ENTERTAINMENT

Can Patterson sail the Bounty up the trail of ’98?

SHIRLEY MAIR April 7 1962
ENTERTAINMENT

Can Patterson sail the Bounty up the trail of ’98?

SHIRLEY MAIR April 7 1962

Can Patterson sail the Bounty up the trail of ’98?

Last summer, about 9,000 adventurous tourists found their way to Dawson City, Yukon. This year, 50,000 are expected; the town is getting ready for the first Yukon Gold Rush Festival, and is being painted up like the dance-hall girls who became part of the Klondike legend of 1898.

Preparations for the festival, which will run from July 1 to August 17, are largely complete, and the big drive to publicize it is just getting under way. But there are still some doubtful details, such as how the visitors will be fed. Tom Patterson, who started the Stratford Shakespearean Festival and is consultant to the Dawson City Festival Foundation, says the town is prepared to house 1,000 tourists each night in motels, hotels, cabins and tents. So far, though, the festival hasn't found a caterer willing to tackle the food contract.

The Foundation has been campaigning for $125,000 to get the festival organized; $110.000 of the amount is still to come. Allan J. Anderson, campaign chairman and president of United Keno Hill Mines, admits the response has been limp up to now.

Still lacking is a big name to open the festival. Yukon school children, with an assist from Patterson, have written to Charlie Chaplin, asking him to bring his movie. The Gold Rush.

One detail that isn’t in doubt is support from the Department of Northern Affairs, which will pour about $400,()()() into the festival. Möst of this will go into renovating the Palace Grand Theatre for the world premiere of Volpone. a musical show' (hat Patterson says is studded w ith U. S. stars and Broadway know-how. Volpone, in Ben Jonson’s 17th century play, was a greedy Venetian nobleman. Bert Fahr,

the probable star of the Dawson version, will be a greedy Canadian prospector. The promoters hope Volpone will move on to Broadway.

Fahr, who refuses to fly, is the inspiration for one of Patterson’s farthestout publicity ploys. Patterson wants to rent MG M’s replica of HMS Bounty, which was used for the Marlon Brando movie, and bring it to Vancouver. There he would load the cast aboard and ¿ail to Skagway, Alaska, rehearsing on the voyage. If the currents in the Yukon River are gentle enough, says Patterson, blithely disregarding geography, the Bounty might sail right to Dawson. If not, Fahr will motor the last miles.

Patterson is also trying to persuade the producers of the movie version of Ferner and Fowe’s Paint Your Wagon to do their shooting on the site of Dawson’s 1898 tent camp (known in '98 as Fouse Town). If that happens, festival visitors will be able to glimpse Burl Ives, Doris Day, Marlene Dietrich and

Yves Montand. If not, they can still go caribou hunting in a helicopter.

Besides the Palace Grand, Northern Affairs is going to refit the S.S. Keno, one of the old Yukon river boats. The department has declared Dawson a national historic site, but isn’t quite sure how far it should go. For this year, it will let the Foundation refurbish two saloons, a hardware store, a blacksmith shop, the newspaper office, the outside of the old mortuary, and Madame Tremblay’s dress shop. The dress shop will show Hartnell’s 1962 collection — again, if Patterson can swing it.

For local color, Patterson wants the 25 RCMP who will be on patrol to wear the 1890 dress uniform of the North West Mounted Police, and he’s pleading with the upstream Indians to keep a secret. They will supply hotel tables with King salmon, touted as a native delicacy. The Indians have always fished for King salmon — but usually they dry them in the sun and feed them to their dogs, SHIRLEY MAIR