Skip to content

New theatre company in Iqaluit excited to get started despite COVID delays

Artifice first play planned
Jessie Hale, one of the founders of the Nunavut Theatre Company, is excited about the reception the new company has been receiving thus far. Photo courtesy of Nunavut Theatre Company

There’s a new theatre company in Iqaluit, bringing another voice to the city’s arts scene.

The Nunavut Theatre Company was incorporated in January of this year and has been making itself known to the community in recent weeks, though they’ve already started their inital activities.

“We kind of officially made the decision to start in September of last year,” said Jessie Hale, president of operations, who is one part of the new company alongside Alexandre Michaud, the president of creative projects and Murielle Jassinthe, vice-president.

“Before we kind of went public, we did a small one-day training with the cadets, just kind of a fun, theatre workshop for (them),” Hale adds.

There were plans to do expanded programming with the cadets later on, however the onset of COVID-19 in the territory caused delays that are still lasting now.

“Hopefully we’ll get that started again,” she said.

The first public official activity for the new company is a workshop taking place on two separate days on August 7 and 14. It will be open to adults in a to-be-determined location.

Additional workshops for both adults and youth are planned in the long-term, they also aim to do “two productions a year” with plans well underway for those offerings.

In November, the company will show their first play, an eight-person production called Artifice, written by Anne Flanagan. Auditions for that show will be held in August.

The company is receiving funding assistance from the Department of Culture and Heritage for the production as well as funding from the Department of Economic Development and Transportation for promotional activities.

“Our other big immediate plan is for February 2022, (we’re) planning to do a play as part of Black History Month,” Hale said.

Right now the Nunavut Theatre Company is a largely Iqaluit-based one, however, Hale says they hope to “expand and see if there’s artists from other communities who want visit here and do workshops or if communities are interested in having us go there and put on performances and workshops.”

With the Nunavut Theatre Company’s social media pages going up online just on July 16, reception so far has been positive she says.

“People have been really excited, which has been so great to see because we’ve been working on this for almost a year … it was just validating.”

She hopes there will be plenty of opportunities for co-operation in the future with other organizations in Iqaluit and Nunavut.

“We love the idea of just drawing from the community we’re in and maybe seeing if there are local writers who are interested in writing plays for us,” said Hale.

“There’s so many vibrant arts going on in Nunavut and Iqaluit and people always get so excited when there’s a performance or a music show.”

The Nunavut Theatre Company’s first AGM is going to be taking place sometime in mid-to-late September, people are recommended to follow their Facebook page for future updates.

“We really believe theatre is for everyone,” she says, adding there’s plenty of help needed off the stage as well.

“If you’re interested in theatre but you don’t want to act there’s lot of other roles.”