Best of the North headed for Ottawa’s Northern Scene
Spring event in Ottawa will offer "a contemporary cultural snapshot of the North”
The National Arts Centre has announced the full line up for the Northern Scene 10-day festival, set to take place in Ottawa April 25 to May 4.
At an event in Ottawa, Heather Moore, producer and executive director of the National Arts Centre’s scene festivals, said the Northern Scene will include the work of 250 of the “best established and emerging artists” from Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, as well as Nunatsiavut and Nunavik.
“Northern Scene will offer Ottawa and Gatineau audiences a contemporary cultural snapshot of the North,” she said in a Feb. 25 news release.
James Moore, minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, and the National Arts Centre’s president and chief executive officer, Peter Herrndorf, also attended the announcement, where Nunavut artists Nelson Tagoona and Kathleen Merritt and Charlotte Qamaniq performed.
“This year, Canadians are celebrating the 100th anniversary of Canada’s first Arctic expedition. This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase the talent of the artists and creators of Canada’s North,” Moore said in the release.
Northern music, theatre, dance, visual and media arts, film, literature, storytelling, food and fashion events will take place in the capital at 26 venues across the city.
Some of the performers and events you can see in the festival include:
• from Nunavut, singer and vocal artist Tanya Tagaq, circus troupe Artcirq, throatboxer Nelson Tagoona from Baker Lake artist Shuvinai Ashoona and alt-rocker Lucie Idlout;
• from Nunavik, singer-songwriter Elisapie and poet and spoken word artist Taqralik Partridge;
• Tulugak: Inuit Raven Story by Sylvia Cloutier;
• from Nunatsiavut, carver John Teriak and the Nunatsiavut Drummers;
• from the Northwest Territories, singer-songwriter Leela Gilday, author Richard Van Camp, fiddler Richard Lafferty and storyteller Pat Braden; and,
• from Yukon, Sobey Award-nominated visual artist Charles Stankievech, spoken word artist and author Ivan Coyote, singer-songwriter Sarah MacDougall and the powerful Dakhká Khwáan Dancers.
In short, the “festival brings the very best of the North south,” the release said.
As well, Northern Scene will feature an artists’ marketplace to show the creations of 20 artists from across the territories.
The largest gathering ever of northern artists outside the region, the festival s the sixth in a series of festivals produced by the NAC to show the work of artists from a specific region of Canada.
Since 2003, the festivals have focused a spotlight on arts and culture from coast to coast. The inaugural “Atlantic Scene” was a huge success and was followed by Alberta Scene in 2005, Quebec Scene in 2007, BC Scene in 2009, and Prairie Scene in 2011.
“What we think we know about the North comes face to face with the complex and diverse realities of northern life —- and the two seldom match up,” the release said.
“Today’s artists proudly pay tribute to our ancestors while forging their own unique voices. [The festival] is a wonderful way for the rest of Canada to discover the variety and skill of our gifted artists,” Nunavut’s premier Eva Aariak said.
The complete festival brochure is available to download at here.