Water is the essence of life.

That and oxygen.

But wastewater, well, that’s not very highly valued.

It could be more valuable if it gave us a signal that another Covid-19 wave was on the way, but it hasn’t proven reliable at doing that, at least not recently. Indications on April 11 were that the Covid measure in Yellowknife’s wastewater had spiked, but the anticipated jump in hospitalizations from the virus never followed.

And that’s great news. In addition to Yellowknifers remaining healthy, it means that art will flourish, as it has recently.

The city’s arts scene is flush – no wastewater pun intended – with fantastic occasions in the coming weeks and months.

The most high profile event is, of course, Folk on the Rocks, Yellowknife’s premier music festival. The final list of performers was released last week and Canadian folk and country singer-songwriter Donovan Woods was the name atop that list. He’ll be joined by the likes of Pantayo, Sara Dufour, Kimmortal and Yellowknife’s own Cynergii (Chad Hinchey). They will join many other performers, including previously announced headliners Joel Plaskett and Haviah Mighty. The July 15 to 17 extravaganza at Long Lake will be upon us before you know it, as will the mosquitoes.

But there’s a few things to be excited about in the meantime.

For fans of the macabre, Nick MacIntosh has a horror-themed art show slated for the Top Knight on Friday, the 13th of May. What better day? Ever Dark, as the show is titled, was intended to throw a scare into people prior to Covid, so it sat in the dark, waiting for the opportune time to set hearts racing.

A couple of days later will bring an entirely different vibe as Miranda Currie launches her second children’s album, Tickling the Taiga. That’s a Northern Arts and Cultural Centre event, to be held on May 15.

We’ve also been fortunate to drink in some great entertainment recently, such as the debut of made-in-Yellowknife musical production Love + Laughter on the 14th Floor, which wowed the crowd at NACC on April 29. Like Ever Dark, this show was planned to hit the stage earlier, in 2021, but it sat on the shelf because of that darn virus.

Gnarwhal was another example of pent up creative energy. The band and other local artists rocked the Elks Lodge on April 23. The group, formed only several months ahead of Covid-19, has a new album coming out later this year. So they have persevered despite the pandemic blahs. And they too will be on the bill at Folk on the Rocks.

Earlier in April, the Yellowknife Artists Co-Operative showcased an array of events at its first YAC Fest. Several days of the innovative geodesic dome on Great Slave Lake and all the associated activities were delightful.

Now, if you are very cautious by nature and still prefer to avoid crowds, then the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre has the answer for you. The museum recently put its art collection online, meaning that there are more than 1,400 images of artwork to view from the comfort of your own home, or perhaps sitting outside on a park bench with your phone in hand.

Whatever your comfort level, continue to use common sense, and, please, respect others’ choices to wear or not wear a mask.

Long live the arts!

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