More live shows are coming back to the Yukon Arts Centre in Whitehorse next month.
In a news release on Feb. 10, the arts centre announced it will be hosting in-person music, dance and mind-reading performances for March and April, with the anticipation of some current COVID-19 restrictions being lifted.
In the release, there are nine scheduled shows being held over six weeks, including separate nightly performances by Yukoners Kim Beggs and Ryan McNally.
“I’m excited to be getting back into the swing of things,” Beggs told the News during a Feb. 14 phone interview, adding that COVID-19 has diminished the number of performances over the last two years. Her last two live shows were held in summer 2021.
“One of the things that is difficult about just having sparse shows is that when I go on tour, I get something called momentum, which is when you do show after show after show, you have this momentum, and it’s like no matter how tired you are, you have this beautiful momentum that just sort of keeps you going and keeps you happy,” Beggs said.
Alongside a quartet of mostly Yukoners, the folk singer-songwriter will be debuting some songs from her new album.
The upcoming series of events will also bring in several artists from outside the territory.
“It has been extremely tough on both community who love to gather and experience live performing arts together, but also on the artists, who not only make a living from creating art for public, but also who really get something back from performing their work in front of an audience,” Michele Emslie, the centre’s director of programming, said in a Feb. 11 phone interview.
“A piece of work doesn’t really live until it’s put in front of an audience.”
Emslie is anticipating venue capacity will be at 50 per cent and tickets could sell out, with close to 200 people in the audience, depending on COVID-19 restrictions in place at the time and how individuals and groups buy their tickets.
“I think there’ll be a palpable burst of excitement in the audience,” Emslie said.
The COVID-19 restrictions for indoor concerts and arts performances are currently capped at 25 people or 50 per cent of the venue capacity, whichever is less, the Yukon government’s Department of Health and Social Services said in an email statement on Feb. 14.
“We are reviewing and monitoring the current COVID-19 situation closely and restrictions are continuing to ease,” reads another email statement. The territorial government will provide a COVID-19 update on Thursday.
A graphic on a Yukon government web page about industry operating guidelines illustrates the risk of COVID-19 transmission in indoor versus outdoor settings.
The release states the centre will be limited to 50 per cent capacity to ensure safe physical distancing. The centre’s website indicates large sections of the theatre will be blocked off.
Masks and proof of vaccination will be required to attend.
The last time the centre held a live show was Dec. 21. Whitehorse Concerts presents Andrew Sords and Cheryl Duvall on Feb. 19 will be the first live performance held at the Yukon Arts Centre this year.
Tickets will be made available to be purchased in advance online (at yukontickets.com). No walk-up or rush tickets will be sold, according to the website.
The scheduled shows include:
March 2: Alex Cuba
March 10 and March 11: In My Body by Bboyizm/Crazy Smooth
March 17: Ron Sexsmith
March 31: Laila Biali with Jodi Proznick
April 2: Kim Beggs
April 5: Spidey the Mentalist
April 12: Ryan McNally and Blue Moon Marquee
April 13: Jim Byrnes
Contact Dana Hatherly at firstname.lastname@example.org