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DIY Band Ideas

Stenciling! Promotion! Recording! Merch Tips!

Tshirt Stencil Printing

Stencils are an easy way to get your design onto clothing, patches, or posters. Try selling some DIY (do-it-yourself) tshirts at your next show or making a band uniform or outfit. You can use regular paint or spray paint (in a ventilated area!) with either paper or cardboard, which lasts a bit longer and is easier to use.

Try different designs, try text, try detailed images and not-so-detailed images. It can be hard to get the hang of, but once you get it you can do anything you want. Be creative with layers and lay out, there are an infinite number of possibilities! Feel free to follow this guide or google some variations.

Record Something

You are probably not ready to release a platinum-selling vinyl album, so here are some cheaper and easier alternatives. Recording an demo (a short sample of your band’s tunes, usually 2 – 4 songs), an EP (something more than demo but less than an album) or a full album isn’t as daunting or expensive as it seems.
Set up a laptop, phone, DSLR camera, or tape recorder if you like old school analogue, and record a few tracks. Try different places for different effects and sound quality. Burn the songs onto a cd, make a little book of lyrics, and draw up a sweet cover for the cd case. There you go, you made your first album!
Maybe try mixing (editing your recordings) or releasing a “split” album with another band. From there, you could give your stuff to a local radio station or upload your tracks online. A bonus of recording your music is that you will get to look back on it years down the road and see how far you’ve come!

Make Yourself Known (In The Digital Age...)

Your music is awesome. You know that. Your friends know that. But do your friends’ friends know it?
By creating a band page (not a website, but you could do that too), just a band page on a free and easy to use website like Bandcamp, Soundcloud, or Myspace, you can let the world know what you sound like. You don’t need anything fancy, just a few recordings, maybe a photo, and bit of information about your band. If you’re feeling up to it, why not make a Facebook page as well? If you are more video inclined, just use Youtube to upload your newest content.

Can't Get A Show? Book Your Own!

As a new band, it can be hard to find gigs to play, especially in a small town, especially if you are under 19. How is your band going to make it big if you never get to play? We’ve listed a few opportunities on this page, but an easy alternative to the “We-never-get-gigs” problem is to create your own. It sounds weird, but why not?
Pick a place (ideally somewhere you don’t have to pay money for) like a youth centre or community centre, or even a house or backyard in the summertime. Pick a date. Find a a few other bands or musicians to play with you and then tell everyone you know.

Organizing and promoting your own shows is a valuable skill because then you can start creating your own opportunities. Make sure to make a poster or facebook event with the date and time! Often bands with have a “PWYC” (pay-what-you-can) donation jar instead of an entry fee. This money can help with the poster making costs or maybe go towards getting some snacks for a future show. Maybe consider making your event a fundraiser, and donating all the money to a local charity or good cause!

Make A Sweet Poster

The first rule is that there are no rules. If you want glitter, skulls, magazine cut-outs, or if you want to use crayons, or make them triangle-shaped, or make them on the computer, go for it. Posters are meant to be eye-catching but that doesn’t mean they have to be in colour. Photocopied posters in black and white often include elements of collage for a “punk rock look” (and because it’s fun and easy).
Make sure to have all the relevant information like your band name, the show date and time, the location, and the entry fee (if there is one). Here are a ton of punk and rock posters for inspiration!

Make Merch

Being in a band doesn’t have to cost anything, but sometimes it’s nice to have money for things like making a new album or photocopying posters. Merch (sweet unique stuff with your band’s name or logo on it) has an added benefit of getting your name out there in the world.
“Hey Sarah, where did you get that cool shirt?”
“Oh, it’s from Kate’s new band Cranberry Cats, they made it themselves.
Merch can come in any shape or form. Often bands will sell cds, tapes, maybe posters or zines, tshirts, or anything else. The more creative you are, the more exciting your merch table is. You could try selling guitar shaped cookies, or hand-sewn teddy bears…

Get On Stage!

Musical Opportunities for Yukon Youth

The Yukon Commissioner’s Annual Youth Showcase

Location: Multiple

The Commissioners Youth Showcase serves to highlight and promote talented Yukon youth in the realm of arts and culture by showcasing them at the Commissioner’s various events each year. Youth who are featured are chosen by an impartial selection committee.

Recipients are invited to be featured at one of the Commissioner’s annual events (Levee, Tea, Klondike Ball, etc.) and receive a framed certificate of recognition and a gift certificate to a Yukon business in the realm of their talent or skill. All participants in the program in each calendar year are invited to perform again at an annual concert held by the Commissioner every December.

Atlin Music Fest Youth Stage

Location: Atlin, BC

As of 2014, the Atlin Music Festival has a Youth Stage! Be sure to check back on the website for updates because this is a great opportunity to play in front of a real audience in a beautiful little town!

KIAC Acoustic Coffee House

Location: Dawson City

The Klondike Institute of Arts & Culture offers a free monthly acoustic coffee house (open mic) in the Oddfellows Ballroom. Kids, youth, and adults are invited to play in any genre or style. It is a very welcoming and supportive environment and great for anyone just learning how to perform in front of an audience.

Watson Lake's Got Talent

Location: Watson Lake

Watson Lake’s Got Talent is hosted by Watson Lake Events and features the many talents of Watson’s residents, from kids to elders! This is an all ages event that happens at the Rec Centre. Call Meaghan at 1 (867) 536 8023 to find out when the next one is!

All City Band Society

Location: Whitehorse

The All City Band is an organization to help people of all ages (there’s even a Grade 8 Group!) get excited about music through group practice, learning, and performances. Always wanted to play tuba? saxophone? flute? clarinet? This is your chance!

BYTE's Battle of the Bands

Location: Whitehorse

Every year the Yukon’s hottest youth hiphop, punk, metal, folk and everything-in-between bands go head to head in the dead of winter at BYTE’s Battle of the Bands. Last year’s prizes included a professional music video recording sesh, a photo shoot, a recording session, and for first prize, the opportunity to play Rendezvous. Last year the “People’s Choice” award winners got to play Atlin Music Fest!

Music Yukon

Location: Whitehorse/Communities

Music Yukon offers a resource centre in Whitehorse with access to internet, computers and basic office resources, including photo-copying, printing and scanning. It also serves as a great meeting and networking place and a place where musicians can take out their instruments and practice or jam or just play for the fun of it.

Music Yukon also runs a summer camp and Arts In The Park summer program in Whitehorse, but offers support, resources, and programming in various Yukon communities as well. Check their website for upcoming events and projects.

Yukon Summer Music Camp

Location: Whitehorse

Spend a week seeing concerts, making friends, and participating in cool workshops like these: rhythm & percussion, beginner rock band, senior wind ensemble… They’ve got everything from classical to punk rock, for kids to old geezers! The camp includes a “performer series” so every day at lunch you get to see a different showcase of talented artists.

Yukon Women In Music

Location: Whitehorse

Yukon Women In Music (YWIM) organizes concerts and workshops as well as provides networking opportunities for women in and around the Whitehorse area. They do compilation CDS, fundraising events, and all sorts of fun stuff. Stay posted for future events on their Facebook page.

Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous Youth Concert

Location: Whitehorse

All youth aged 12-18 are invited to a free concert (part of KidsFEST) during the weekend of Whitehorse’s spring festival, the Sourdough Rendezvous. Before the headlining act, you can expect to see some local youth talent so it might be a good opportunity for you or your band!

Need A Kickstart?

Funding Opportunities

Yukon Sound Recording Program

The Yukon Sound Recording Program offers funding of up to $2000 (for an EP/Demo) or $5000 for a full album to Yukon residents. Applicants must be either a sound recording artist, or owner of a recording studio or label. If applicants are a duo, at least one person must meet the requirements outlined above.

DEADLINE: May 1st and November 1st each year.

Touring Artist Fund

The Touring Artist Fund is meant to help musicians, visual artists, and performers in general gain exposure and recognition outside of the Yukon. This fund can help with travel costs, accommodations, publicity and advertising, and any other expenses directly related to touring. Applicants must have lived in the Yukon for at least a full year before applying. The maximum allocation is $10,000.

DEADLINES: March, June, September, December 15th of each year.

Kids Recreation Fund

The Sport Yukon Kids Rec Fund is meant to assist families with financial difficulty who have youth up to 19 years old with fees or costs related to sports, recreational activities, or arts & culture based programming. Think summer camp! New hockey gear! Painting classes! Swimming lessons! Music Group! Families may request up to $400 annually.

DEADLINE: March 27th.

Youth Investment Fund

Do you know an organization with an awesome idea for your community? Want to fix up the skate park? Plant a garden for the community? Make posters against drunk driving? This fund is for Yukon organizations only (not individuals) but if you approach your local youth centre or other non-profit, they might be stoked on your idea!

DEADLINE: For $500 or less – Anytime! For $501 – 5000 – April and October 1st each year.

Leadership Capacity Grant

This grant is for up to ten young Canadian women between 16 and 25 years old who want to make a positive change in their community by building leadership skills. Applicants will undertake a project of their choosing and receive $1000 to do it. Check out some of the LC Grant recipients past projects for ideas!

DEADLINE: One time per year: TBA. Check back on the website often.

The Awesome Foundation

The Awesome Foundation grants individuals and organizations $1000 to do something… Awesome! Projects come in a wide range of areas including arts, technology, community development, and more. Many awesome projects are novel or experimental, and evoke surprise and delight. Awesome sometimes challenges and often inspires. Rumour has it that a Yukon Chapter is starting up!

DEADLINE: None really, applications are taken on a rolling basis.

Reprise Music Scholarship Fund

In honour of musicians Gord Polichek and Wendy Perry, the Reprise Music Scholarship Fund is accessible to emerging Dawson musicians and music educators for the purposes of advancing a students musical training. This fund can be accessed to supplement workshop, course and lesson fees, augment costs related to competitions, examinations and as a fund accessible for music educators to purchase sheet music and books.


Get Involved!

Youth Activities In The Communities

Beaver Creek Community Club

Community: Beaver Creek

The Beaver Creek rec centre offers workshops on hunting, firearm safety, fitness and training, (etc) as well as after-school care, yoga, employment training, kids toys and activities, and a library. Lots of fun things are happening over there so definitely check out the Facebook page.

Carcross-Tagish First Nation Carving Centre

Community: Carcross

Lead carver Keith Wolf Smarch heads the Carcross /Tagish First Nation’s carving program. Junior carvers work on a variety of carved items, including large poles. To find out more about hours, please contact:

Tel. 867-821-4251 ext. 8222

Carmacks Rec Centre

Community: Carmacks

The Carmacks Recreation Centre is at the east end of River Drive between the nursing station and visitor centre, and is a community focal point for youth. There is a youth drop-in daily with computer access, video games, table games and other activities, often funded by Yukon grant programs.

The gymnasium is host to adult floor hockey and other sports, and there is an attached curling rink. The Rec. Centre has a full set of fitness equipment, including weights and treadmills. Summer sees the opening of the swimming pool, usually from the Victoria Day weekend in May to the last week of August.

Dawson City Rec Department

Community: Dawson City

Adult & youth recreation programs are held at Robert Service School and scheduled through the Recreation Department. The Rec Department provides programming and facilitates community recreation leadership by scheduling use of RSS during evenings and weekends and also schedules use of public parks and facilities for activities and workshops. Check out the website for a newsletter of upcoming events.

Dawson City Women's Shelter

Community: Dawson City

The Women’s Shelter offers a bunch of great services and often posts about community events on their Facebook page. The shelter is open 24/7 and has a wonderful staff available if you need support, guidance, or just someone to talk to over a cup of tea. The shelter also hosts various workshops and events on top of providing a wide range of short and long term services to women in need.

Dawson City TH Youth Centre

Community: Dawson City

The Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Youth Centre is open year-round and has a ton of fun activities, clubs, and workshops. Movie nights! Art night! Fitness! Cooking! Hockey! Video Games! The Youth Centre also has an amazing group of leaders who are available to talk and provide support for any youth for any reason.

Youth Art Enrichment Camp

Community: Dawson City/Various

Youth Art Enrichment is an annual program held in Dawson City, Yukon, that brings 48 artistically inclined high school students from across the territory together to take part in four days of intensive art workshops with a professional artist.

In addition to focused coursework, Youth Art Enrichment presents activities which encourage students to explore and discuss career and educational choices, socialize with like-minded peers from around the territory, and to begin developing their portfolio.

Girls Night Out Faro

Community: Faro

Girls Night Out Faro, founded in 2006,  is a volunteer-led initiative targeting girls aged 11-17. It aims to encourage general wellness and provide support for healthy development of girls in Faro. At GNO, girls meet other female role models/ mentors who lead activities such as music and making moccasins, and facilitate discussions on topics such as sexual health or physical activity.
Contact councillor Heather for more information.

Faro Rec Centre

Community: Faro

The Faro Rec Centre offers a whole lot of programming for youth and adults alike, from cooking to art to carpentry to resume writing. Check out their Facebook page for upcoming events and workshops!

Champagne Aishihik Youth Programs

Community: Haines Junction

The CAFN Youth Program Facebook group is a great way to stay informed about upcoming workshops (like rabbit snaring!) and activities in the Haines Junction area. There are dinner & movie nights at the Youth Centre as well as supportive staff ready to help out and listen.

Junction Arts & Music (JAM)

Community: Haines Junction

JAM offers fantastic Arts and Music programming to Haines Junction, including concerts, theatre, films, comedy, art workshops, and children’s events. Check out the Facebook page for opportunities and upcoming events.

Mayo Recreation

Community: Mayo

The Mayo Rec Programming offers curling, hockey, soccer, volleyball, slo-pitch, badminton, general sports facilities, activities, movie nights, drop-in events, and some kids and youth-specific events. Check out the website for a full schedule!

Tagish Community Hall

Community: Tagish

The Tagish Community Hall offers regular, seasonal, and special events which can be found here. The TCH also offers a music jam on the second Saturday of every month from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.  Everyone is welcome to come and play, or enjoy! The TCH also serves as the community library.

Teslin Rec Centre

Community: Teslin

The Teslin Rec Centre has an ice rink, curling rink, workout gym, and a big hall where yoga, zumba, and other activities take place. The Rec Centre also has a ball diamond, skate park, and kid’s playground.

Girls Night Out Watson Lake

Community: Watson Lake

The Watson Lake Youth Centre offers a regular “Girls Night Out”, a fun evening of activities for teenage girls. It is held at the Rec Centre on a regular basis. To find out more, call the community programmer, Meaghan, at 1 (867) 536 8023

YuKonstruct MakerSpace

Community: Whitehorse

YuKonstruct is a non-profit society which provides enthusiastic community members (from babies to elders) affordable access to space, equipment and knowledge. They run workshops, special events, and youth and kids-focused activities.

YuKonstruct offers a general workspace, a woodworking area, a metalworking area, computer and classroom space, textile area, electronics space and 3D printing area. Tools of mention include a CNC router, welders, CNC milling machine (coming soon), metal lathe, an industrial sewing machine (coming soon), soldering irons, 3D printers, and a laser cutter.

Open every Tuesday 7:00 – 9:00pm for all ages.
Stop by for a visit!