The Sun Room is open, signalling the return of Nakai Theatre’s annual Pivot Festival.
The 2023 festival is “all about celebrating the weird and wonderful creations of northern artists and minds,” as Nakai describes on its website. The festival’s Sun Room opened on Jan. 3 and Pivot events will be underway until the end of the month.
The festival is held each January in Whitehorse and features events ranging from a poetry crawl to theatre, story-telling, music and more, inviting festival-goers “to embrace the dark and step out of hibernation to come together for music, stories and community.”
A popular feature of the festival over the last couple of years has been the Sun Room at the Old Fire Hall on Front Street. It is designed to bring warmth and colour to the darker, colder days of the season, making visitors feel like they’re entering a warmer climate, if only for a brief period.
Residents can book 20- or 50-minute sessions in the Sun Room for up to 10 people from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. until Jan. 20.
The windows at the Old Fire Hall will be in festival-mode as well with the Old Fire Hall TV, featuring six short video pieces from artists exploring northern life. The videos will stream each day between Jan. 10 and 20 from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the corner of Front and Main streets. Anyone taking in the videos from their vehicle will be able to tune into the radio for the accompanying audio.
For those looking for in-person performances, Short Works for Quiet Nights will see local storytellers “spin yarns and share their inner worlds” at the Old Fire Hall on Jan. 13.
The volume will be cranked up a week later when live music hits the hall during Short Works for Loud Nights on Jan. 20.
Then, Dernière Frontière will perform nightly from Jan. 25 to 28 at 8 p.m.
It’s a performance that “finds and celebrates the space that exists between the myth of the dream and reality,” Nakai stated.
“With a multidisciplinary approach, Dernière Frontière shares stories and voices from a diverse cross section of the francophone community, blending in humour, music and even some drag along the way.”
The project marks a first for Nakai in presenting a collaboration between the francophone communities in the Yukon and Quebec. The piece is an original idea by Véro Lachance, who is originally from Quebec and has lived in the territory since 2017, in collaboration with Theatre Everest of Montréal and a team based in the Yukon.
Dernière Frontière will be performed in French with English subtitles. Nakai noted the performance will include stories of loss caused by colonialism.
While the Old Fire Hall serves as the main site of the Pivot Festival, the city’s riverfront between the Old Fire Hall and Shipyards Park will also be part of the festival ambiance.
Local poet Peter Jickling will once again curate the Riverfront Poetry Crawl beginning at 7 p.m. on Jan. 10 at Shipyards Park. Participants are invited to “stomp through the snow to the Old Fire Hall”, meeting poets in unusual spots along the way. Those who make the trek will be treated to a cup of hot cocoa and the Old Fire Hall TV for their efforts.
Finally, Burn Things! will be held Jan. 17 at 6 p.m. Participants will proceed in a “parade of laughter and light” from the Old Fire Hall to Shipyards Park where fires will be set up and participants can “send off into the smoke wishes, ideas and beliefs that no longer serve you as we stroll casually and unhurriedly into 2023.”
Festival tickets and bookings for the Sun Room are available at www.nakaitheatre.com
Contact Stephanie Waddell at email@example.com