North

Alianait Arts Festival offers sneak peek of 2016 lineup

The annual festival from June 29 to July 3 takes place in Iqaluit, and brings together musicians, performing artists and children's entertainers from all over Canada and the world for Nunavut's largest festival.

‘A great opportunity to explore the music scene up North:' Eastern Belles

'I'm so excited for these artists to come to Alianait,' said Alianait’s Jessie Fraser. (Alianait Arts Festival)

A sneak peek of Nunavut's Alianait Arts Festival 2016 lineup shows an eclectic mix of national and international artists playing a range of rock, pop, folk and blues.

The annual festival from June 29 to July 3 takes place in Iqaluit, and brings together musicians, performing artists and children's entertainers for Nunavut's largest festival.  

"I'm so excited for these artists to come to Alianait," said one of the festival's organizers, Jessie Fraser.

"[It's] a great variety of musicians and artists, with such talent and from so many different regions," Fraser added.

Vancouver based duo the Harpoonist & the Axe Murderer top the list with their raw blues sound, punctuated with gritty guitars and haunting harmonics. What sets these guys apart is their energetic performances that will have you tapping your toes.

The festival lineup also includes the Twin Flames, well known to Nunavut audiences with their Inuttitut and English folk-pop-rock pieces. The duo includes singer songwriters Chelsey June and Nunavik's Jaaji. 

"We've been trying to get to Nunavut for the past year as a band," Jaaji said.

"I was in Nunavik last summer," June said. "But Nunavut is going to be a whole new territory and it's going to be amazing to meet with the fans who have been so supportive of our work."

Alianait would not be complete without a healthy dose of eclectic inspired music from the East Coast. Prince Edward Island's Eastern Belles (Catherine MacLellan, Ashley Condon, Meaghan Blanchard) hit the spot with their distinctly melodic voices that come together in sweet harmonies.

"All of us are super excited," said Meaghan Blanchard.

"None of us have been to Nunavut and it's going to be a great opportunity to explore the music scene up North," added Blanchard.

'Alianait prides itself in offering our emerging artists opportunities to perform alongside musicians from all over the world,' said Alianait’s executive director Heather Daley. ( Alianait Arts Festival)
Hometown favourite's Mary and Joey, winners of the 2016 Qilaut Songwriting competition for their song Inunguqpung, will be performing at the festival. The Pangnirtung duo have captured the hearts of music lovers across Nunavut with their acoustic duets in Inuktitut and English.

Originally from Greenland, Simon Lynge’s performance with the Arctic Connections Collaboration made him a crowd-favourite at the Alianait Festival in 2012. (Alianait Arts Festival)
"Alianait prides itself in offering our emerging artists opportunities to perform alongside musicians from all over the world," said Alianait's executive director Heather Daley.

Greenland's Simon Lynge returns to the Alianait stage this year with his blend of melodic rock, pop and folk music. Originally from Greenland, Simon Lynge's performance with the Arctic Connections Collaboration made him a crowd-favourite at the Alianait Festival in 2012.

About the Author

Sima Sahar Zerehi is a reporter with CBC North. She started her career in journalism with the ethnic press working for a Canadian-based Farsi language newspaper. Her CBC journey began as a regular commentator with CBC radio's Metro Morning. Since then she's worked with CBC in Montreal, Toronto and now Iqaluit.