Music packs the park

Ahhh, there's music in the air - and it's not just the birds. Arts in the Park is back for another season. The blue fencing has been removed and, once again, lunchtime art lovers have overtaken LePage Park for free noontime concerts and visual arts demonstrations.

Ahhh, there’s music in the air – and it’s not just the birds.

Arts in the Park is back for another season.

The blue fencing has been removed and, once again, lunchtime art lovers have overtaken LePage Park for free noontime concerts and visual arts demonstrations.

This is the first year that Music Yukon has run the popular series.

The event was started 14 years ago by the Yukon Art Society as a way to attract people to its gallery at the Captain Martin House next-door.

The gallery has since been moved to the Arts Underground and the art society decided the musical event was not in their mandate.

So they approached Music Yukon, which jumped at the opportunity.

“Obviously we have a strong interest in providing a place for our members to play,” said Steve Gedrose from Music Yukon.

“So that’s a big part of our motivation.”

There’s also a student position, which will be helpful to teach a young music lover how to organize an event like this, how to do sound, and how to be an MC.

Arts in the Park was never in danger of being cancelled, said Gedrose.

“I’m sure they would have continued had they not found a like-minded group. But we thought it sounded like a good fit for us.”

The arts demonstration component will be brought back this year, with many artists holding interactive demonstrations.

“The popular ones in the past have been the ones where audiences can participate, more of a hands on thing, so we’re trying to do more of that.”

This will be Steve Slade’s 14th year producing the event.

He’s seen attendance grow every year.

Attendants range from children to grandparents.

Many people who work nearby take their lunches in the park and you’ll even get to see the odd lawyer or judge.

“It’s a real community thing and I love talking to to this diverse group of people,” said Slade.

“It’s fun for me everyday.”

Slade put out calls for performers back in April and the 12 week event was booked up almost immediately, he said.

“If we had the money, we could probably run for another month.”

There are still a couple of holes here and there, as they’re waiting to get confirmations from a few people.

Some spots have been saved for people that are traveling through town for the Yukon’s myriad different summer music festivals and events.

But the lineup is mostly locals and mostly music, although there will be a circus troop and some dancers.

While all of the shows should be worth checking out, Slade himself is really looking forward to some of the songwriting panels that are in the line-up this year.

One will feature a few of the Yukon’s many songwriters singing the northern song that they wished they’d written.

For another, Slade has asked Yukon photographers to submit some of their most evocative photos. The photos will be used as inspiration for a different group of songwriters, who will craft new ballads based on the images.

Arts in the Park runs for 12 weeks, starting this week and ending August 13.

Hank Karr & Co. kicked things off Tuesday and Wednesday the All City Band took to the stage.

Thursday, Annie Avery and Grant Simpson will both take to their pianos, to battle it out for the title.

And on Friday, folk favourite Mikel Miller will be playing with Bruce Bergman.

Shows run from 12 to 1 p.m. from Monday to Friday except statutory holidays.

It’s always fun for the whole family, but Wednesdays are family days with more kid-friendly entertainment.

Contact Chris Oke at

chriso@yukon-news.com