On Sunday August 15th, Yukon Riverside Arts Festival cut Princess Street, right beside KIAC, and turned the space into a beautiful and intimate outdoor concert, featuring music by Joey O’Neil and Victoria Parker, and a reading by Writer in residence Greg Bechtel. Audiences were able to enjoy the concert in an outdoor cabaret-style seating, and the music captured passersby, drawing them in.
About the Artists
Though much of her time is spent cutting kindling and hauling water around her off-grid Yukon home, she released her sophomore LP, Ever Ahead, in April of 2020. Produced by pedal-steel legend Aaron Goldstein, it’s an undeniably classic road-trip album that Exclaim! deems is made up of “postcard-like, twanged-out folk tracks” and Canadian Beats dubs “an audiobook narrated behind bluesy, western melodies”. Inspired by countless cross-country journeys with her trusty canine copilot named Oblio, its nine original songs demand self-reflection, as long drives often do, and speak of fixing things rendered broken, correcting cycles of same mistakes, and moving on. Thanks to canorous string plucking, “L.A. sound” piano chords, striking guitar and steel solos, and Jordanaires-esque backup vocals, this collection of tracks whispers influences of her very own glove-compartment capsule of quintessential cassette tapes. Most of all, this ode to the road reminds us to “keep on truckin’”, as the next great personal epiphany is ever ahead.
Victoria Parker is a singer-songwriter from Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada. Parker’s musical style has been described as indie folk, indie pop and electronic ambient. She is currently working on her debut album, recording in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory. She received her Masters in Music Education form Western University and a Bachelor of Music Theatre. Parker has also performed with the band Wet Denim, with whom she released the debut single “WWWDD” and a self-titled album in 2017, “Seek the Illumination”.
GREG BECHTEL’S occasionally prize-winning stories and essays have appeared in a several magazines and anthologies, including Avenue Edmonton, The Fiddlehead, Prairie Fire, and Imaginarium 4: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing. His first story collection, Boundary Problems, won the Alberta Book of the Year Award for trade fiction and was a finalist for the ReLit Award, the William L. Crawford Fantasy Award, and the City of Edmonton Robert Kroetsch Book Prize. Since 2011, he has taught English Literature, Creative Writing, and Writing Studies at the University of Alberta, where he completed his PhD on Canadian syncretic fantasy.
Since January 2020, Greg has been serving as Writer in Residence at the Berton House Writers’ Retreat in Dawson City, Yukon, where he was originally scheduled to remain for three months while working on a new novel about amnesia, climate refugees, ghost-possession, and polyamorous relationships. When the global pandemic hit and lockdowns began in March, he offered to stay on until it was safe to bring in new writers from outside the territory. As of the writing of this bio in March 2021, he is still there.