On March 9, a small but enthusiastic audience of 52 patrons enjoyed Kym Gouchie’s heartfelt performance last night in Burns Lake. Backed by Naomi Kavka on cello and guitar, and by Zak Windle on guitar and a variety of percussion instruments, Kym accompanied herself on guitar and hand-held drum. Kym introduced each number with thought-provoking stories and commentary.
The songs themselves were at times poignant, challenging and lyrical, but always deeply felt and personal. Songs and lyrics ranged across a wide spectrum, including the residential school experience, Kym’s personal and family history, the effects of the railroad and colonization on the Indigenous community, the Highway of Tears, and a love of animals and birds, of nature and the land. The performance was infused throughout with Kym’s passionate musicianship and a generous spirit of fellowship and reconciliation. The trio connected with the Burns Lake audience during the performance with humour, sing-alongs and action songs.
The farewell song of the evening saw several audience members get up front and dance, and others dance in place at their seats. After the performance audience members mingled with the performers in the lobby. Kym, Naomi and Zak particularly connected with First Nations patrons and teens, signing autographs on programs and CDs, and posing for photographs.
Prior to the evening performance, Kym and her accompanists performed for about 250 high school students and staff members at Lakes District Secondary School. The teens and their teachers were attentive, participated enthusiastically in audience participation numbers, and applauded warmly throughout the afternoon concert.
Pius Charlie, an elder of the Ts’il Kas Koh Nation, performed a land acknowledgment prior to the high school show, and returned in the evening to greet audience members and welcome them to the nation’s territory.
As Burns Lake sends the performers on to Terrace and Kitimat with our heartfelt gratitude and admiration, some other thank you’s are in order. Without the support and untiring efforts of Sandra Smith of Plaid People Music in Smithers, Kym’s tour of our area would not have been possible. Thanks as always to the staff of the BC Touring Council for unflagging support of live touring in BC, including essential funding support through the Community Presenters Assistance Program. The Lakes District Arts Council also acknowledges the support of public funders, particularly the generous support of the BC Arts Council.
Artists on display that evening Ronny Berndorff, Lynda Peebles, Kiwani, Hilda Earl, and Sue Chretien.
(Ted Douglas photos/Lakes District News)