Come to Atlin for the music, stay for the... Circus?

Come to Atlin for the music, stay for the... Circus?


AAMF held aerial circus workshops throughout the weekend

A Summer 2015 Yukon Prospector Web Extra

DSC_0205-Edit.jpgClaire Ness does a lot of things: she’s a vaudevillian, clown, cabaret performer, singer and song writer.

   This year, Ness was on hand showing kids (and a few adults) the basics of high flying circus fun. 

  “I’ve always liked bringing, you know, dangerous things to kids,” she said with a laugh. 

  Her corner of the park was extremely popular this year.  Strewn around her giant aerial rig were juggling balls, hula-hoops, stilts, and poi.  At any given time you could walk over and catch someone trying to juggle or hula. 

  “It was my first festival doing this kind of workshop, so it was really cool to see how well it worked, and how excited everyone was about it,” she said. 


  “I do some other things, I do a million different things,” she says. But she really likes the circus workshops.

  So much she wants more of it.

  “I want to do more touring with it.  I bought a bus so we could throw all our stuff on it, and spread the circus joy all over the world.”

  Ness said Atlin was the perfect place to host this kind of workshop.

 “Everyone’s feeling the vibe and hanging out. And it’s a beautiful atmosphere for it,” she said.


  When she wasn’t showcasing daring aerobatic feats, she was up on stage with her band Claire Ness and the Wisecrackers. Another first for Claire in Atlin.

  “I was here three years ago and I climbed the tent, for the people who owned marsh lake tents and events, I climbed right to the top and sat on the flag pole,” she said. “But this is my first time actually singing.”

  Her music has a decidedly northern bent to it, she said.

  “A lot of my songs are very inspired from the Yukon.  I have a song about two-cycle oil, about guys with chainsaws, and a song about fishing, and a song about hockey, and a song about Yukon history… A lot of northern themed stuff,” she said.

  You can catch Claire Ness and the Wisecrackers at Arts in the Park in Whitehorse, up in Keno for Keno-Gras on Labour Day, and at The Pit in Dawson.

Photos and Story by

Jonathan Duncan


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