All day long, the historic Dawson Daily News Building has been a bustle of activity, as the artists participating in the Dawson Daily News Print & Publishing Symposium began their set-up in preparation for this evening’s official launch event.
Part of the Yukon Riverside Arts Festival, the P&P Symposium, now in its second year, runs from August 16th to the 18th. Featuring exhibitions, workshops, demonstrations, and ongoing interactive projects, the Symposium is a collaboration of KIAC, the Dawson Community Library, and Parks Canada, with additional support from the Writers’ Trust of Canada.
The attendees started to fill the building early for the launch event, fascinated not only by the displays, but also by the antique letter presses that will be used during the weekend, including the vintage Chandler & Price machine which master printer Peter Braune began restoring during last year’s symposium, and which will finally be put into production this weekend.
KIAC Presentation & Events Coordinator Matt Sardy kicked off the evening’s formal presentations, welcoming the guests and participants, outlining the weekend’s events, and acknowledging the supporters who make the Symposium possible.
He was followed by Michael McCormack, who officially opened The Kitchen Party exhibition. McCormack explained the history and theme of the exhibition, which features Atlantic Canada printed matter, and highlights a generation of East Coast artists using the medium of printed matter as a contemporary art form embodying practical everyday experiences and methodology through storytelling, activism, documentation, and intervention. (Click here for an in-depth description of the exhibition, and its participating artists). Also launching was a publication created in Eye Level Gallery’s Printed Matter Residency along with a demonstration by Andrew McLaren. Both exhibitions will be available for viewing Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5:30 p.m. at the Dawson Daily News Building.
McCormack’s curator talk was followed by a reading by Berton House Writer-In-Residence Colleen Murphy. Murphy is currently working on an opera set in Canada’s far north, and spanning five centuries. She wove a mystical and moving tale encompassing the Inuit culture and its relationship with nature, the ill-fated Franklin Expedition, modern exploitation of the North, and the coming effects of global warming. Her intimate presentation style and fascinatingly original story had the audience enraptured throughout.
Tomorrow the workshops and presentations begin, starting at noon. Click here for a full schedule of events.