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Alianait marks return with Greenlandic performers, plays and bass guitar lessons

Nunatsiaq | June 28, 2023

Categories: news

ARTS AND CULTURE  JUN 28, 2023 – 3:30 PM EDT

Alianait marks return with Greenlandic performers, plays and bass guitar lessons

Annual arts festival to include musical performances and workshops

Alianait Arts Festival crew members set up the big tent near Nakasuk School, where performances will be held for the weekend. The arts festival celebrates Inuit and circumpolar artists. It runs from June 29 to July 3. (Photo courtesy of Alianait Arts Festival and by Vincent Desrosiers)

By David Lochead

Artists from across the North are coming to Iqaluit this weekend for the 18th annual Alianait Arts Festival.

“I am very excited,” said Alannah Johnston, the executive director of the festival.

Alianait Arts Festival brings together circumpolar and Inuit artists to perform in Iqaluit. There are dancers, musicians, actors and other types of performers.

This year’s festival runs from Thursday, June 29, to Monday, July 3, and will include about 50 performers.

The schedule includes throat singing, musical bands, live plays and other types of artistic performances.

Artists include Silla, Jaaku Sorensen, Young Black Inuk and local bands like Noteven!. A play is also scheduled, co-written by Vinnie Karetak and Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory.

There is a noticeable Greenlandic presence in the Alianait Arts Festival this year, with artists such as Uyarakq, Ivaana and INUK on tap.

The connection to Greenland goes back a couple of years, when the Alianait crew was invited to the Arctic Sounds music festival in Sisimiut, Greenland. After that, Alianait invited the Arctic Sounds crew to the Iqaluit festival.

“We’ve been going back and forth,” Johnston said. “This partnership has been growing and growing.”

An Alaskan and Sami delegation of artists had to back out this year because of COVID-19, which was a challenge, Johnston said, but something organizers could work around.

“I feel like our team is really good at thinking on our feet and having plan D’s set in place,” she said.

Outside of performances, the festival hosts a number of music-based workshops including bass guitar lessons, a violin workshop and a how-to-become-a-rockstar workshop. Other events include book readings, Greenlandic mask dancing and Inuit games.

“So there’s a whole range of workshops, so it’s pretty cool,” Johnston said.

More information about the festival is on Alianait’s website and Facebook page.

The first performance begins at 7 p.m. on Thursday.

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