Hundreds of Yukoners were serenaded under the sun in Shipyards Park over the weekend as part of one of the biggest crowds the territory has seen in a while.
The Yukon Arts Centre hosted at least 2,000 people for its 30th birthday bash on Sept. 10.
Local performers including Rising Sun Singers, Yukon Taiko Drummers, the B Trippers, the Vanstones, Local Boy, Soir de Semaine and Tiny Islands Brass Band performed throughout the day outside the Frank Slim Building while families and individuals hunkered down, moseyed around and participated in tie-dying, colouring and other artistic activities.
Two Canadian performers — solo artist Ryder and rock band the Strumbellas — capped off the celebrations on the main stage.
Michele Emslie, the centre’s director of programming, said the event surpassed her expectations.
“We have not seen a gathering like this for many years,” she said.
“Having bands of that nature come to visit our community is really special for everybody.”
The centre started up in 1992 as a resource for northern artists and to reflect and support the artistic ambitions of local and regional community organizations, according to the website.
The highlight of the day for Emslie was looking out over the audience from backstage and hearing them sing along with Ryder.
“I don’t think we’ve heard that many people sing together in a very long time,” she said.
Emslie described the outdoor party as a communal healing experience that was made possible by a federal government reopening grant of $270,000.
“I saw so many smiles and it was such a happy, warm feeling,” Emslie said.
Contact Dana Hatherly at firstname.lastname@example.org