Canadian festival welcomes artists from across the North

Alianait Arts Festvial 2010. (Ed Maruyama / Alianait Arts Festvial)
Alianait Arts Festvial 2010. (Ed Maruyama / Alianait Arts Festvial)

Musicians, singers and other performers from all across the North have descended on the Arctic Canadian city of Iqaluit this week for the Alianait Arts Festival.

The festival started small in 2005. But over the years, it’s grown into a major cultural event bringing together performers from all over the circumpolar world.

This year the festival continues the tradition by featuring acts from each of Canada’s three northern territories: Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut, along with artists from further afield like Greenland folk musician Rasmus Lyberth.

The diversity of northern acts is one of the most important and unique characteristics of the event said Heather Daley, the festival’s executive director.

“There’s a real connection between the peoples of the North,” Daley said. “It’s very magical what happens when all these people get together.”

This festival is also a time to highlight some of Nunavut’s own stars. This year Alianait pays tribute to internationally renowned Inuit artist Kenojuak Ashevak from Cape Dorset, Nunavut who died earlier this year at the age of 85.

The theme of this year’s festival is Enchanted Owl one of Ashevak’s most renowned works.

“That’s given us something magical to work with,” Daley said.

The festival runs from June 28 to July 1.

To find out more about the Alianait Arts Festival and how it’s evolved , I earlier reached Heather Daley in Iqaluit, Nunavut.

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Alianait Arts Festival



Eilís Quinn, Eye on the Arctic

Eilís Quinn is an award-winning journalist and manages Radio Canada International’s Eye on the Arctic news cooperation project. Eilís has reported from the Arctic regions of all eight circumpolar countries and has produced numerous documentary and multimedia series about climate change and the issues facing Indigenous peoples in the North.

Her investigative report "Death in the Arctic: A community grieves, a father fights for change," about the murder of Robert Adams, a 19-year-old Inuk man from Arctic Quebec, received the silver medal for “Best Investigative Article or Series” at the 2019 Canadian Online Publishing Awards. The project also received an honourable mention for excellence in reporting on trauma at the 2019 Dart Awards in New York City.

Her report “The Arctic Railway: Building a future or destroying a culture?” on the impact a multi-billion euro infrastructure project would have on Indigenous communities in Arctic Europe was a finalist at the 2019 Canadian Association of Journalists award in the online investigative category.

Her multimedia project on the health challenges in the Canadian Arctic, "Bridging the Divide," was a finalist at the 2012 Webby Awards.

Her work on climate change in the Arctic has also been featured on the TV science program Découverte, as well as Le Téléjournal, the French-Language CBC’s flagship news cast.

Eilís has worked for media organizations in Canada and the United States and as a TV host for the Discovery/BBC Worldwide series "Best in China."

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