September 29, 2000

Kuujjuaq’s Angava rocks Greenland music fans

People from the twinned communities of Kuujjuaq and Aasiat, Greenland, had a great time at the Nipiaa rock festival earlier this month.

JOCELYN BARRETT
Special to Nunatsiaq News

KUUJJUAQ — When Kuujjuaq’s favourite rock band, Angava, was invited to perform at the second annual Nipiaa rock festival in Aasiat, Greenland, September 6-9, it provided the perfect occasion for delegates from Aasiat’s twin city, Kuujjuaq, to visit.

The 28 members of the Kuujjuaq delegation, representing various committees, organizations and groups, were received by the residents of Aasiat with remarkable hospitality and treated as privileged visitors for the length of their stay. Most of the delegates stayed as guests in private homes.

Aasiat, with a population of around 3,800, is known as the town of whales. It’s situated on the west coast of Greenland, and was brimming with visitors who had arrived for the rock festival.

The festival, organized by Peter Olsen and Peter Gedionsen, was a huge success, and the local concert hall rocked to the music of Greenlandic bands Sissesoq and Kallat who performed along side rock bands from Iceland and Denmark.

Angava’s members, Ben Watt, Derek Tagoona, Willis Tagoona and Fred Parsons, were frequently mobbed by fans with requests for autographs and photos.

Kuujjuaq delegates spent their evenings at the rock concert, and their days were filled with activities organized by the Aasiat Tourist Service. The delegates were treated to a city walking tour, a kayaking excursion and visits to neighbouring communities.

In one of these communities, Akunnaq, there were no roads or vehicles, although there were plenty of dogs. There were only 18 students attending the school. The bathroom facilities consisted only of honeybuckets, but the students had Internet access and they’ll soon have their own home page.

Johnny Adams, the chairman of the Kativik Regional Government, spearheaded the organization of a feast featuring Nunavik country food for the Aasiat hosts.

Much laughing and dancing took place as the hosts were introduced to Kuujjuaq-style games and entertainment by Kuujjuaq performers Edward May, Edward Sinuupa and Simiunie Berthe.

"Kuujjuammiut are always smiling," remarked Aasiat residents.

On Sept. 10, a very happy, tired delegation returned home to Kuujjuaq from what is hoped to be the first of many successful exchanges between the twin cities.