Northern performers collaborate in Whitehorse

Artists representing all three territories took to the Yukon Arts Centre stage in Whitehorse last week.

Event featured breakdancing, rap and traditional aboriginal drumming

Drummers and Dancers from Kugluktuk, Nunavut, perform at the Night of the Living North event in Whitehorse. (CBC)
Deddrick Hala, from the Kugluktuk Drummers and Dancers, says the event is important in order to keep his traditional culture alive. (CBC)

Artists representing all three territories took to the Yukon Arts Centre stage in Whitehorse last week.

The event, called Night of the Living North, featured eight headline acts from Nunavut, Yukon and The Northwest Territories Thursday night.

"It's important because I want to try and teach people about my culture and I want to keep my culture alive, I don't want it to die," said Deddrick Hala from the Kugluktuk Drummers and Dancers.

Yellowknife-based Aaron 'Godson' Hernandez says the event was a good chance to collaborate with other artists and performers from the North. (CBC)

It was an evening to showcase northern performers to northerners.  It was an eclectic show to say the least with breakdancing, throat singing and even some rap.

"We all come essentially from the same part of the world and we’re so diverse, yet when we come together it just clicks, you know," said Yellowknife-based musician Aaron ‘Godson’ Hernandez.

The event not only brought the three territories together, but it allowed the northern performers to showcase before members of the Canadian Public Arts Funder. The group, which oversees arts funding in the country, is in Whitehorse for its annual general meeting.

"It's just a tremendously active arts scene and I'm trying to think of another place in Canada that would have this much activity it's just fantastic," said Geoffrey Anderson, Chair of the Canadian Public Arts Funders.

"To perform in front of all the funders it's kind of like performing before a bank auditioning for a role, but it’s good to see them come out and see what the North has to offer," said Hernandez.

For the artists, it was a chance to collaborate with new artists and veteran performers who all call the North home.

 "It's fantastic because it just illustrates how much we are all part of the same thing," said Dave Haddock, from Whitehorse’s ‘Working Dogs’.

The event was sponsored by all three territorial governments.