Winterruption 2019 brings live music and performances to Saskatoon

By in Culture

The Broadway Theatre’s Winterruption series is back again for another city-wide takeover of Saskatoon’s art scene. With the sheer number of events offered, it can be difficult to navigate what’s worth seeing, so here’s a quick rundown of everything going on.

The four-day festival kicks off on Jan. 23, featuring live comedy with a side of social commentary at the Broadway Theatre and music from an avant-garde legend and some local cult heroes at Black Cat Tavern.

We Ain’t Terrorists is a stand-up show from Canadian comedians Dave Merheje and Ali Hassan. The duo offers two unique viewpoints — Merheje is Lebanese-Christian and Hassan is Pakistani-Muslim — with the goal of using jokes to combat prejudice. We Ain’t Terrorists should be of interest to fans of progressive comedy.

That same night, experimental psych-rock musician Yonatan Gat will be just down the street at Black Cat Tavern, sharing the stage with Saskatoon’s own punk favourites The Faps. This show promises to be a must-see for fans of noisy experimental music — maybe bring some earplugs if you plan on standing up front. We take tinnitus seriously here at the Sheaf.

On Jan. 24, you can catch Inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq at Persephone Theatre with a reading from her new novel Split Tooth and a live-
performance afterwards. Tagaq has built a reputation on combining traditional Inuit performances with punk-rock influences and advocating for Indigenous food sovereignty.

Three other concerts will be occurring that night as well — Black Cat will be hosting the shimmering indie-electronica of Toronto five-piece Bernice, blues musician Terra Lightfoot will be at Amigos Cantina with local opener Ellen Froese, and anthemic pop-artist Sarah MacDougall will be at the Bassment with support from Taylor Jade.

If you’re looking for something else, there will be non-musical performances as well. Canadian comedy veterans Cathy Jones and Bruce McCulloch will be splitting the stage at the Broadway Theatre while RuPaul’s Drag Race season-eight winner, Bob the Drag Queen, will be performing the first of three nights at Louis’ Pub.

Jan. 25 is set to be one of the busier nights with a youth music showcase from Take Something and Run at the Refinery, a set from indie singer-
songwriter Begonia at Amigos and a screening of Jazz biopic Born to be Blue followed by a live performance by soundtrack composer David Braid at the Broadway Theatre.

For the final day of Winterruption, fast-food comedy podcast Doughboys will be recording a live episode at the Persephone. While the theme of the show hasn’t been announced yet, the idea of a bunch of people showing up to one of Saskatoon’s premier venues to hear a scathing takedown of Boston Pizza is pretty great.

On the same night, local pop-infused indie-rock band Too Soon Monsoon will be headlining the Refinery and Efrim Manuel Menuck — known for his work with Godspeed You! Black Emperor — will be at Amigos. You can also catch Stories In Time… An Indigenous Encounter — a presentation of traditional Indigenous song and dance — at the Broadway Theatre.

Winterruption is looking exceptionally strong this year with a variety of art and entertainment for all different tastes. Regardless of what you’re into, this year’s Winterruption offers enough choices to get you out of the house in the middle of the Saskatchewan winter season.

Cole Chretien / Culture Editor

Graphic: Jaymie Stachyruk / Graphics Editor