note on her website thanking her many supporters, Barlow said:

“I have played and toured with many of my heroes, and just generally had a great time playing music.

“I truly doubt that any of this would have happened in quite the same way without the support and opportunities I was given here in this crazy, brilliant northern town.”

CommentsAdd a comment

Fawn Fritzen

Sep 4, 2013 at 10:14 pm

You will definitely be missed, Kim! What a wonderful legacy of music you leave behind here in the Yukon.

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