By Christine Leonard
The call of the Great White North will be heard loud and clear as Western Canada’s annual music celebration, BreakOut West Fest, turns its eyes and ears to the wild frontier of Whitehorse, Yukon.
“It’s a showcase festival,” says BoW’s interim executive director Nat Kleinschmit. “We bring in 60 artists to play 120 shows over three days. And then we bring in delegates from all over Canada and even all over the world, to come and listen to those artists playing in front of an audience in a natural environment. It’s a real celebration of Canadian music.”
A movable feast of music, art, awards and information, BreakOut West takes place in a new location every year. According to Kleinschmit, the decision to hold the 2019 gathering in the Yukon will bring a fresh and exciting energy to this year’s programming.
Acts including Astral Swans, Miesha & The Spanks, Crystal Eyes, HellnBack, The Won’ts, Ponteix, Rare Americans, The Sweeties and many more will filter through stages with fitting monikers like Dirty Northern, Miners Daughter, The Old Fire Hall and Gold Pan Saloon. As if that wasn’t enough, BoW will also play host to the Western Canadian Music Awards. This year’s Artists Awards Reception will pay special tribute to singer-songwriter Susan Aglukark who will be inducted into the WCMA Hall of Fame.
“Sometimes we forget that there is strong activity in our Northern Territories—whether it’s the Northwest Territories, Nunavut or the Yukon Territory,” Kleinschmit says. “Holding this year’s event in Whitehorse is an exciting choice. It demonstrates that there’s a lot going on away from our big cities. There’s a ‘Northern Rush!’ We’re going to have a record number of artists from the Northern Territories. Some of the artists bring a particular viewpoint of the world and what it means to be Canadian. They have very different approaches in their songwriting and songs.”
In a land where musicians sometimes drive for hours just to jam, BreakOut West Fest will be an event to remember, for both artists and attendees alike.
BreakOut West Fest take place October 2 to 6, 2019 in Whitehorse, Yukon. For more information visit https://breakoutwest.caBreakOut West