|Nick Ball kicks up his heels with the relief of being out of school for a while on a Friday afternoon (Sept. 15) as the high school ran to raise about $1200 for the annual Terry Fox Run. Photo by Dan Davidson|
Welcome to the September 29th on-line edition of the Klondike Sun. This is the abridged version of our 28 page Sept 26th hard copy edition. Wish we could share everything, but getting a subscription (see our home page) is the only way you'll ever see it all. Approximately 500 people viewed our last on-line issue.
by Dan Davidson
Without too much fear of exaggeration one could say that the social event of Dawson's fall season (so far) occurred on September 15, when the Oddfellows' Hall played host to an evening of dining and music.
It was $30 a plate for the evening meal which had been lovingly assembled by nine of Dawson's great chefs, hailing from most of the town's hotels and restaurants.
The meal was a sell-out the day before the event and was, by all accounts, a smash success featuring a dozen different dishes.
But that was not all. The evening went on to feature concert performances by two fine jazz bands, and the Dawson premiere of Daniel Janke's "Yukon Jazz Suite". (The actual premiere was in Haines Junction the evening before.)
First up was Upside, a trio of Whitehorse musicians including Janke, Jay Burr and Ken Searcy, with an unusual lineup of keyboards, drums and electric tuba. Belying its name, Upside's music (once past the Loony Toons Overture) was a bit more on the downside: moody, rhythmic and contemplative. Enjoyable, yes, but perhaps a bit understated for the crowd, which kept up a white noise of conversation underneath it all.
On the other hand, the audience clearly was following the performance, for the applause came in all the right places.
Seldom is the break between bands quite so eagerly awaited as it was this night. Not because of the music, but because of the feast of desserts that awaited the 150 or so guests in the buffet serving room. There were six tempting varieties of pastries, cakes and pies, along with coffee and a bar, placed just nicely to help people settle in for the international flavour of the evening.
The Joél Pálsson Quintet was brought to the Yukon from Iceland by the Jazz Society of the Yukon, Whitehorse Concerts and the Frostbite Music Society to participate in this year's CircumPolarFest and the Yukon Arts Centre, but there are some other venues in the territory now, and so it was decided to share them.
Their Dawson date with Upside was part of a tour that would also take them to Haines Junction's St. Elias Tourism and Convention Centre and Atlin's Globe Theatre before their hectic week was over.
Sax player and band leader Pálsson had not failed to notice the level of conversation earlier and addressed the audience quite seriously before they began.
"I hope you will listen. We've travelled a long way to do this."
The audience took him at his word and listened much more intently as the quintet of sax, keyboards, bass, drums and guitar took off on a series of musical excursions which left lots of room for leisurely solos which wove their way through the band's harmonious unison sections.
Band leader Pálsson must have been satisfied, for when he spoke later he said, "This is turning out to be a great day for us - the drive up here, the food, the great audience."
The closing event of the evening was a joint presentation by the hastily assembled octet of Janke's new Yukon Jazz Suite, four movements (International Incident, Motion, Cadenza and Song for Sophie) which seemed to wander though a lot of philosophical territory. It was, by turns, military, questing, confused and lyrical, and ended the evening on a fine, sustained note of success.
The evening in Dawson was organized by the Dawson City Arts Society and the Dawson City Music Festival Society, and sponsored locally by the Bonanza Market, Triple J Hotel, Dawson City General Store, Riverwest and Kluane Freight Lines.
The great chefs were Alex Wilson (Triple J Hotel), Robert Rutledge & David Kealy (Westmark Hotel), Susan Malcolm (Ruby's), Wade Simon (Klondike Kate's), Bernard Schedluer (Grubstake), Gordon Clendenning (Downtown Hotel), Guy Chan (Rio Grill) and Jayne Fraser (Tintina Bakery).
As a fund raiser for DCAS, it raised about $2500.00.
by Dan Davidson
In spite of inclement weather and stiff competition from two weddings, friends of the Gates family gathered under canvas just behind Fort Herchmer on August 11 to celebrate Mike, Kathy and Megan's Dawson years and wish them a fond farewell as they move on to Whitehorse.
Parks Canada, which has been centralizing senior positions in the capital city now for a number of years, finally decided that Michael, as the senior person in charge of collections needed to be closer to head office.
Mike and Kathy have been at the centre of a lot of developments in Dawson over the years, and the rest of this article could fill up quickly just listing all their accomplishments.
At Klondike National Historic Sites, Mike's major projects included the Dawson Film Find, Dawson Flood, developing Collections of KNHS, developing the humidity control system, the Exhibit program and the Restoration of the Commissioner's Residence.
But that's just what he did for a living. In addition, Mike was heavily involved with the Dawson City Museum, developed and ran the darkroom for the Klondike Sun newspaper, worked on the annual Goldpanning contest, wrote Gold at Fortymile Creek (now in its fourth printing from UBC Press), and was actively involved in the Yukon Historical and Museums Association.
Kathy was the director of the Dawson City Museum from 1977-82 and worked in just about every other capacity that she could manage over the years, including a stint managing Maximilian's and the Palace Grand Theatre, as well as doing freelance reporting for the Yukon News, Whitehorse Star and CBC.
She was a mainstay of the Klondike Korner, the newsletter which served Dawson biweekly for many years. From 1980 to 1983 she and Jean Evans produced The Dawson Packet a free summer newspaper for Dawson, published by "Kay Gee Me Press". In 1989 she joined forces with a dozen or so others who didn't know what they were getting into and established the Klondike Sun, where she was co-editor for the first four years.
She also worked with the Klondike Visitors Association to bring the first World Goldpanning Championship here and was instrumental in the establishment of the Jack London Centre.
Like her husband, she was a member of the YMHS, serving on the board for several years. She received the "Queen's Silver Jubilee Award" in 1977, "Yukoner of the Year" in 1979, the Yukon Tourism Industry Association award for contributions to Yukon tourism 1979 and the YHMA Heritage Award in 1984.
Kathy came to Dawson first in 1972, and Michael took his first look at the place in 1976. Two years later he became Curator of Collections here. The job has been retitled since, but it's still his.
In 1979 Mike and Kathy were married at Saint Paul's. Daughter Megan joined the household in 1987.
The family had to make some substantial adjustments to its lifestyle after a serious highway accident in 1995 nearly took Megan from them and left her with continuing health problems. Despite the immediate predictions from most medical specialists, Megan has soldiered on and enters grade 8 this fall. Spurred on by the memory of her months in the Children's Hospital Brain Injury unit, Megan has taken on the task, shared by her parents, of collecting recyclables and donating the money to the hospital. In the middle of summer 2000 the total was over $6,000 for several years of cleaning out ditches and scouring the dyke.
Some of these facts emerged at the open mike roast where friends recalled highlights and funny moments with the Gates. Once such was Kathy and Mike's first meeting, which he and other people recall but she doesn't.
As a parting gift to the family friends chipped into pay for the cost of having a antique style bookcase constructed. Ben Johnson and Marvin Taylor crafted the bookcase to match the ones which were part of the Commissioner's Residence reconstruction.
On a more loony note, Leslie Piercy oversaw the construction of a recycled tin band, an effort in honour of all Michael's work in documenting the uses that locals have made of old tin cans over the years. An impromptu performance of "We Will Rock You!" demonstrated that the percussion section worked.
The Gates spent the next couple of weeks packing up and made their way to their new home the week that school began in Dawson.
Story and photos by Madeleine Gould
Every year on Labor Day week end, is held the Hoofbeats Equestrian Horse Show, and every year we read about the winners and see photos of them, but no one writes about the work and time that the riders put in. This year I decided to attend starting early in the morning.
My friend Sylvie asked me did I really want to do this and I said yes, as I had to take photos. People at the Klondike Sun were all busy elsewhere. So it was up at six and arriving at the show at seven.
There was a great deal of activity as participants were busy getting the horses groomed for the event. There was also a good fire going, around which we huddled trying to get warm. It was still not quite light enough to take photos so I just tried to keep out of the way.
Some horses were not being ridden and were prancing back and forth it their pens, no doubt wondering what all the excitement was about.
At this event, the participants help each other getting the horses ready. It takes time to braid tails and manes, also cleaning hooves and brushing. The horses must look their best
As this is all going on people keep going to the fire to get warm or leave boots nearby to get the chill out of them.
The judge finally arrives and the show begins. To those of us just watching it is a bit boring as the horses and riders must all be judged by how they handle their horses, and this takes a lot of time. I took many photos and went home late in the afternoon when it was over.
The next day I was up early again and back to the show. It was another cold day but I had smartened up and put on warmer clothing.
This day was western day and a fun day. Had more games which we all enjoyed. Even the smaller children took part with parents and friends making sure they were safe. I think the event that everyone enjoyed the most was the Derry Family, with David Gammie as Goalie, acting out a hockey game. Miles sure could handle that big horse and finally Miles and the horse did score. They received a great ovation.
All three Derry Children had to use the same horse, so you can imagine how fast they had to work. As one came out of the ring he or she jumped off and then the horse was prepared for the next ride. Stirrups shortened or lengthened and the saddle checked. They were a busy family.
I must commend David Gammie for keeping the yard clean. With so many horses it was quite a job. David doesn't ride but he likes to help.
By five I was really tired so didn't wait for the closing ceremonies but came home to rest. I will go again next year as it really is a great event and can be enjoyed by all.
by Dan Davidson
Terry Kelley came to Dawson to talk to school students, but the Halifax-based entertainer felt it would be fine not to waste any opportunities while he was here, so last Tuesday night was "East Coast Music Night" in the bar at Bombay Peggy's Victorian Inn.
The place was packed for the blind performer, who provided a two hour concert and singalong which never let up the whole time. The audience was either coaxed to join in or content just to listen as Kelley took them down memory lane or played his own tunes.
A talented guitarist and keyboard player, Kelley accompanied himself throughout the set and wended his way through reinterpretations of old Cat Stevens' tunes, some Stan Rogers (including "Barrett's Privateers"), a variety of folk-rock standards and at least one song from each of the Atlantic provinces. Equally enjoyable were his own tunes, picked from his several award winning albums.
He moved from style to style with an enviable ease, and seemed to have limitless energy. The boy who was once told by his classmates that he should not sing has clearly come a long way.
The audience was tickled pink by the unexpected bonus evening. They sang along when it was needed, getting into the spirit with lots of clapping and even a bit of dancing. It was altogether the sort of evening you'd like to have in a small bar that likes to fancy itself a bit of a community pub.
by Dan Davidson
Terry Kelley is a noted Halifax musician with a number of East Coast Music and Canadian Country Music awards to his credit, but he wasn't touring the Yukon this month to celebrate his career.
Terry was in schools in September to present "We Can Do Anything", a show which aims to celebrate the individual triumphs which people can achieve by thinking for themselves, making good decisions and avoiding lifestyles which rob them of the ability to make choices.
"I don't claim to have reached the place where I have all the answers," Terry told the high school classes at the Robert Service School on September 13. "I'm still working on most of this stuff."
He has, however, learned a few things about overcoming problems and being successful in spite of them.
One important lesson in life is that "success comes from understanding other people". As a young teen at the School for the Blind in Halifax, Terry had a lot of run-ins with a piano teacher who didn't like his interest in rock'n'roll (ably demonstrated by his song, "You Can't Stop Rock 'n' Roll")
One result of the ongoing argument was that Terry dropped piano lessons and didn't pick them up until later in life. He says that he was wrong to fail to appreciate the need for the boring scales and lessons in technique, but that his teacher would have been wiser to find some way to channel his interest in popular music.
School spirit. Terry told the students, is an important thing to nurture, but each person needs to work at it. "What can I do to make it better?" was the question everyone needed to ask.
"Find something that you like and do it."
To get the students into a bit of group spirit he coaxed them into joining the chorus of the 'Boogie Woogie Woo".
Terry advised students not to let other people make their decisions for them. He was in many bands when he was young, and none of his peers would let him sing in them or even allow him to think that he had a voice worth hearing. It was a former teacher who told him, when he was in his early 20s, that he was limiting himself, that he should ignore his peers and do what he wanted to do.
"No one's better than you are," he told the students. "They're just different. If you always do your best, you will get better. Your future is up to you."
To celebrate this notion, Terry sang a recent song, "Hey There", which he said was about changes in a person's life.
As a blind person, Terry has had to work especially hard to make some of his dreams come true. When he was a boy he used to bicycle around his neighbourhood by following his brother, Tony, who fastened stiff cardboard clappers to the spokes of his bike so Terry could hear him.
He uses a similar trick to go downhill skiing. Once he has been guided to the top of the lift another skier goes behind him, calling out directions: "Left, right, right, TREE!"
He even found a way to fly, by having a pilot talk him through the process so he could experience it at least once.
"Don't stop your dreams from growing," Terry told his audience. "People think they are in control (of these things) but they aren't."
Terry punctuated his message with a healthy helping of upbeat tunes, including the theme song, "We Can Do Anything" and "Mama Likes to Rock 'n' Roll."
He certainly caught the attention of the students that morning. As one grade 8 girl said, during the question and answer period, "You are so cool!"
Aside from the students, one high school teacher, originally from Nova Scotia, said he'd finally got the chance to see Kelley up close without having to line up for a block or trying to sneak in the side door.
by Dan Davidson
They don't often seek the limelight. There are no extra capital letters in their name, if they can be said to have one at all. But there is a Dawson writers' group, and sometimes they come out to share their work and invite others to participate.
One such occasion occurred during the Women's Celebration weekend organized by the Dawson Shelter Transition House in late August.
Louise Ranger was MC for the group, which met that night in the ODD Gallery, surrounded by the Overlay art exhibit, which had just opened a few days earlier.
Bonnie Nordling explained that this group, which meets more in the winter than any other time, usually gathers to write pieces of any kind around a proposed theme. The one they had picked at their most recent meeting, picked with the conference in mind, was shelter. Bonnie herself chose to present an reflective essay on the origins of the Dawson shelter itself.
Louise Ranger wrote about the swallows which inhabit the Carnegie Library and how they find shelter each year.
Joanne Dick shared thoughts of the Humane Society's animal shelter, triggered by her appreciation of the smells there.
Eleanor Millard, visiting from Whitehorse, read her tale of a young native girl who returned to Dawson after a terrible experience at the Carcross Residential School.
Helen Winton had written autobiographically about "My Dream Cabin in the Bush" and how difficult it was to get it built in her early days near Clinton Creek.
Joann Vriend also had a cabin on her mind, composed of thoughts she had had some years back when she built her log house in town.
Your scribe was a visitor to this gathering and shared a few poems on the subject of life and weather in Dawson.
Jack Fraser wrote a tale of a homeless man who had to make a big decision after he found a life changing lottery ticket.
Barb Hanulik presented a piece she had once written about her mother, a spoof of all the Great White Hunter stories you've ever heard.
Berton House writer in residence Sally Clark shared a chapter from her novel in progress.
Palma Berger hearkened back to her childhood in Australia, to life on a farm called "Emohruo", which is "Our Home" backwards.
Surrounded, as they were, by images dealing with the same theme, the evening took on a significance it might have lacked otherwise. It was an interesting way to spend an hour or so, and everyone seemed to have a good time.
by Dan Davidson
Someone stole Arizona Charlie Meadows buckskin coat on the final night of the Gaslight Follies and he had to meet the audience without all his props. Then, just as he was warming to the task, a junior version of himself, complete with coat, stepped out from stage left and stole his thunder.
Final night at the Palace Grand is always a bit of a risk. You never quite know what terminal mutation the Gaslight Follies may have gone through for its last show of the season. Sometimes the actors don't seem to know either.
In order to appreciate the changes, it really is best to have seen the show in its straight form sometime during the summer. Much of what went on during the September 11 performance was a lot funnier if you knew just how it had departed from the original script.
One of the tricks of the evening involved a creative use of the swing players, the male and female actresses who had provided all the others with a night off a week. They had had to master all the parts, and for the final show it seemed they had picked which ones they would do. This meant that there were times when two versions of the same character would emerge from the wings and contend for the spotlight before the show could go on.
The dancing segments had three showgirls instead of two.
Montana Pete was suddenly confronted by the girl he had left behind him Outside, and became an instant family man when the pregnancy sequence got out of hand.
Little Frozen Jar, the hard luck miner, metamorphosed into Little Jogenfruz, the German tourist, complete with hiking gear and camera.
Members of the cast and crew at Diamond Tooth Gerties, who usually don't get to see the Follies, had the night off, and several of them insinuated themselves into the evening's production, to everyone's delight.
Some of the best laughs were unplanned. Charlie (Kevin Ledding) lost his mustache during the barrel scene with Pete (Joey Hollingsworth). The two have lost their shirts (and everything else) in a poker game with Belinda Mulroney (Leslie O'Conner) and are discussing their hard luck and pursuit by the authorities while wearing nothing by a pair of barrels. It's really hard to pick up a mustache when your hands are full.
Quipped Pete: "The season must be ovah. Even mah facial hair is goin' south." The mustache ended up stuck to Pete's knee.
Freed from the constraints of having to get the audience out to catch a floor show at Gerties, the final Follies rattled on for close to two hours, cracking up the audience and allowing Hollingsworth to present fond farewells and accolades to his cast members.
by Paul Marceau
Robert Service School Gymnasium was the site of the first ever Dawson Youth Floor Hockey Tournament held on September 8th and 9th.
More than twenty young men between the ages of 13 and 19 took part in some of the most heated battles seen in a long time.
The action started after school on Friday with a close game between the eventual finalists, Team Webster and the Dawson Maple Leafs, led by captain Mitchell Irwin.
Game two of the evening saw the Hustlers crushing Smartee Pants 12 ñ 2, letting the mercy rule end the game with under 3 minutes left in the third period.
Smartee pants really had their work cut out for them as Karl Knutson, Kyle Isaac and Douglas Johnson fired shots constantly at goaltender Jeremy Sevegny. If not for Sevegny's heroics between the pipes it is unlikely that the game would have lasted as long as it did.
Saturday morning would prove to tell a completely different story for Smartee Pants however, as absent or injured players were replaced. Charlie Taylor, for one, showed up to help the underdogs finish with a 1 ñ1 and 1 record by the end of the round robin, pitting them against the Maple Leafs in the semi final.
Two of the big shooters for Hustlers were replaced on Saturday as well, calling for goaltender Jim Gattie to play forward and surprise opposing goalies with his powerful slapshot and heads up playmaking. Gattie also found enough energy to help out Smartee Pants in their games, tiring him out for the semi final versus Team Webster.
Finally, when all games were played, the Maple Leafs edged out Webster 10 ñ9 in a very exciting finish complete with a late time out and a pulled goalie. Leafs goaltender Sam Phelan-McCullough had this to say about the victory: "They made it close...but we kicked their butts."
The winning Leafs will be back for the next tournament ready to take on all challengers with part of their prize; team T- shirts with their own logo and numbers.
A big thank you goes out to The Grubstake for providing pizza to the winning team, Robert Service School for use of the Gymnasium and to all the fans and parents who came to cheer on the players.
The recreation department hopes to host one of these competitions every month, bringing them outside after the school year is finished in May.
Individual awards are listed below and winners can collect their prizes at noon hours in the gym from recreation programmer, Paul Marceau. Here are this month's winners:
Tournament MVP: Milo Jordan
Most Sportsmanlike Player: Alexander Derry
Best Offensive Player: Jim Gattie
Best Defensive Player: Mitchell Irwin
Best hit taken: John Vogt
Best Goaltender: Matthew Webster
Best hitter for his size: Kyle Brandon
Goon Award (most penalties): James Christiansen
For information about this or any other recreation program, please call Paul, Andrea or Jason at 993-7400. We'd love to hear from you.
by Dan Davidson
All the good seasons come to end, and even one as wet as this summer drips to its ultimate conclusion eventually. Before that had quite happened, some of the professional performers who have made their livings here in the tourist season got together to give something back.
Professor Sumner's Sourdough Symphony Orchestra was made up of musicians who played regularly at the Palace Grand and Diamond Tooth Gerties all summer. Incorporating some other local musicians and singers, the group convened irregularly over the summer, dodging around the staggered working hours of its principals to assemble a two hour production of tunes covering the period from the Gold Rush to about 1924.
Masterminded by "Professor" Greg Sumner, who has been studying and collecting ragtime orchestrations for about seven years now, the eleven person orchestra assembled in the ballroom of the Oddfellow's Hall on September 9 to deliver the fruits of their labours to an appreciative audience.
Proceeds from the concert and sale of goodies were donated to the Dawson City Arts Society, which occupies the building.
Sumner, who was a pianist at Gerties in the 1970s and returned to the Palace Grand this summer, explained that the stock arrangement sheet music churned out by New York's Tin Pan Alley publishing houses was the heart and soul of the bar, brothel and cabaret scene all across the continent in the latter part of the 19th century.
North America, Sumner said, was seized by ragtime fever at the end of the 19th century, and it had a heyday of some 20 years before being displaced by its descendants. The actual scores were often printed on a folded sheet of stiffened paper that folded out to the dimensions of a trade paperback book. It was small print stuff, hard to read, containing not only the actual music but a variety of possible scores: for vocals, piano, trio, quintet or small orchestra. You used what you needed.
Band leaders maintained subscriptions to the music services and new material was mailed to members all over the world, from Dawson to the Falkland Islands.
The material also formed the backbone of the repertoire used to accompany silent movies.
While Saturday afternoon might have seemed an odd time for a concert, most of the musicians were off to their evening jobs later in the day.
The symphony was composed of Caitlin Hayes (vocals), Greg Sumner (vocals, piano, cornet, banjo and bass), Kevin Ledding (vocals and bass), Ian Sherwood (clarinet and alto sax), Peter Rothhauser (piano), Leslie O'Conner (vocals), Andrew Newton (quips, mandolin and banjo), Shelly Rowe (flute), Russell Jones (crooning), Clive Betts (drums and vocal) and Kate Murphy (vocal).
By Tara McCauley
Patrick DiPietro has always wanted to run his own business. His original dream was to run a painting business, however, when the opportunity arose to run a restaurant, he discovered that he really enjoyed it. Paradise North was opened in May of 1999. In October of that same year, Mike Palma, who owns that building that Paradise North occupies, approached Pat and asked him if he would be willing to take over the business. Pat has known Mike Palma for several years and has previously worked for him. After running the business for the winter, Pat bought it on August 1st of this year.
Born in Calgary, Pat spent his formative years between Montreal and Calgary. Five years ago, Pat found himself with nothing to do. His father, who had spent some time up here 20 years ago suggested going to the Yukon. So Pat decided to check it out and hitchhiked up to Dawson.
Although Paradise North started out as a coffee shop and featured light lunches, Pat has been gradually expanding his menu. That includes expanding his opening hours as well. As of August, Paradise North now offers a breakfast and dinner menu, with reasonably priced Lebanese and Mediterranean specialties. Pat's philosophy is to "feed people, for cheap." By that, he aims to keep his menu small and simple so that people get their food faster and get good value for their money. "I used to be the guy looking for the good deals. At the time there was nothing like that." Paradise North also offers free deliveries for downtown businesses.
The transition from coffee shop to restaurant is a continuing process. He plans to eventually redecorate the dining area to give it a more restaurant-like feel. In the back, they have just installed a new pizza oven and fridge with plans for pizza delivery starting this fall. Pat says we can look forward to an ad in our mailboxes announcing the start of this new service.
Business is good and it keeps him on his toes. "As anybody knows, when you're starting a business from the ground up you don't have a lot of free time." What he enjoys the most about the north is the opportunities that present themselves. And that although running a business requires a lot of dedication and time, "you're still only five minutes away from fishing and hunting."
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