Awards, Tours and Accolades
The Yellowknife duo of Grey Gritt and Tiffany Ayalik, better known as Quantum Tangle, took home the Juno award for best Indigenous Music Album of the Year for Tiny Hands. The band also released a new album, Shelter as We Go, in July… Silla + Rise (Cynthia Pitsiulak from Kimmirut, Nunavut and Charlotte Qamaniq from Iglulik, Nunavut) were also nominated in the same Juno category for their album, Debut… Carmen Braden released Ravens, an album that demonstrates the Yellowknife composer’s versatility, in January… Whitehorse-based troubadour Declan O’Donovan put out his new record Broken Sky, full of groovy and sometimes bittersweet songs, in June… The Jerry Cans launched Nunavut’s first independent music label (Aakuluk Music) last October and signed Iqaluit blues rockers The Trade-Offs in August… Riit, that’s Pangnirtung-raised folk-pop singer Rita Claire-Mike Murphy, released a debut EP in June… Polaris Prize-winner Tanya Tagaq released her fifth studio album, Retribution, last October… The NWT’s Juno-nominated guitar god Diga spent a few weeks this spring in a barn in Denmark recording an upcoming album… Whitehorse rockers Soda Pony put out their sophomore album, Sophomore, in June, before heading to the Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg, Germany with fellow Yukoners Old Cabin and Sarah MacDougall…
Alethea Arnaquq-Baril kept collecting awards for her 2016 documentary film, Angry Inuk, which looks at how anti-seal propaganda has affected Inuit. She won the audience choice award at Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival in Toronto, along with the Social Justice Award at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. The film had previously won the coveted Audience Award at Hot Docs. (Arnaquq-Baril was also presented with the Governor General’s Meritorious Service Cross.)… Kirstin Carthew’s film, The Sun at Midnight, about a runaway teenager befriending a Gwich’in hunter on the land, won the juried prize for best narrative at the Bentonville Film Festival. Actress Meg Ryan presented the award to Carthew at the ceremony… A Yellowknife teacher made it to Cannes. Keith Robertson entered his film, BAIT!, in the Dead North Film Festival and it was selected as part of Telefilm Canada’s Not Short on Talent Telefilm Program… Iglulik filmmaker Zacharias Kunuk was named to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences—the organization that picks the Oscar award winners. Kunuk also released his feature film Maliglutit (Searchers) at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival… Over the summer, filming began on Dark Sky, a feature film from Yellowknife director and writer Jen Walden…
Theatre, books and games
Breathing Hole marked NWT playwright, actor and director Reneltta Arluk’s directorial debut at the Stratford Festival. The play, which starred actors Miali Buscemi, Johnny Issaluk and Ujarneq Fleischer and featured the music of Carmen Braden, follows a 500-year story in the North through the life of a polar bear. Arluk also took on the position of Director of Indigenous Arts at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity… Yellowknife writer and journalist Laurie Sarkadi released her memoir, Voice in the Wild, which intimately details her relationship with the natural world, last October… Nunavut video game studio Pinnguaq is collaborating with southern artists on an animated virtual-reality film and comic book that tells the story of real-life Iqaluit superhero and anti-bullying crusader, Polar Man… Lyrics written by Fort Smith, NWT author Richard Van Camp were translated into Tłįchǫ by
Behchokǫ̀ , NWT’s Rosa Mantla and sung by a choir at a Toronto festival organized by the Royal Conservatory of Music… Wild Eggs: A Tale of Arctic Egg Collecting, written by Suzie Napayok-Short with illustrations by Jonathan Wright, was nominated for a Silver Birch Express Award… Yukon writer Lily Gontard and photographer Mark Kelly teamed up on Beyond Mile Zero: The Vanishing Alaska Highway Lodge Community, to tell the stories of the people who ran the lodges and restaurants along the famed highway.