Whitehorse’s CypherFest hip hop festival celebrates its 10th anniversary Aug. 3 to 13 with a mix of virtual and interactive events.

Celebrate the 10th annual CypherFest Aug. 3 to 13

Hip-hop festival will offer original videos from around the world

It’s on.

Whitehorse’s 10th annual CypherFest Hip Hop festival is going ahead Aug. 3 to 13 with an exciting mix of virtual and interactive events.

The COVID-19 pandemic almost led to the festival being cancelled. But then other world events –particularly the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police – inspired organizers to press ahead.

Artistic Director Riley Simpson-Fowler said CypherFest had big plans for its 10th anniversary before the pandemic arose. Then, despite being well-funded, he said organizers felt it would be easier to cancel than to come up with a new plan.

But when Floyd’s death ignited protests around the world, Riley says it sparked CypherFest back into action.

“We have a platform,” he said. “We had to think of something that could make a difference and continue these conversations.”

What they came up with is a “crazy half-online, half-quarantine” festival with workshops, panel discussions, and a main show with original videos by Canadian and international performers.

“We’ve got people from across Canada, the States, Europe, Brazil and Taiwan making videos,” Simpson-Fowler said.

CypherFest will start with online panel discussions moderated by MCs Spicey from Montreal and Boxwon from Philadelphia. On Monday Aug. 3, a panel will talk about mental health during a pandemic; the Tuesday, Aug. 4 panel will discuss the Black equality movement; and on Wednesday, Aug. 5, the panel will share their perspective on Hip Hop culture.

The first dance workshop will be Friday, Aug. 7 with beginner and advanced levels. There will be more workshops on Aug. 10 and 11.

The big show is Aug. 13. The producer, Alex Robinson, says they plan to have a screening at the Yukon Arts Centre, observing any restrictions in place at that time. The show will also be broadcast live online to watch from home.

“The show is going to be videos created by 10 videographers around the world,” he said. Two MCs will present the show.

CypherFest has an arrangement with three local restaurants – Pickapeppa, Daat Cuisine, and Azhong Noodles – to provide a meal at no charge to people who have bought tickets online.

“Take it home and watch the show – it’s like dinner and a movie,” Simpson-Fowler said.

All CypherFest events are free except for the Aug. 13 show, and that one is on a “pick your price” basis.

“You can go to yukontickets.com, and we’ll have different prices to pick from. It ranges from $5 to $500,” Simpson-Fowler said. “$500 if you want some good karma on your side!”

All proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to the Skookum Jim Friendship Centre, the Canadian Mental Health Association Yukon Division, and Black Lives Matter Canada.

“It’s all rooted around self-expression and peace, love, unity and having fun. It’s all about community and you can bring whatever you have to it,” Robinson said.

 

Just Posted

Yukon Energy in Whitehorse on April 8. Yukon Energy faced a potential “critical” fuel shortage in January due to an avalanche blocking a shipping route from Skagway to the Yukon, according to an email obtained by the Yukon Party and questioned in the legislature on Oct. 14. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon Energy faced ‘critical’ fuel shortage last January due to avalanche

An email obtained by the Yukon Party showed energy officials were concerned

Jeanie McLean (formerly Dendys), the minister responsible for the Women’s Directorate speaks during legislative assembly in Whitehorse on Nov. 27, 2017. “Our government is proud to be supporting Yukon’s grassroots organizations and First Nation governments in this critical work,” said McLean of the $175,000 from the Yukon government awarded to four community-based projects aimed at preventing violence against Indigenous women. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon government gives $175k to projects aimed at preventing violence against Indigenous women

Four projects were supported via the Prevention of Violence against Aboriginal Women Fund

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone

When I was a kid, CP Air had a monopoly on flights… Continue reading

Dr. Brendan Hanley, Yukon’s chief medical officer of health, speaks to media at a press conference about COVID-19 in Whitehorse on March 30. The “probable” case of COVID-19 announced Oct. 10 has been declared a false positive. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Secondary testing rules out presumptive COVID-19 case

Testing in southern labs resulted in a negative final result

asdf
EDITORIAL: Don’t let the City of Whitehorse distract you

A little over two weeks after Whitehorse city council voted to give… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Northwestel has released the proposed prices for its unlimited plans. Unlimited internet in Whitehorse and Carcross could cost users between $160.95 and $249.95 per month depending on their choice of package. (Yukon News file)
Unlimited internet options outlined

Will require CRTC approval before Northwestel makes them available

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse. Yukon’s territorial government will sit for 45 days this sitting instead of 30 days to make up for lost time caused by COVID-19 in the spring. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Legislative assembly sitting extended

Yukon’s territorial government will sit for 45 days this sitting. The extension… Continue reading

asdf
Today’s mailbox: Mad about MAD

Letters to the editor published Oct. 16, 2020

Alkan Air hangar in Whitehorse. Alkan Air has filed its response to a lawsuit over a 2019 plane crash that killed a Vancouver geologist on board, denying that there was any negligence on its part or the pilot’s. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Alkan Air responds to lawsuit over 2019 crash denying negligence, liability

Airline filed statement of defence Oct. 7 to lawsuit by spouse of geologist killed in crash

Whitehorse city council members voted Oct. 13 to decline an increase to their base salaries that was set to be made on Jan. 1. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Council declines increased wages for 2021

Members will not have wages adjusted for CPI

A vehicle is seen along Mount Sima Road in Whitehorse on May 12. At its Oct. 13 meeting, Whitehorse city council approved the third reading for two separate bylaws that will allow the land sale and transfer agreements of city-owned land — a 127-square-metre piece next to 75 Ortona Ave. and 1.02 hectares of property behind three lots on Mount Sima Road. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Whitehorse properties could soon expand

Land sale agreements approved by council

Most Read