The first Buskers in the Bush performance series of 2020 hit the Frame Lake Trail last weekend featuring a selection of the best in northern public art.

The event offered six stations where trail walkers on the north side of Frame Lake could catch painters in their work or a few tunes from musicians or even an Indigenous legend or two from a storyteller.

Pat Braden performs on the first day of the Buskers in the Bush event put on by the Northern Arts and Cultural Centre on Aug. 2 along the Frame Lake Trail.
Simon Whitehouse/NNSL photo

Marie Coderre, executive director of the Northern Arts and Cultural Centre (NACC), who organized the event, said the crowd numbered close to 100 people. The figure was a bit lower than expected, but organizers had to contend with it being a long weekend.

“I think our only boo-boo was that it took place on a long weekend and it was super hot and there were a lot of people out at their cabins  or camping and the last couple of weekends of nice weather,” Coderre said. “I’m not too worried for next couple of weeks and I think it is going to work out super well.”

The next two installments are scheduled to take place on Aug. 9 and 16. The idea is to replicate Corderre’s Quebec roots, where arts have historically grown organically from the streets into world-renowned performances.

Pat Braden performs for some passersby during the opening day of the Buskers in the Bush event organized by NACC on Aug. 2. Simon Whitehouse/NNSL photo

“It started out as a fundraiser last year and this year has been more like an official event,” she said. “I am from Quebec, where the public arts is popular and street arts grew up around me. We don’t have a lot of streets in the North but we are surrounded by nature.”

Coderre said the set up for the event allows artists to have some freedom in how they present their art forms in as raw a form as possible.

“Part of the goal is to have different selections and art forms but also to have artists present the way they want,” she said.

Natasha Duchene plays the ukulele during the premier of the Buskers in the Bush event held by NACC on Aug. 2. The event was held on Frame Lake Trail.
Simon Whitehouse/NNSL photo
Kiera-Dawn Kolson begins a session of storytelling and legend-sharing with a drumming piece.
Simon Whitehouse/NNSL photo
Jen Walden, back, and Terry Pamplin, demonstrate some painting techniques at their station. photo courtesy of Carmen Braden


Simon Whitehouse

Simon Whitehouse came to Yellowknife to work with Northern News Services in 2011. Simon obtained his journalism education at Algonquin College and the University of Ottawa. Simon can be reached at...

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