One of the Yukon’s pre-eminent bands is slated to open the 2022 Plaza Series on Thursday, July 7 at St. Albert Place.
Diyet & the Love Soldiers, an alternative country, folk, roots, and traditional trio, have developed an international reputation singing about Indigenous culture and identity. More than entertainment, the trio preserves traditional knowledge and tribal memory through its songs.
Diyet, the trio’s focal point, is an Indigenous singer-songwriter of Southern Tutchone, Tlingit, Japanese, and Scottish heritage. She spent her childhood on the ancestral lands of Kluane First Nation, fishing one day, singing the next.
Coming from a family rooted in tradition yet tempered with adventurous attitudes, Diyet obtained a music degree and became an established songwriter in Vancouver. When the call of the North became too strong, she moved back to her village with Dutch husband Robert van Lieshout. Both van Lieshout and Juno Award-winning producer Bob Hamilton are the Love Soldiers.
In addition to developing an international career touring Canada and Europe, the trio has released three albums: The Breaking Point, When You Were King, and the self-titled Diyet & the Love Soldiers. The trio is currently recording a new album scheduled for release later this year.
“It’s been 12 years since my first release. When I wrote the first album, I felt more like an observer. Over the course of the next two albums, I became more of a participant in my songs. Always, I feel like I write my best songs when I’m here in my home environment, close to this magnetic and sometimes overwhelming nature. Time and practice helps to hone your craft and I find myself trying to find fewer words to say what I mean — perhaps age wants me to get the point,” said Diyet in an email to The Gazette.
As a bridge between two worlds, Diyet was invited to co-direct Dreaming Roots with internationally renowned award-winning Alejandro Ronceria. Dreaming Roots, which took place June 26 at Yukon Arts Centre, brought together new works from various disciplines: dance, music, drumming, theatre, and storytelling in both traditional and contemporary forms.
In her role as co-director she said, “The show tells the story of the Yukon from time immemorial up to the future. The story is by many different artists in many different capacities. The beautiful part is that this show is a result of true collaboration and co-creation by more than 50 Yukon Indigenous artists. My role as co-director was to help create space and facilitate the creation of new work in a safe and open space.”
Dreaming Roots introduced the 10th annual Adäka Cultural Festival, an opportunity for Indigenous people to explore and exchange thoughts on their heritage and culture. The festivities included 200 visual and performance artists from Canada’s north, and guest artists from circumpolar countries including Alaska, the U.S., Greenland, Norway, Sweden, and Finland.
Diyet & the Love Soliders' Plaza Series showcase is a unique opportunity learn more about Canada's northern Indigenous heritage and culture.
“When we perform, we will be singing some older and many newer songs. I also will be bringing a small taste of my home here in the Yukon by sharing some traditional songs in my language of Southern Tutchone and some stories as well.”
Showtime is 7:30 p.m. July 7 at St. Albert Place, 5 St. Anne St. Single tickets are $15 and $120 for a premium table seating six. Tickets can be purchased at https://stalbert.ca/exp/arden/events/. If it rains, the concert will be held at the Arden Theatre.