Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by Vince Fedoroff

PUMPING OUT THE TUNES – The Canucks Ltd. perform at the BreakOut West opening Wednesday evening at the MacBride Museum. The festival continues until Sunday at various venues around Whitehorse.

Four-day festival officially launches

The BreakOut West host committee held a “festival in a can” at Wednesday night’s opening ceremonies, officially launching the four-day festival.

By Gabrielle Plonka on October 3, 2019

The BreakOut West host committee held a “festival in a can” at Wednesday night’s opening ceremonies, officially launching the four-day festival.

A handful of Yukon dignitaries spoke at the invite-only event at the MacBride Museum and welcomed attendees to the Yukon.

“We are so fortunate to work, live and make music on this land,” said Deputy Mayor Jan Stick. “We are excited to share the arts and culture here.”

Stick said she hoped visitors to Whitehorse would take time outside of the packed BreakOut West schedule to explore the Yukon’s trails and attractions.

Commissioner Angélique Bernard wished showcasing musicians and scouting delegates luck at the event and sung the praises of the territory’s music community.

“There is so much musical talent in the territory that having this event here is quite fitting,” Bernard said. “I hope that you will … get a taste of what Yukon is all about.”

Economic Development Minister Ranj Pillai called the event an “outstanding opportunity” for Yukon musicians. He noted the Yukon government contributed about $500,000, and said the investment aims to bolster the arts community and contribute to a diverse economy for the territory.

Fourteen music and dance acts represented the variety of performances local to the Yukon, split among six rooms in the museum.

Attendees were invited to drift between the rooms and experience a crash course in Whitehorse’s music scene.

In the MacBride basement, the l’Association franco-yukonnaise curated a roster of Cajun and franco-rock performances by Cajun Reunion and Soir de Semaine.

The First Nations gallery hosted the Daghaalkaan K’e traditional dance and drum troupe, singer-songerwriter Madi Dixon and Kaska-language group Dena Zagi.

On the second floor, Yukon legends The Canucks Ltd. played back-to-back sets.

The Canucks were noted in opening speeches for their long-time contribution to the local music scene. The band has been playing together for more than 60 years.

The “Sourdough Speakeasy” room featured “easy-speaking delights” performed by The Swinging Pines, Fawn Fritzen and the Fellas and Ryan McNally and the Messarounders. Across the courtyard, the Big Boat Show room heard The Sweeties, Groan Boy and Soda Pony.

Co-operative record-spinning session, Vinyl Therapy, was uprooted from its usual home at the Heart of Riverdale Community Centre to grace the MacBride third-floor galleries.

Record tracks were played at attendee recommendations between sets from Jeremy Parkin and Borealis Soul.

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