This year’s Atlin Arts and Music Festival (AAMF) promises some serious fun with a lineup that includes a Canadian folk legend as well as several blues and Yukon bands.
And if there’s nobody to hear the trees falling in the forest, there’ll sure be plenty of people to listen to the Canadian singer who has won so many Juno Awards he needs a small cart to carry them.
Bruce Cockburn will be headlining this year’s festival.
“I’ve been trying several of these artists for five years to come,” said AAMF producer Kim Winnicky.
“This is the year we broke through!”
Cockburn is excited to come, she added.
The 71-year-old has accumulated an impressive 12 Juno Awards.
He was inducted to the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 2001.
In 2011 his face made it onto postage stamps.
The man himself isn’t new to the territory.
Cockburn played at the Dawson City Music Festival in 1998.
“He’s travelled the North quite a bit when he was just emerging as an artist,” Winnicky said.
“After a short period of involvement in the world of teenage gangs and heavily influenced by Elvis Presley, he took up the guitar and learned to walk,” a biography of the artist posted on his website reads.
There will also be more blues this year with Ghostkeeper from northern Alberta, Manfred Janssen & Krankshaft, and Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer.
But don’t worry, there won’t be any gory murdering happening on stage.
The blues duo only comes equipped with harmonicas, foot percussion and a Telecaster guitar.
This year will also feature a good base of Yukon bands: Old Cabin, Ryan McNally and newcomer Anger Management.
Born only six months ago, the band is comprised of Cécile Legare, her partner Jerome de Pasquale and Scott Maynard.
Legare and de Pasquale had a band for 10 years called Poney Club when they lived in France.
And just like with their old band, they can’t quite describe what type of music they play.
“Critics said, ‘You only have Poney Club doing this kind of music’,” she said.
Legare said they’ve played all sorts of music for the past 25 years, from jazz to funk, rock and reggae.
De Pasquale won the French song contest Pacifique en chanson last year, representing the territory.
He plays the electric guitar, is the band’s lead singer and writes all the songs.
Maynard is on the drums, occasionally lending his voice.
Legare is mainly at the keyboard with some trombone.
So far luck seems to have been on the band’s side.
Legare and de Pasquale were looking for a drummer.
When Maynard heard them while hosting an open mic night at the Best Western Gold Rush Inn, he was on board instantly.
Then at a rehearsal at Music Yukon, Winnicky heard them.
“They sounded so great!” she said.
“Their sound is so different from anything else I’m hearing in Yukon.”
The band was named because the couple had never heard of anger management courses.
It’s not a something that exists in France, Legare said.
“It’s a cultural difference,” she said.
“They are not used to expressing their feelings as much as we do in France.”
Song writing is also a way for de Pasquale to get his feelings out – including anger.
Like every year, the festival will feature several stages with, on top of the concerts, a mix of visual artists, music workshops, films and a big area for children to play, allowing their parents to get inebriated and crowdsurf.
There are about 100 tickets left at the Yukon Arts Centre and 50 at Dean’s String and Music Supplies, according to Winnicky.
Last year the music festival sold out.
“Last year was incredible, people responded well to the diverse programming,” she said.
Despite the large turnout everything went smoothly.
“It felt like 2,000 best friends all camping together.”
“People really respected the town, and the townspeople of Atlin were happy.”
For more info visit atlinfestival.ca.
Contact Pierre Chauvin at email@example.com