Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut January 09, 2018 - 11:55 am

Qaggiavuut offers a coffee klatch with a difference

Arts group invites Iqalungmiut to talk shop every second Tuesday

BETH BROWN
Check out house 411 in Iqaluit every other Tuesday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. for a new coffee house program created by Qaggiavuut. The first coffee house is scheduled for this evening. (PHOTO COURTESY OF QAGGIAVUUT)
Check out house 411 in Iqaluit every other Tuesday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. for a new coffee house program created by Qaggiavuut. The first coffee house is scheduled for this evening. (PHOTO COURTESY OF QAGGIAVUUT)

Hey Iqalungmiut, are you hoping to work your creative muscles in the new year?

If so, then clear your schedule for every other Tuesday night, between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Qaggiavuut is starting a twice-monthly coffee house series, called Kaapi Tuesdays, to bring Nunavut artists together in an open and informal space and encourage Igalungmiut to learn more about the performing arts.

“It’s to have that kind of social, creative space where conversations about the performing arts can happen informally over coffee,” said Jamie Griffiths, project manager for Qaggiavuut.

Griffiths said it’s also a place where youth can meet experienced Nunavut artists and be inspired by them.

To kick off the project, Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory and Miali Buscemi, who have each performed on national stages this year, will lead an actor’s master class on Tuesday, Jan. 9 at the “red room” inside Qaggiavuut’s office space at building 411.

They will serve coffee and hot cocoa for all, but what there won’t be an open mic.

“It’s a coffee Tuesday, not a show Tuesday,” Griffiths said. “It’s more about discussion than performance.”

Still, a Nunavut artist will host and lead each discussion.

“We have over 300 artists in our artist directory … There will be no shortage of interesting hosts,” she said. “You can expect to see people like Riit, the Jerry Cans, Joshua Qaumariaq, and visiting artists.”

The second Tuesday coffee hour will have six actors from the Qaggiavuut show Kiviuq Returns.

Griffiths said their artists are usually bilingual, and staff members can act as translators as well, so the events will be accessible to Inuktitut and English speakers alike.

Last week, Qaggiavuut released a year-in-review newsletter, updating supporters on continuing projects within Nunavut’s performing arts sector.

You can read the newsletter here.

Griffiths said the top three projects for the year in her books would be: 

• Let’s build a Qaggiq, an ongoing effort to fundraise and lobby for a performing arts centre in Nunavut. “It can be built by 2019. We need to raise as much awareness as possible about that,” she said.

• The stage play Kiviuq Returns, and an upcoming tour of that show in some Nunavut communities this February and March. While in the communities, actors and Qaggiavuut staff will train youth in the community to perform in the play.

• Qaggiavuut’s Pisiit Project is also taking off, thanks to Annie Petaulassie, who has been interviewing Nunavut elders to make mini-documentaries and iPad software that shares Inuit music, stories and language with younger generations. “We’re trying to create the bridge between elders and young people today so that they can learn the songs and continue to sing them,” Griffiths said.

You can find more information on the coffee house on Facebook.

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