The heart of AAMF

The heart of AAMF

Paul Baker shows off one of his creations

Atlin puts a lot of heart into the art at their festival

A Summer 2015 Yukon Prospector Web Extra

The Atlin Arts and Music Festival put as much effort into keeping their non-musical talent happy as they did their musicians.

  All the artists were paid for their efforts and allowed access to the “green room” backstage, where three meals a day were provided, along with food and wine.

  Artist Emma Barr says this was a fantastic opportunity. “They pay well, and they take care of their people,” she says. Emma was on hand showing kids how to face paint, and make t-shirt designs. She says all the artists were treated equally, whether they were up on stage, or working in one of the many art workshops. 

Patrick Royle Stands with one of his creations

  There were a lot of workshops: Felting, printmaking, forging, raku pottery, and glass on glass mosaics too name a few. They were all free with the cost of your ticket, since the festival was paying. 

  Paul Baker was working the forge at the festival, showing people how to craft a leaf from a steel rod. Participants got to heat the metal in a forge, then bang it out on the anvil until it resembled a leaf. His was one of the most popular events at the festival, Baker says he was full up all weekend.

  It was his first time forging at the festival, and Baker says he had a great time, learning as much from his students as they did from him. In fact, all the artists were pretty much booked solid for the weekend. The line to sign up for workshops was already stretching through the festival grounds by the time signups started on Friday.    

  Paul’s wife Jeanine was also at the festival, creating glass on glass mosaics. It was Jeanine’s third time creating with glass at the festival, and she says the organizers are making it better every year.

  Many of the musicians felt the same way. Bongeziwe Mabandla travelled from South Africa to play at the festival, “This festival has been amazing," he says, "it’s what my idea of music should be like. It’s all about connecting with people, laid back, close to nature with the beautiful mountains. The hippy vibes are kinda the vibes I like,” he says.

  Headlining band Death were especially happy with Atlin. “We will carry this place with us in our hearts,” says drummer Dannis Hackney. “When things get crazy, I will think of this place and feel better.”


Story and photos by

Jonathan Duncan


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