Great Northern Arts Festival returns to Inuvik this summer

The Great Northern Arts Festival returns to Inuvik this summer, featuring artists from across the North. (Submitted by Great Northern Arts Festival)

Festival is back after a year break, runs July 10 to 15

The Great Northern Arts Festival will return to Inuvik this summer after a year hiatus.

The festival will run July 10 to 15 and will feature artists from all three territories.

It’s run every year since 1989, but was cancelled in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic and again last year because of staffing issues.

This year’s theme is From Ashes to Arts, which is a tribute to the N.W.T. and its residents who faced devastating wildfires last summer.

“We wanted to really choose that theme to honour the resilience and bravery of all those who suffered from the wildfires in 2023 and show that we can come back stronger from that,” said Adi Scott, the festival’s executive director.

Adi Scott is the festival’s executive director. (Submitted by Adi Scott )

The Great Northern Arts Festival features over 100 artists from Yukon, N.W.T. and Nunavut and features fashion, jewlery, visual arts, performances and more.

Scott said this year, the festival will be back better than ever.

“I’m really glad that we can bring it back this year,” Scott said.

Scott said the festival is always looking for volunteers and artists to participate in the festival. The deadline to appy as an artist is March 15.

“We just want to create this great, creative melting pot of everybody,” Scott said.

This year there’s a new board of people running the festival and an advisory board to guide its programming.

There will also be community events, a youth art gallery and a greenhouse with on the land programming, Scott said.

This year’s festival will also feature a youth art gallery with young artists. (Submitted by Great Northern Arts Festival )

People can also catch live performances, dancing, a fashion show and film screenings.

N.W.T. author Antoine Mountain has attended the festival every year since it began.

Mountain said he wasn’t worried about the festival not coming back.

“These events, they take a lot of doing,” Mountain said.

Author and artist Antoine Mountain has attended every Great Northern Arts Festival since it began in 1989. (Julie Beaver/CBC )

Antoine was at the first-ever festival in 1989, an event that looked very different from what it’s become today.

“I think there only about 18 or 19 of us way back in the late ’80s,” he said.

As for this year’s festival, Mountain says he wouldn’t miss it.

“I just like being in the Delta that time of year anyway,” he said.

CBC News

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