Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavik July 20, 2016 - 8:30 am

Nunavik co-op launches throat singing competition

Region's best throat singers to perform at FCNQ's 50th anniversary celebration in 2017

NUNATSIAQ NEWS
Nunavik throat singers Evie Mark, left and Alacie Aulla Tuulaugaq perform for an audience at Montreal’s Museum of Fine Arts in 2014. (PHOTO COURTESY OF AVATAQ)
Nunavik throat singers Evie Mark, left and Alacie Aulla Tuulaugaq perform for an audience at Montreal’s Museum of Fine Arts in 2014. (PHOTO COURTESY OF AVATAQ)

The Fédération des Co-opératives du Nouveau-Québec, or Ilagiisaq, is on the lookout for Nunavik’s best throat singers.

To celebrate its 50th anniversary, the FCNQ is hosting Katatjaliutjiniq, a throat-singing contest open to all Nunavimmiut.

Entering is simple: record one song with a cell phone and upload it to the new Katatjaliutjiniq Facebook page.

Song entries can be traditional or original, but shouldn’t be more than one minute long. Entries should include the name of both performers, their home community and the name of the song.

At least one member of the throat-singing pair must be a minimum of 18 years old.

Throat singers have lots of time to practice: submissions will be accepted until Feb. 24, 2017. At that point, entries will be judged by some of the region’s best-known throat singers: Akinisie Sivuarapik, Robert Watt and Evie Mark.

The FCNQ said it hopes to use the contest to promote a resurgence of traditional throat song in the region.

In 2014, the Quebec government designated Inuit throat song as an immaterial part of its cultural heritage — the first designation of its kind.

Winners of Katatjaliutjiniq will receive an all-expense-covered trip to Montreal, including airfare, hotel and spending money, sometime in May 2017.

During the trip, winners will be invited to perform at a gala event to celebrate Ilagiisaq’s birthday.

The first Inuit co-operative in Canada was formed in Kangiqsualujjuaq in 1959, using a $12,500 loan from the federal government to purchase fishing equipment.

Co-ops gradually established in the rest of the region’s 14 communities. La Fédération des coopératives du Nouveau-Québec was formally incorporated on May 20, 1967.

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