It started as warm and cloudy, with rain on and off throughout the afternoon, but that did nothing to temper the excitement for day one of Folk on the Rocks 2022 in Yellowknife.
Festivities remained quiet and calm for the first little while, though there was still a steady stream of people walking by to enjoy the numerous vendors. Dozens of local businesses offered a diverse selection of delicious foods. Games, prizes, and goodies were also available for the public to help pass the time between their favourite performers.
The day seemed to be split between sunny skies and a relentless downpour. At one point, one would only have to spend a few seconds away from a tent to be absolutely drenched, but that didn’t stop the music, and it didn’t stop the guests from having a wonderful time. People got by with ponchos, umbrellas, raincoats, and others just decided to tough it out. Fortunately, the performers had their equipment safely covered so that their shows could continue.
The earliest performance was the Yellowknives Dene Drummers on the Main Stage at 1:15, with dozens of other performers placed at the numerous stages throughout the rest of the day. The Trade-Offs, Saltwater Hank, Michael Peter Olsen, the Queer Songbook Orchestra and so many more filled the air with their wonderful music. One of the stages has even been set up in a kids’ area, to make sure that the young ones had some entertainment of their own.
The entertainment continued well into the evening, and into the early Sunday morning, making sure that the Long Lake site was constantly filled with the sounds of beautiful music, and joyous cheering and dancing from the excited guests.
At the TrueNorthFM stage, we had the honour of hosting the following artists:
Taiga Yoga – A group of four yoga teachers who have each had unique experiences that lead them to the exercise. They each love to guide, help and encourage new students along their personal yoga journey.
The NWT Creative Collective – The NWT Creative Collective was formed in 2015 in order to foster artistic creativity and opportunities in the Northwest Territories. While serving the community’s youth is at their core, their events have quickly become an integral part of Yellowknife’s annual arts calendar. Their representative at FOTR shared several stories relating to mental health and sexual assault.
Michael Peter Olson – a composer, cellist, record producer and Grammy nominated songwriter known for collaborating with Drake, Arcade Fire, Ed Sheeran, Haim, Hidden Cameras, Jim Guthrie and K-OS. He has appeared on over 150 releases and written music for film and television. Originally hailing from British Columbia, Michael has made his home base in Toronto for nearly 30 years. In Jan 2021 he released his first solo album of electric cello themed compositions, “Yearning Flow” on the boutique label Hand Drawn Dracula.
Kalilah Rampanen – Hasaatuk is a musician under her traditional name, meaning loud vibrant voice. Her music explores a diverse range of indigenous, environmental and social horizons that combine a blend of acoustic, blues and alternative styles of expression. In addition to her musical path, Hasaatuk is actively involved in activism and advocacy for the protection and preservation of Indigenous lands, culture and language. They have participated in a wide variety of campaigns that raise awareness of environmental devastation caused by mining, oil extraction, deforestation, climate justice and aquaculture.
The group “Echoes” also gave an impromptu performance, featuring members of the Jerry Cans
Whether you’re an artist, vendor, organizer, or just a guest visiting to enjoy the weekend, Folk on the Rocks is one event that truly demonstrates the strange power music has that can bring an entire community together, and Yellowknife knows that very well. The staff at TrueNorthFM will be present for day 2 of this beloved festival.