Iqaluit is the only circumpolar capital without a performing arts centre — these artists are changing that
Qaggiavuut is seeking a permanent home — see artistic director Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory on In the Making
This week, In the Making visits Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory, an electrifying uaajeerneq performer (Greenlandic mask dancing) in Iqaluit. Stream the full episode now on CBC Gem and above you can see an additional In the Making digital feature on Qaggiavuut, the performing arts centre that Laakkuluk co-founded and is the artistic director of. Iqaluit is the only capital city in the circumpolar world without a performing arts centre and non-profit Qaggiavuut is now fundraising to change that and establish a much-needed permanent home there.
"I've spent a lot of my life in both Canada and Greenland," Laakkuluk tells In the Making host Sean O'Neill. "Both of these places have undergone tremendous amounts of colonization and it's only now that people outside of Inuit communities are starting to become aware of the true scale of that impact."
For a community deeply impacted by the violent disruption of colonialism, Qaggiavuut and places like it are vital. A time when their culture was banned exists within the lifetimes of many in the community, as Nellie Kusugak, the Lieutenant Governor of Nunavut underscores at the Qaggiavuut event in the video above: "I'm just always really honoured to be invited to things like this. I'm not a performer in any way whatsoever, but I grew up at a time when drum dancing was done in secret, when I was a little girl. I really am rooting for a place where they have a performance theatre or theatre where we can enjoy that."
For more information and to donate to Qaggiavuut!'s campaign, visit Qaggiavuut.ca. Stream In the Making now on CBC Gem or see Laakkuluk's episode on CBC-TV this Friday November 8th at 8:30 p.m. (9:30 p.m. NT).