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Entertainment heats up the stage
Artcirq, Kikukkia rock Arviat with sight and sound

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Arviat played host to an uplifting weekend of entertainment this past month.

NNSL photo/graphic

Joey Ammaaq, Patrick Leonard, Daisy Qamukaq and Guillaume Saladin, from left, wow a sold-out crowd with a juggling display during an Artcirq performance in Arviat in September . - photo courtesy of Artcirq

The well-known Iglulik performance group, Artcirq, packed the John Arnalukjuak High School theatre for a riveting performance, while Iglulik rock band Kikukkia had the community hall bouncing with energy during its show.

The crowd was warmed-up for Kikukkia by the classic rock sounds of local group, the Gord Billard Band.

Lois Suluk-Locke was the driving force behind the two shows in Arviat. Suluk-Locke said she met artistic director and performer Guillaume Saladin at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

She said they were both managing performance groups when they first met.

"I soon realized it would be so good to have the Arviat Qaggiqtiit Performance Group collaborate with Artcirq," said Suluk-Locke.

"The idea bounced around a bit until this past year, when things began to move forward.

"I found funding through the Canada Council for the Arts, as well as a bit from the Kivalliq Inuit Association and the Toronto Tourism Co."

Saladin, himself, has been to Arviat on a number of occasions to help the Qaggiqtiit cultural performers develop and produce their show for the Arviat Community

Ecotourism Initiative.

Suluk-Locke said Saladin's work with Qaggiqtiit was very successful.

She said it was exciting when the time finally came for Artcirq to perform in Arviat.

"The Arviat Qaggiqtiit Performance Group is comprised of both youth and elder performers.

"We developed the group mainly to pass on our cultural traditions to the younger generations.

"Our elder members also wanted to be teachers of life skills and what have you.

"It's a very well balanced group."

Artcirq were originally scheduled to spend five days in Arviat.

But, as often is the case in the Kivalliq, Mother Nature had other ideas and the group lost a day of its scheduled time in Arviat due to inclement weather. Suluk-Locke said Artcirq arrived in Arviat just in time for the Kikukkia concert. She said the delay meant Qaggiqtiit didn't get to work with Artcirq during the visit, but they did enjoy a very nice supper with the members.

"If the weather had co-operated for our original plan to have gone ahead, we would have, definitely, incorporated some Arviat Qaggiqtiit collaboration with Artcirq into the visit.

"But, unfortunately, that never happened."

In describing Artcirq's performance in Arviat, Suluk-Locke said it was, in a word, amazing.

She said she was impressed by how well presented the show was.

"You can follow the story without too much narration.

"The lighting, effects and storyline were all pretty amazing.

"The story was called Asiu (Being Lost), and was developed by Saladin and Patrick Leonard.

"It's about two lost hunters who imagined a few things, and came across a number of creatures, before finding their way home."

Suluk-Locke said the Artcirq show was totally packed, with many people standing to watch after all the seats were taken. She said the group did perform some acrobatics, which also went over well with the Arviat crowd.

"When we planned to bring Artcirq to Arviat, Guillaume (Saladin) and I decided we should also include the rock band, Kikukkia.

"Although we had to scramble about to find a venue for Kikukkia to perform, everything turned out well.

"After the shows, we all went out caribou hunting for a day before they left Arviat.

"Everything was perfectly scheduled and, other than the weather delay, went really, really well."

Suluk-Locke said Kikukkia also drew very well for its performance.

She said the show appealed to all ages, and it was very cute to watch so many young kids dancing around to the band's music.

"Their CD had been playing on the radio for six months, or so, before they came to Arviat.

"So, everybody knew who they were and what songs they were playing.

"It was a good show that was well-received."

Although Suluk-Locke only finished the paperwork for the funding sources involved in the two shows earlier this month, she's already thinking about another performance. She said she'd like to have a new project in place for the spring of 2015.

"First I have to figure out the paperwork and, of course, find out where I can find some money. Paperwork is very boring, but absolutely necessary if you're going to accomplish anything.

"Having something in place for the spring is short notice, but it can be done."

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