Get Out!

There’s no greater North American pastime than getting on some kind of motorized vehicle and then driving that vehicle an extremely long distance for almost no reason.

Mufflers are for pansies

There’s no greater North American pastime than getting on some kind of motorized vehicle and then driving that vehicle an extremely long distance for almost no reason.

American icon Elvis Presley probably summed it up best when he took a private jet from Memphis to Denver to pick up a tray of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Over the weekend, dozens of Alaskan snowmobilers will also exercise this most-blaring of liberties when they embark in Trek Over the Top, a two-day overland pilgrimage from Tok, Alaska, to

Dawson City.

Odysseus took 10 years to travel across the puny Mediterranean in a desperate quest to reunite with his wife. Trek over the Top will presumably have a near-opposite goal.

The Cottars

If there’s one thing Cape Breton Island does well, it’s, uh … folk.

Every New Brunswick teenager probably has a mandolin stashed somewhere in their basement, but they probably haven’t played it for audiences throughout the Western Hemisphere.

That’s where the Cottars come in. Inter-generational Celtic troubadours from the humble East Coast. Masters of the music of old, yet firmly planted in the present, the Cotters will soon be here.

Thursday, March 12 at 8 p.m. at the Yukon Arts Centre.

Reeling in the years

The Dawson International Film Festival is a decade old. To celebrate, the Yukon Film Society is taking a trip down memory lane, and screening a selection of films from the festival’s inaugural decade.

Saturday, March 7 at the Old Fire Hall. Films start at 7 p.m.

Welcome one and all — as long as you learned all our irregular verbs

Starting this Friday, savour Rendezvous de la Francophonie, a worldwide celebration of all things French.

“Celebrate Canadian Francophonie Today! Rich in its Diversity!” says the theme.

Endowed with a large Francophone population, the Yukon is well-placed to become a northern centre of the Rendezvous — hosting a French breakfast, a mini winter carnival and enough music and

culture events to make the anglophones blush.

Check out the Yukon’s roster of activities at rvf.ca.

Because filling the arts centre with English speakers wasn’t hard enough

Also Friday, get your dog-eared phrasebooks and bring them to the Yukon Arts Centre for a “one time only” performance of Piege pour un homme seul, the 1960 “internationally renowned” French tour de force.

Translated as “Trap for a single man,” a cast of amnesiacs, priests, and lost wives combine in a farcical comedy guaranteed to entertain, amuse and mystify.

The show starts at 8 p.m. at the Yukon Arts Centre.

For every $25 ticket, $10 goes to the Whitehorse Food Bank.

Woodwork, with a twist

Norm Matechuk is a wood artist, but no matter how expertly smoothed, glossed and lacquered his pieces become, the natural lines of his wood creations are always preserved. Matechuk’s works come off as collaborations with Mother Nature.

Wood can be merely a medium, yes, but in Matechuk’s hands, it’s an inspiration.

Matechuk’s show, “for the love of wood” opens this Friday at 5 p.m. at Arts Underground.

When urban music came to town

Whitehorse’s urban musicians will soon have a guru, if only for a brief, Cinderellian weekend.

Will Strickland, president of the Urban Music Association of Canada, is coming into Whitehorse for a series of workshops and mentoring sessions designed to draw the soul out of the Yukon’s most urban troubadours.

Most of Strickland’s time will be spent with musicians who submitted prior demo tapes, but on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., he will host a session at the Yukon Arts Centre looking at the business side of urban music.

For those not in the know, urban music’s eligible genres include soul/R&B, rap, dance, reggae, continental African, Latin, soca, jazz, blues and gospel. Pretty much any music not invented by white people.*

Contact Kyle Cashen at Music Yukon for more info. 456-2490.

* Waltzes are not urban

Worker, soldier, mother

International Women’s Day on March 8 may seem to be simply just another politically correct holiday invented by bored United Nations policymakers. But the day has much deeper roots —

stretching back more than 100 years to US women’s demonstrations for better working conditions and the right to vote. Following 1911, when more than 50 women were killed by a fire in an overcrowded New York City garment factory, the holiday began to garner particular political importance.

In 2009, International Women’s Day truly does deserve its global affiliation. For women across the world, in areas where gender divides remain near-medieval, March 8th is a day to recognize a century of female political achievements, while also staying focus on the long road ahead for international women’s rights.

Silly Russians; it’s not February

In the words of many a smarmy history geek, Russia’s historic February Revolution actually started on March 8 — a date notable for not being within the month of February.

At the time, the oppressive Tsarist system still used an old-style calendar long-abandoned by the rest of Europe. Itself a blaring symbol of the put-down backward nature of 1917 Russia.

However, Communists would soon modernize the Russian calendar, bring a swift end to the First World War and while they were at it, plunge their country into seven decades of unprecedented suffering and fear.

For thousands of now-liberated Europeans, March 8 has become International Punch-a-Communist Day.

Look out, middle-class art history majors!

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Contact Tristin Hopper at tristinh@yukon-news.com