Blue skies and applause for Nunavut’s Alianait festival
“It really feels like we’re doing something outstanding here"
The 10th anniversary of the Alianait Arts Festival is now over, but executive director Heather Daley said this year will be one for the history books.
“It really feels, for the 10th anniversary, like we’re doing something outstanding here,” Daley said.
Daley doesn’t know what the exact standout moment of the festival was — but there were a few firsts.
The Igloolik-based acrobatic troupe Artcirq performed their new show, Asiu, at Alianait.
“They’re planning to merge it with film,” Daley said, “So I can’t wait to see the final product, because it was outstanding.”
It was also featured a debut performance by the Greenlandic super-group, Akukittut.
Comprised of Kimmernaq Kjeldsen, Hans-Henrick “HH” Poulsen, Mike Fenker Thomsen and Fredrick Elsner, Akukittut was formed especially for this festival, Daley said.
“They had such a great time I think they want to play together more often,” Daley said.
It was definitely a first for several local musicians and performers who got to share the stage with other national and international talent.
“Like the Tradeoffs playing on the same stage as Fred Penner,” Daley said.
In fact, it’s the festival’s diversity that makes it so special for Daley.
“I’m hearing from artistic directors that have come here to visit the festival that […] it’s not just something that works really well at most festivals, but we make it work,” Daley said.
Live video streaming of the concerts and shows on the internet also made a comeback this year with Daley’s son, Travis Daley, leading the charge.
“We’ve been live webcasting to the world and been getting absolutely fantastic feedback,” Daley said.
Iqaluit photographer and videographer Ed Maruyama also filmed the entire festival and Daley hinted there might be a memento of the event yet to come.
“At the end of it I think we’re going to have some high quality film. So maybe we’ll even have a 10th anniversary DVD. And if not, we can have something to use for promotion.”
For now, CDs of the 2012 and 2013 Alianait festivals are available at Arctic Ventures and the Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum in Iqaluit.