Arts centre season solid, not feisty

Feist is not coming to Whitehorse. The Canadian songbird never was going to sing at the Yukon Arts Centre, but her absence has been verified.

Feist is not coming to Whitehorse.

The Canadian songbird never was going to sing at the Yukon Arts Centre, but her absence has been verified.

“I can confirm Feist isn’t coming,” said artistic director Eric Epstein.

“We’re on her radar, still. She remains interested (in coming to the Yukon).”

Feist — at least her silhouette, a copy from the cover of her 2007 album The Reminder —appears in the 30-page preview of the centre’s new season.

“There were talks at one point,” said Epstein.

“At the time we went to print, there was still the possibility of booking her.”

On the same page with her silhouette, about halfway through the pamphlet, we’re told, “You just never know who’s coming next.”

We know Feist won’t be, despite the wishful promotion.

But plenty of acclaimed Canadian talent will play the Arts Centre in the next year.

Epstein revealed the 2008/2009 season last month at the Old Fire Hall.

The Public Art Gallery exhibitions were also unveiled.

The National Arts Centre Orchestra with pianist Jon Kimura Parker as guest soloist plays October 29.

For its first visit to the Yukon, the 72- person orchestra will play Mozart Symphony No. 41 in C major “Jupiter” and Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major.

“It’s the first professional orchestra since the Edmonton Symphony played here in the early 90s,” said Epstein.

“We’re getting it for essentially a song, so to speak.”

Travelling to the Yukon can stretch the budget of any artistic act, not to mention 72 musicians with tubas and cellos.

The Yukon benefits from government subsidies that allow established acts to play the North.

“I can’t imagine what we’re paying (the National Arts Centre Orchestra) even covers the fees for the musicians involved,” said Epstein.

“Musicians that come here might give a cut on the fee. Very few people don’t want to come here.”

The two large stage productions, Frankenstein, Or the Modern Prometheus and Studies in Motion: the Hauntings of Eadweard Muybridge, are also coming.

“They’re both big and visually elaborate,” said Epstein.

From there, the productions diverge.

Edmonton-based Catalyst Theatre is producing Frankenstein.

With original melodies and humourous take on the classic tale of obsession, the production is low-tech and uses found-material for its staging.

Studies in Motion is highly technical with complex lightening and an original electronica score.

The production needs one week of prep work before opening.

In February, the centre heats up the dead of winter with a performance that combines “two of Canada’s favorite pastimes,” hockey and sex.

It’s a twofer production: the centre gets two different shows with one crew.

Five Hole: Takes of Hockey Erotica is a collected of stories performed by Calgary’s One Yellow Rabbit Performance and rock group the Rheostatics.

Dave Bidini wrote Five Hole and plays with the venerable Rheostatics, which plays the following night.

The season features plenty of roots and folk music, like local Kim Barlow’s ensemble performance with Christine Fellows and Dawson music festival veteran Old Man Luedecke.

Or The Fathers and Sons tour with Jim Byrnes, Amos Garret, Steve Dawson and Doug Cox.

“Even the so-called sons have been around the music scene for years,” said Epstein.

Francophone musician Florent Vollant opened the Art Centre’s first season and is back this November.

“He’s one of the most involving First Nation performers in Canada,” said Epstein.

“The music is evocative and comes from a deep place.”

More acts will be booked as the season progresses, as music acts are booked with less advance notice, said Epstein.

“We’ll have more surprises as they come up,” he said.

Other performances this season include Oliver Jones Trio, a Montreal jazz band, T-Nile, Alex Cuba and the play The Invisible Life of Joseph Finch.

Local artists Emma Barr, Owen Williams, Marten Berkman will appear in the Public Art Gallery alongside Canadian artists Andrew Hunter and Ho Tam.

For more information on dates, artist bios and ticket prices visit