The Flin Flon Youth Arts Council (YAC) is putting the finishing touches on their second-ever concert.
The YAC will introduce Twin Flames, a folk group from Ottawa, Ont. that uses Inuit and First Nations themes in its work. Twin Flames previously won a Canadian Folk Music Award as aboriginal songwriters of the year and have performed throughout Canada holding workshops and concerts.
The plan for the group’s visit to Flin Flon is to not only hold a concert at Johnny’s Social Club on April 15, but to host music and cultural workshops with students from local schools. It’s all part of the mandate of YAC, established to provide youth a voice in Flin Flon’s burgeoning arts scene and to help shape a new generation of potential leaders.
Between four and six members sit on the YAC, depending on availability. Henry Rempel and Pearl Tippett, along with Flin Flon Arts Council representatives Crystal Kolt and Mike Spencer, are the stalwarts of the group.
Kolt, Rempel and Tippett saw Twin Flames perform during an annual showcase event held by the Manitoba Arts Network. Tippett was hooked as soon as she heard the music.
“We listened to most of them and they were the coolest and had the most to say, in terms of message,” she said.
“They do lots of social work and spreading their message. If we have the opportunity to bring in a band, we’re going to pick one that has a good sound but also has an important thing to say. You have to supply a platform to that kind of thing.”
While young people are allowed to attend most Flin Flon Arts Council programming, the Twin Flames concert April 15 is explicitly designed to be an all ages show, aimed at encouraging area youth to attend and enjoy.
“It’s not meant to be exclusionary, but that’s the mandate of the Youth Arts Council. It’s to provide programs for young people,” said Spencer.
“There’s nowhere to go [for Flin Flon youth]. If you’re not going to parties and if you don’t work all the time, there’s not much to do,” said Tippett. “You can always find things to do for sure, but besides all that, on a weekend, if there’s nothing going on, why wouldn’t you go to a show?”