Nunatsiaq News
NEWS: Nunavut May 04, 2018 - 11:30 am

Imagination to take centre stage in Iqaluit at Sunday children’s show

“You have to present yourself with a certain character, with a certain wackiness”

BETH BROWN
Iqaluit musician Doug Barr will play a children’s show at Joamie School on May 6. In his time as a children’s performer, Barr has rubbed elbows with performers like Sharon Hampson of the popular children’s program Sharon, Lois and Bram, as well as Ernie Coombs, also known as Mr. Dressup. (PHOTO BY BETH BROWN)
Iqaluit musician Doug Barr will play a children’s show at Joamie School on May 6. In his time as a children’s performer, Barr has rubbed elbows with performers like Sharon Hampson of the popular children’s program Sharon, Lois and Bram, as well as Ernie Coombs, also known as Mr. Dressup. (PHOTO BY BETH BROWN)

If you’re wondering how to keep a bunch of trucks from driving up your back, or how to get a pack of animals unstuck from the inside of your guitar, then you might want to head over to Joamie School on Sunday afternoon for the Doug Barr Children’s Show.

“It’s silly when you talk about it, but it’s entertaining for a five-year-old,” Barr said of his family-friendly performance.

The Iqaluit musician and songwriter is playing a fundraiser concert at Joamie School on Sunday, May 6, to support the Tasiuqtigiit Preschool.

Of the roughly 80 children’s songs he has written over the last 35 years for a collection of four albums, Barr said he plays about 12 to 15 of those songs in his 45-minute show, because they work best for a live audience.

And the audience should be prepared to get up and dance and laugh.

That’s because, to keep a child’s attention for an entire 45-minute show, “you’ve got to make them laugh,” Barr said.

“You have to present yourself with a certain character, with a certain wackiness.”

He keeps his show interactive by using actions, rhymes, quick switches from minor to major keys, and by asking questions that draw kids into a performance and get them thinking.

Barr got his start while playing children’s shows in Toronto libraries, and in the late 1970s he worked closely with Sharon Hampson of the popular children’s program Sharon, Lois and Bram.

When Hampson left the Toronto library music scene to make her first children’s album, Barr stepped in to fill that void. He also played at community centres and YMCAs and was part of a five-piece children’s band.

“That’s where I learned how to sing, write and entertain for children,” he said.

Because songwriting is his first love, he was always happy to see other musicians perform his pieces, including Ernie Coombs, or Mr. Dressup, who played Barr’s song “rubber boots” on CBC television.

But if you’re more into rock and roll than kid’s tunes, you can hear him play—or maybe already have—at Pat’s quiet lounge at the Iqaluit Legion on Saturday night.

You might have seen him there before playing his electric Godin and wearing a guitar-printed button-up.

If you don’t catch his show on Sunday, you might not get another chance to see the Doug Barr Children’s Show, since the musician is soon headed back to his home haunt of Perth, Ont., after living for two years in Iqaluit and in Cape Dorset for two years before that.

The 45-minute children’s show starts at 2 p.m. Doors will open at 1:45 p.m.

Tickets are $7. You can get them in advance by sending an email transfer to tasiuqtigiit@qiniq.com and then picking your tickets up at the door.

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