The Strumbellas and Serena Ryder perform at record-breaking Yukon concert

·2 min read
The Yukon Arts Centre 'birthday bash' concert on Saturday saw a record-breaking number of attendees. More than 2,000 Yukoners went to Shipyards Park to watch the free live event. (Sissi De Flaviis/CBC - image credit)
The Yukon Arts Centre 'birthday bash' concert on Saturday saw a record-breaking number of attendees. More than 2,000 Yukoners went to Shipyards Park to watch the free live event. (Sissi De Flaviis/CBC - image credit)

The Yukon Arts Centre kick started its 30th anniversary celebration with a well-attended concert on Saturday afternoon at Shipyards Park.

The show featured two Canadian premier musical acts, The Strumbellas and Serena Ryder, It drew a crowd of more than 2,000 Yukoners, making it one of the biggest events the town has ever seen.

Casey Prescott, the Yukon Arts Centre's chief executive director, said he was euphoric and in shock to see the crowd's size.

Sissi De Flaviis/CBC
Sissi De Flaviis/CBC

"I remember I had to run an errand quickly and then when I came back just before Serena Ryder started, I just kind of caught my breath seeing how many people were in the park," he said. "It's really exhilarating."

For him, this is the largest crowd he's seen since he moved to the territory five years ago, and described the event as a "pretty unprecedented day of community engagement."

"We were pinching ourselves at the end, 'did that just happen?'"

The "Birthday Bash" concert was financed through a Canadian Heritage fund called Canada Reopens.

Prescott said the Arts Centre staff thought it was important to offer a free, community-driven event for Yukoners, but it also caused some uncertainty during the planning.

Sissi De Flaviis/CBC
Sissi De Flaviis/CBC

"When you do a free event, you don't really have any idea. So you do your best to market and communicate how exciting this event is going to be and then you wait," he said.

After the event, Prescott said he received positive feedback from concert attendees.

"I heard from so many people how much they needed that event in the sense of just to be able to come together, just to be able to, you know, share an experience together. Because that is really one thing the pandemic took away from us for the past two years," he added.

Prescott mentioned there will be more events throughout the year until May 2023 to celebrate the centre's anniversary, but this will definitely be the largest one.

The upcoming events will be announced closer to their respective dates.