Yukon entertainers are learning to adjust to cancellations and postponements 

From fundraisers to festivals, it’s rare not to see Kevin Barr’s name on a line up in the north. But in these days of social distancing, cancelled events because of COVID-19 making a living is getting harder.

So like hundreds of other artists who are trying to stay connected to their audience, Barr has come up with a new way to reach people.

“This is kind of like having friends over and you’re sitting and playing in your living room” Barr tells APTN News. “This is how it is for me and we’re sharing music as we would”

Barr posts videos on Facebook to share his music and stories with his fans.

With new restrictions stating groups of 10 people or more are prohibited, another Yukon entertainer is left with no events to perform at.

Comedian Sharon Shorty, also known as Grandma Susie, has made a living by performing on stage in front of audiences.

Now that all of her shows have been cancelled due to COVID 19, Shorty is left wondering how she’ll bring in income

“As soon as this happened all of my gigs were cancelled and that’s my sole income,” she said.

“So I’m pretty worried about that.”

She is now using social media platforms like Facebook to host cooking shows and has formed a group to support other community members going through their own isolation.

The hit goes deeper than financial for some.

For Marilyn Jensen and the Dakhká Khwáan Dancers, dancing and singing is not only their art but a fundamental way to soothe their souls – now that they are not able to have group practices, they will need to come up with a new way to connect.

“I’m so sad because a lot of the big gatherings and events that we look forward to that only happen every couple years have been cancelled or postponed.” said Jensen

Although performances and events have been cancelled and there is no change in site, Yukon artists have turned to social media to connect with their communities.

Despite the challenges that present themselves, these performers are committed to bringing some positivity through song, and comedy in a time of need.

Reporter / Whitehorse

Chris was born in Toronto but has lived all over Canada. He moved to the Yukon in 2009 where he lived and worked in Dawson City. Chris’s background is in radio broadcasting and he has worked with CFYT 106.9, CBC Yukon, and CHON FM as a host and show producer. Chris joined APTN News in May.