DJ Spotlight on Fawn Big Canoe
Fawn Big Canoe brings a party wherever she goes. When she plugs in, you can expect energy, positivity, hits, rarities, and a deep understanding of how to make an entire room of queers and their allies move like wild forest children raised by fierce wolves.
Fawn is of Chippewa of Georgina Island descent and has been spinning around this town for nearly 20 years! This new house-flavoured mix is filled with giant, feel good tunes for any pre-gaming situation.
This is Fawn’s second mix for Yohomo, you can find the first one here. We love you, Fawn! Bring down the house!
How did you get your DJ name?
After cycling through many hilarious stage names in my early DJ days, I sorta just bit the bullet and decided my real name was all I needed. I do sometimes regret not sticking with DJ Halter Top though.
Is DJing something you’ve always dreamed of doing?
I don’t think I exited the womb wearing headphones or anything, but I always liked being the party conductor for sure. To be that you need to be controlling the music, the food, or the booze. I can’t make a cocktail to save my life, and if I had my way I’d eat chicken fingers at every party – so music was the best fit for me.
We are already big fans, but why does this city need a DJ like you?
Baby, I have been here for a while. I’ve played tiny bars, mega-clubs, outdoor events, basement parties, festivals, bar mitzvahs, you name it. I think with experience like that it really makes me a well-rounded and versatile DJ. I’m all disco and house at heart though.
Where have you lived in your life?
It’s been a very Canadian life. I’ve been based in Toronto for years but did a few stints in Vancouver when I was getting started DJing. A lot of hilarious back-country raves and parties at cultural-centre event spaces.
Give us three words that describe your musical styling.
Escapism. Attitude. Sweat.
DJ pet peeve?
“Play something we can dance to” – said to me while the dance floor is packed.
DJ fave moment every time you spin?
Every year at Pride when I’m playing a stage – the second I plug my headphones in and cue the first tune. My eyes instantly well up with happy-tears. It’s actually happening as I type this. If you’re talking about what my favourite part of every gig is, it’s the early part of the night: when I’m waiting for the floor to fill and warming everyone up. The possibilities for the night are endless at that moment.
Strangest place you’ve played?
Legion hall parties are usually the “quirkiest” gigs, but I once DJed the Rainforest Cafe on Queen East, like a decade ago. That place was fucked. I’m pretty sure they were violating numerous animal health and safety laws. It’s obviously closed now. Oh, I also DJed a Yoga Centre fundraiser party that was thrown by an albino guy at a very strange house on Vaughn Road with my DJ friend Lucie Tyc. People were definitely doing acid in the basement.
Give us your perspective on being a female DJ in Toronto today.
I present pretty butch, so I’m not often hit with a lot of the unfortunately typical “female DJ” issues that many of my colleagues are. There is still a long way to go in that respect across the board, but I love that I’m not seeing as many events that are like, “OH WOW, CHECK OUT THIS ALLLLL-FEEEMALLLEEE DJ LINEUP!! CHICKS CAN SPIN TOO! WOW!!!” and women are just part of the usual lineup. What I’m seeing MORE of lately is a much stronger connection between the women that work in this industry, and it’s fucking amazing. Even if you don’t know this or that other female DJ, there is already a good level of respect between everyone. I like the “we shine together” mentality.
How about being an indigenous female DJ in Toronto today? (double shine!)
As someone who has very little upfront Indigenous visibility, it’s really important for me to use my full, real name on promo materials, to let people know my band and where our land is. I’ve been working within that community specifically only in the last few years, and every gig that’s in any way Indigenous-Canadian related is always that much more special for me. Getting to DJ at Fort York for National Aboriginal Day was an absolute honour.
Depending on the venue/vibe/audience for sure, but I get a lot of personal satisfaction whenever I get to play “Women Beat Their Men (Cevin’s Peak Hour Dub)” by Submission.
Honourable mention goes to DJ Deeon “Gimme Head” Chmmr remix and Jaydee “Plastic Dreams.” I’m a sucker for the classics.
Other DJs in the city that you love?
Wow, how much time do you have? DJ Caff, Lucie Tyc, Steph Honey, Aeryn Pfaff, Ace Dillinger, The Frandiscos, Mensa, Myst Milano, ESP, Jackie Spade, Diego and Phil @ Yohomo ;)