Visiting balladeers to benefit African school children

They're nation builders in the style of Stan Rogers and Gordon Lightfoot, building a sense of country through song. But Kent Fiddy and David Sinclair will play Hellaby Hall on Saturday for a benefit beyond our shores.

They’re nation builders in the style of Stan Rogers and Gordon Lightfoot, building a sense of country through song.

But Kent Fiddy and David Sinclair will play Hellaby Hall on Saturday for a benefit beyond our shores.

They’ll be raising money for children’s school fees in tiny Swaziland, a landlocked country in southern Africa.

“We’d sure like that hall filled up,” said Fiddy, who’s been touring with Sinclair through the Yukon for the last week.

The tour was originally just a fundraiser in Atlin held earlier this week, but it’s now expanded into a Whitehorse show tomorrow night.

The duo’s Whitehorse contact, Reverend David Pritchard of the Anglican Church, raises money for the Swaziland Educational Trust Society.

In Swaziland, the government pays for teachers’ salaries but communities pay for building fees and teacher’s housing, according to a 2002 report by the US Department of Labour.

Pritchard likes to tell a story about the condition of education in Swaziland.

In 2007, he met a young woman during a visit. She had dropped out of Grade 5 in 1995.

In the three years since his visit, the trust helped her pay for Grades 6 through 9, while also sponsoring her child’s preschool.

She lives in a two-room home made of mud and sticks in the countryside.

She leaves for the bus stop at 5:45 a.m. and returns home at 6:15 p.m.

By the time she finishes chores and taking care of her child at 9 p.m., she does her homework by candlelight.

“They just don’t get education in Swaziland,” Fiddy chimes in.

The artists hope to fill Hellaby Hall with families and seniors.

“People in their 70s and 80s love these songs because they’re real,” said Fiddy.

Their latest album, The Way It Ought To Be, is a collection of Canadian stories as far ranging as the Ripple Rock explosion in BC to truck drivers on ice roads in the Northwest Territories.

“This is pretty tasteful stuff,” said Fiddy.

Children often fall in love with the simply rendered stories.

“You just see little kids get mesmerized,” he said.

But guitar fanatics of any age shouldn’t miss the picking prowess of his bandmate, David Sinclair.

He’s played on multiple worldwide tours as Sarah McLachlan’s guitar player.

His lengthy career includes work with k.d. lang, Michael Buble, B.T.O. and the Irish Rovers.

Music Yukon is hosting a guitar workshop with Sinclair on Saturday morning.

The Hellaby Hall show begins at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and kids under 12 get in for free.

The benefit will also be accepting donations.

Contact James Munson at

jamesm@yukon-news.com

Just Posted

Yukon First Nations’ graduation regalia sought for upcoming exhibit

Curator Lisa Dewhurst is hoping to get at least two pieces from each Yukon First Nation

National signs honour victims of impaired driving

Yukon government says it would consider bringing the signs to the territory if approached

WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World

History Hunter: Yukoners honoured for their contributions to Yukon history

The Yukon Historical and Museums Association handed out the 36th Annual Yukon Heritage Awards

Yukonomist: Whitehorse through the eyes of an app

You probably don’t use an app to decide where to dine out… Continue reading

Today’s mailbox: free transit

Letters to the editor published Feb. 26

Local skiers compete in 2020 Yukon Cross Country Ski Championships

The event included dozens of racers competing in mass-start skate races

Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in to hold general election in April

On top of voting for chief, three councillors, citizens will vote for a deputy chief for first time

Yukon’s minimum wage set to increase by $1 to $13.71 in April

The increase will make the Yukon’s minimum wage the fourth-highest in the country

City news, briefly

Some of the decisions made at the Whitehorse council meeting on Feb 17

Yukonomist: Three questions on Yukon Zinc and China

The case heard recently in Yukon Supreme Court is particularly troubling

Most Read