Inuvik’s summer tradition, the Great Northern Arts Festival, returned July 12 to 15 after a year-hiatus following the Covid-19 pandemic. Normally artists would put on how-to workshops for festival attendees, but because of the difficulty organizing this year, opted to do internal skill-building and networking sessions for artists only. They did, however, hit the Chief Jim Koe performance pavilion for nightly performances.

Dene artist, writer and NNSL contributor Antione Mountain gives a speech during the opening ceremonies. He recalled stories from Arts Festivals from years gone by, noting the festival had been happening for a long time before he even got involved. Eric Bowling/NNSL photo

A surprise addition to the lineup, Rory Voudrach made the mistake of showing up and was beckoned to the stage by the cheering crowd. He performed a quick set before heading off to Yellowknife to sell his handmade blades at Folk on the Rocks. Eric Bowling/NNSL photo

Doris Rogers has a laugh as she’s cheered on by the crowd. The crowd even called for an encore, which she happily obliged. Eric Bowling/NNSL photo

GNAF executive director Dieter Weise hit the stage to wow the crowd with his singing voice and guitar licks. He noted he was looking forward to a more normal GNAF next year. Eric Bowling/NNSL photo

Rising star Trenice Voudrach performs a quick set on July 14 before getting ready to fly to Yellowknife. The folk and country singer had a busy week, with an appearance at Folk on the Rocks scheduled later in the week. Eric Bowling/NNSL photo

Richard Gordon took the stage for a set during the third night of the festival. Many of the local music legends were happy to get back on stage after a long year. Eric Bowling/NNSL photo

Anna Pingo sings a few country classics for the audience as part of the third evening of the festival. Due to time constraints, each artist was only able to perform a few songs each. Eric Bowling/NNSL photo

GNAF executive director Dieter Weise backs up classical guitarist Aidan Kunnizzi as he performs a folk-rock set on the third day of the festival. Kunnizzi was the opening act for a night of many, many performances. Eric Bowling/NNSL photo

Ryley Blake and Abe Drennan hit the stage for the second night of performances July 13. Frequently heard at the Arctic Market, the pair stopped in to twang a few tunes before heading off to Folk on the Rocks in Yellowknife. Eric Bowling/NNSL photo

Father and son team Edward Kogiak and Zayden Kogiak close the opening night for the Inuvik Drum Dancers. Many youth are picking up their family traditions and continuing on their cultures. Eric Bowling/NNSL photo

Inuvik Drum Dancers Cheryl Rogers and Alecia Lennie perform during the opening ceremonies. The group debuted several new dancers and longtime veterans for the occasion. Eric Bowling/NNSL photo

Sarah MacNabb of the Inuvik Drum Dancers performs during the opening ceremonies. The Chief Jim Koe Park performance pavilion was active for the entire week. Eric Bowling/NNSL photo

Eric Bowling

Your source for all things happening in the Beaufort Delta. Eric jumped at the chance to write for the Inuvik Drum after cutting his teeth in Alberta. He enjoys long walks, loud music and strong coffee....

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