Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut April 21, 2017 - 10:00 am

Qaggiavuut: new production highlights need for Nunavut arts centre

Arts group will stage Kiviuq Returns this summer with 17-member cast, crew

A pan-Arctic cast and crew will stage a major theatre production of Kiviuq Returns this summer, featuring Pakak Innuksuk as the legendary Inuit hero. (PHOTO COURTESY OF QAGGIAVUUT)
A pan-Arctic cast and crew will stage a major theatre production of Kiviuq Returns this summer, featuring Pakak Innuksuk as the legendary Inuit hero. (PHOTO COURTESY OF QAGGIAVUUT)

The Qaggiavuut Society plans to stage a major theatre production later this spring in Iqaluit.

Kiviuq Returns, based on the Inuit legend, features a 17-member cast and crew who plan to produce a show with music, storytelling and acrobatics.

But that poses a challenge for pan-Arctic arts group, who says there just isn’t a venue in Nunavut equipped to accommodate that type of theatre production, the society said in an April 20 release.

For that reason, the production will have to relocate to southern cities, including Ottawa, Kingston and Banff for rehearsals over a period of one month.

This also offers a good reason donate to the society’s fundraising campaign, launched earlier this spring towards building the territory’s first performing arts space.

Qaggiavuut approached the city of Iqaluit last month for its written support, ahead of launching a new fundraising campaign to build the new centre, planned for Iqaluit.

The group has a few places in mind: new land to become available on Federal Road, close to the city’s downtown core, or a space near Iqaluit beach near the visitor’s centre and museum.

Qaggiavuut is also in talks with Qikiqtaaluk Corp., which has its own plans to build a convention centre in the city.

But the latest run of the group’s production will have to do without one.

Qaggiavuut will start rehearsals for Kiviuq Returns on April 24.

Kiviuq is a legendary hero of many Inuit stories who calls on his supernatural powers and spirit guides to help defeat enemies and obstacles he encounters in his travels.

Qaggiavuut staged a smaller version of the story last year. This version was written by a handful of Qaggiavuut members, with support from elders like Miriam Aglukark, Susan Avinga and Madeline Ivalu.

“Our elders have given us the stories that inspire the performance,” says one of the production’s writers, Looee Arreak.

“We wanted to have Inuit legends be the foundation of the show and these elders retained the stories from their childhoods.”

The pan-Arctic cast and crew will work together in Iqaluit for a week, before moving rehearsals to the south.

The theatre piece, directed by Sheena Akoomalik and Martha Burns, will be performed entirely in Inuktitut.

Despite the limitations, Qaggiavuut says Kiviuq Returns will be performed in Nunavut this summer, ‘though dates haven’t been announced.

The show is also scheduled for two nights at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa July 21 and July 22. 

You can purchase tickets here.

Email this story to a friend... Print this page... Bookmark and Share Comment on this story...

(12) Comments:

#1. Posted by IceClass on April 21, 2017

These guys are rolling in money ... and entitlement.

#2. Posted by jl on April 21, 2017

#1, as a society, their books should be open to the public; however, you may never know how much funding and who it goes to. Unfortunately, that information appears to be under wraps

#3. Posted by Fagin on April 21, 2017

Good comments #1 & #2.
Be very careful who you donate to!
In God I trust, all others pay cash.
There are a lot of con people, off all races, in Nunavut.

#4. Posted by No good work goes uncriticized on April 21, 2017

Full respect to Qaggiavuut for making the effort to do positive, creative work for Inuit and the world!

If Qaggiavuut has any money at all it’s because some people worked really hard to make it possible. Get involved and do something pro-active rather than just complain or make ridiculous accusations.

#5. Posted by Lolly on April 21, 2017

I am not complaining or making false accusations, but being kind to
certain people has its dangers
Be the fool if you like, but don’t tell me to be the fool.

#6. Posted by the problem on April 22, 2017

the problem with Nunatsiaq Online is that people like IceClass, jl, Fagin and Lolly like to knock people or organizations down because it’s easy to hide behind a pseudonym.  people are trying to do good work for the Inuit.  is that really bad?  can’t there be people trying to help themselves out?

#7. Posted by Lolly on April 22, 2017

#6 Is PROBLEM your real name?
Or is hypocrite more appropriate?
If we do not use our real names their is a good reason for it!
By the way I am a proud Eskimo person.

#8. Posted by Accountability on April 23, 2017

#6 nobody is trying to knock down these Qaggiavuut Society people.

All they are doing is asking for basic accountability and transparency.

Where are the financial statements?

How much salary does their executive director get?

How much is their annual budget?

How much money do they pay the artists?

How much will this performing arts centre cost to build?

How many full-time employees do they have?

How many family members do they hire? How many related parties do they give contracts to?

If they cannot answer these questions they are not getting one red cent of my donation money and they do not deserve anyone else’s money either.

#9. Posted by No Problem at all on April 23, 2017

Good comment #8
I wish this applied to a lot of things in Nunavut.
So many good people get ripped of by the petty crooks for all kinds of

#10. Posted by Landed on April 24, 2017

I saw a written request to determine that vacant lot next to the studio that is currently “their” a parking lot.

- Do they pay for taxes for the use of the second lot?

- Can someone who needs a home claim that lot? Lots are scarce in this City.

Everyone only wants faireness and transparent.

#11. Posted by Northen Guy on April 25, 2017

On a related note, Qaggiavuut (which has received $1 million dollars in funding from Arctic Inspiration, the GN and the Canada Council) is coordinating junkets to Montreal, Banff and Kingston under the pretense of not having a performing Arts Center in Nunavut in which to rehearse. If I remember correctly Arctic Inspiration’s funding was supposed to be used to connect circumpolar artists and create teaching opportunities in the North. I am entirely unsure how any of that will be possible from Montreal, Banff or Kingston. I agree with others on this post, a full audit of how the society is spending public money is required ASAP.

#12. Posted by Lobie on April 25, 2017

Our hamlet once sent 5 people from Kitikmeot to Banff for training in all kinds of youth activities. They were gone almost 4 weeks, it cost over
Two months later no one had started anything for the young people,
and some council members when queried said, We don’t want to
talk about the past!
Audits and Accountability. Probably won’t do any good.

Remember my personal information

Notify me of follow-up comments?