Nunavut’s Artcirq joins Mounties for Diamond Jubilee performance at Windsor Castle
"Our group is honored and excited to perform for Her Majesty"
Igloolik’s Artcirq perform this week for the Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee Pageant on the private grounds of Windsor Castle.
There they’ll share the spotlight on Canada with the RCMP’s “musical ride.”
Five Artcirq performers arrived May 5 in Windsor to start rehearsals for the show, along with hundreds of other dancers, musicians and performers from around the world, in places that the Queen has visited during her 60-year reign.
The seven-act pageant show titled “Around the World in 60 Years and 90 minutes” features over 550 horses and more than 1,000 performers.
“Artcirq are fine ambassadors, and we are thrilled to have them represent Inuit on the world stage,” said Mary Simon, the president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, which provided logistical assistance to the group, in a joint ITK, Artcirq and RCMP news release.
“Artcirq’s performances present a unique blend of traditional Inuit culture with a contemporary twist, symbolizing the essence of modern day Inuit. Their energy and humour will bring joy to their audiences. They are truly a show fit for a Queen.”
Artcirq’s performance, which will include drum dancing and throat singing, will be presented with the Mounties’ musical ride as part of the “Americas” act of the pageant.
“The Queen herself told us she wanted Inuit to take the stage at this monumental event. Canada will debut with the world famous musical ride, and Artcirq will immediately follow,” said RCMP Supt. Greg Peters in the release.
Artcirq will take part in all four scheduled performances May 10 to 13.
On May 13, there will be a special pageant performance in front of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip.
Other performers include Grammy-nominated Susan Boyle, American classical violinist David Garrett, Nashville singer and banjo player Abigail Washburn, Australian entertainer Rolf Harris, Indian folk legend Raghu Dixit and leading South African actors from the show, “The Lion King,” who will be joined on stage by the Nairobi Chamber Chorus and Watoto Children’s Choir, and classical maestros Il Divo.
Representing Artcirq are artistic director Guillaume Ittukssarjuat Saladin of Igloolik, drum dancers Terence Uyarak of Igloolik and Thomas Anguti Johnston of Iqaluit, along with throat singers Lois Suluk-Locke of Arviat and Celina Kalluk of Iqaluit with her new baby, Ramata Diarra Kalluk.
“Our group is honored and excited to perform for Her Majesty. It is something we will never forget,” Uyarak said in the ITK release.
Artcirq’s participation in the Diamond Jubilee Pageant was made possible with the support of ITK, First Air, the Government of Nunavut, Nunasi Corp.. Atuqtuarvik Corp. and Tim Hortons, the release noted.