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Folklore Show builds bridges between people

Shane Yellowbird, the handsome young country singer from Alberta, is coming to Whitehorse.Yellowbird will be part of this year’s Folklore…

Shane Yellowbird, the handsome young country singer from Alberta, is coming to Whitehorse.

Yellowbird will be part of this year’s Folklore Show, put on by the Skookum Jim Fellowship Centre.

“It’s great to have a big name like Shane coming out — we were really lucky to land him,” said folklore co-ordinator Chris Nash.

“All the ladies in town seem to be pretty excited about it.”

The theme for the show this year will be

“35 years strong,” to celebrate the landmark anniversary.

The event has changed a great deal since it’s humble beginnings at the FH Collins gymnasium 35 years ago.

Nash has been organizing the show for the past five years.

“When I began, there was a lack of youth coming out to the show,” he said.

“So we decided to do a youth show as well.”

The youth show takes place every year at a different school and was held this year at Golden Horn Elementary.

The main show Saturday will begin with two Keish elder awards for outstanding contributions to the community.

Louise Johns from the Carcross Tagish First Nation will be awarded for her work with troubled youth in her community.

Sam Johnston from Teslin, who has been a sort of ambassador of sports and traditional games in the territory, will also be presented the award.

The elders will be honoured further with a presentation by First People’s Performance — a local traditional drumming and dance group with members from several different First Nations.

Next, Tanya Lukin-Linklater will impress audiences with her singing, drumming, storytelling and throat singing.

The Alaska-born performer will also be giving a free workshop on innovative contemporary storytelling on Sunday.

No theatre experience is required but participants will have to register at Skookum Jim beforehand.

Saturday’s show will culminate with Shane Yellowbird, the winner of the awards for best male artist, best country album and best album at the 2007 Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards.

Nash hopes that this year’s show will appeal to all — be they young or old, First Nations or non-First Nations.

“We’re trying to break down barriers,” said Nash.

“Our goal is to showcase First Nation talent to everyone.”

The Folklore show runs from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Yukon Arts Centre on Saturday.

Tickets cost $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and students, and $8 for children under 12.