Centre stage revisited
Folk on the Rocks to get new stage

by Anne-Marie Jennings
Northern News Services

NNSL (Jun 01/98) - This year's Folk on the Rocks music festival will see a few new musical acts join the ever-growing family of entertainers performing on a brand new stage.

Simon Taylor, an architect with Matthews Pin Ltd., designed the new stage on his own time and expense.

"I met (this year's co-ordinator) Jodi Woollam a couple of years ago, and we became friends. When she asked me to help with the festival, I said yes."

"I never expected to be doing anything like this."

The new stage Taylor has designed is considerably bigger than the previous stage -- which has already been taken down to make way for the new construction. The new design includes a control room in one corner, which will be used for sound engineers during the performances, as well as a green room for performers to enjoy while waiting for their appearance on the main concert stage.

In designing the stage, Taylor had a number of factors to consider in the final design -- the natural surroundings, in particular.

"It's a beautiful sight. The natural atmosphere around the stage is something I wanted to work with in my design. I also wanted to design a stage which would capture the spirit of the event without neglecting the growing profile of the city."

Taylor adds that his design his vandal-resistant. Should portions of the stage be damaged in any way, the stage has been designed so that pieces can be taken out and replaced without having to take down the entire stage during the repair process.

Taylor says that once the stage is built, the use will not only be for the use of Folk on the Rocks.

"It will be a city stage," he says. "We received $25,000 from the city for the construction of the stage, so we tried to design something which could be used by other groups."

"The new stage will be as big as the stage at NACC, which will allow other groups to think about using it for their productions."

Much of the building of the new stage has been donated by the community -- both in terms of materials and labor. The stage will be constructed by workers from the Yellowknife Correctional Centre. Taylor says that there are still a few more items which are needed for the construction, namely plywood for the stage itself and metal for the roofing.

Folk on the Rocks will take place from July 17-19 in Yellowknife.