British Columbia

Louise Burns becomes Dawson City's songwriter-in-residence

Vancouver singer-songwriter Louise Burns is calling Dawson City, Yukon, home for the next month. She's the latest artist to become songwriter-in-residence for the Dawson City Music Festival.

It's not a residency in Las Vegas, but Burns says it is helping her with her craft

Louise Burns hangs out at her new digs in snowy Dawson City, Yukon. Burns is spending the month of January in Dawson City to be songwriter-in-residence at the Dawson City Music Festival. (Louise Burns)

To say Vancouver singer-songwriter Louise Burns' latest tour stop is off the beaten path is an understatement.

She is spending the month of January in Dawson City, Yukon, to be songwriter-in-residence at the Dawson City Music Festival.

"The whole point of the program is to have an artist come up for the month of January and just work on music," she told On The Coast host Stephen Quinn. "Integrate into the local arts community, which is an incredibly easy thing to do because everybody here is an artist, maybe hold some songwriting workshops, hold some shows."

For the past 10 years, the festival has invited an artist to spend the month in Dawson City. Previous guests include Weakerthans frontman John K. Sampson and Destroyer's Dan Bejar.

Louise Burns in front of British-Canadian poet Robert Service's cabin. Service was known for drawing inspiriation from Canada's north. (Louise Burns)
Burns says that in the early days of her residency, she's been thinking a lot about the connections between art, solitude and winter in Canadian art.

"It's something, I believe, to do with the fact that you're not distracted," she said. "If you put yourself in any room, it could be in the tropics, in the desert, if you just put yourself in a place of isolation, you will get something done. Or you might go crazy. Maybe that's the same thing, I don't know."

Burns says she's hopeful that the experience will help her development as a songwriter, if for no other reason than it's been a long time since she's been able to dedicate a whole month to working on music.

To hear the full story, click the audio labelled: Vancouver artist Louise Burns' latest tour stop? Dawson City, Yukon


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