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AROUND NUNAVUT: workshops and Christmas hampers, a library fundraiser, and professional Inuit theatre

Curious about what's going on in the Baffin region? Here are a few activities taking place in three communities.

Prep started for Christmas and beyond


Pangnirtung's new youth coordinator, Laura Bourassa, on the job for a week, spoke with Nunavut News about a few initiatives happening in the community.

Bourassa is part of the Christmas Hamper Committee, which is looking for food donations and volunteers. The committee plans on approaching the local grocery store for food donations or a discount as they put together a Christmas dinner for roughly 100 Pang households.

"We would like to include turkey or ham, stuffing, rice or mashed potatoes, vegetables, bread, a dessert, maybe a cake mix, and juice," said Bourassa.

"And we're going to be asking Pang Fisheries if they're willing to donate some fish."

The committee will meet for a second time Dec. 3 to discuss fundraising.

Meanwhile, Bourassa is collecting names for a sealskin-cleaning workshop, as well as a net-making workshop. That's open to youth between the ages of 13 and 35. A traditional dancing workshop is also a possibility.

"I think the best time to do it will be in January because it's going to be pretty busy during December," said Bourassa.

There are 10 spots to work with Elders on sealskins and 20 spots open to work with experienced net-makers. Names will be drawn at 4:45 p.m. on the local radio – Dec. 4 for sealskin and Dec. 5 for nets.


Woman launches birthday fundraiser for library

Mittimatalik/Pond Inlet 

What does Pond Inlet's Georgina Pewatoaluk want for her birthday? Two-hundred-and-fifty dollars to go to the Pond Inlet Library and Archives Society.

Pewatoaluk, whose birthday is Dec. 10, launched a Facebook fundraiser to make that happen.

"This library means so much to me because this is where I learned to read and speak Inuktitut. I grew up thinking English was my only language. It wasn't until I turned six that I finally learned to speak Inuktitut, and was directed to the public library to learn more reading in Inuktitut," said Pewatoaluk.

"It was also when I was a teenager that I was learning about the history of Pond Inlet for a project that was due in high school. There are so many resources that helped me learn about my own community when I was an adult."

Pewatoaluk also served a tourist guide for the library, which she says helped integrate more knowledge of her community thanks to the Pond Inlet archives, "and the knowledge in that little museum in the Pond Inlet Library and visitor's centre."

She hopes the funds will help the Pond Inlet Library and Archives.

"They also have a few programs that help little ones learn how to read. This, I feel, will help future generations to come as well, as keep some of their programs open," she said.

Pewatoaluk's page can be found by searching Facebook for Georgina's Birthday Fundraiser.


photo courtesy Qaggiavuut
Kiviuq Returns play in Iqaluit Dec. 21, starring Natar Ungalaq, Christine Tootoo, Vinnie Karetak, Avery Keenainak, Keenan Carpenter and Charlotte Qamaniq. The cast is just back from a run in Nuuk, Greenland and, after the Iqaluit stop, will head off for a 32-show run at Toronto's Tarragon Theatre.

Qaggiavuut's December offerings


December is a typically a busy month, but Iqalungmiut can add two more events to their must-do lists.

Qaggiavuut is presenting two Inuit-led theatre productions.

Mark Dec. 12 for Kiinalik: These Sharp Tools's first stop on a multi-city tour, co-presented by Toronto's Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. Kiinalik is dubbed a concert and a conversation, and features Inuk artist Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory and queer theatre-maker Evalyn Parry. The two met on an expedition from Iqaluit to Greenland.

The production has won several awards to date: the Toronto Theatre Critics Association awarded best performer to Williamson Bathory and best director to Erin Brubacher; and Parry and Williamson Bathory took home Outstanding New Play, while Cris Derksen and Parry won Outstanding Sound Design/Composition from the Dora Mavor Moore Awards in 2018.

"In conjunction with the rehearsal process for Kiinalik, Qaggiavuut is hosting a mentorship programme for eight Inuit youth to train in all the technical and performative aspects of pulling together Kiinalik," said Williamson Bathory.

"Youth will receive one-on-one training in everything from stage management and lighting design to electroacoustic music."

And for those who have not yet seen Kiviuq Returns, mark Dec. 21. The Kiviuq cast of Natar Ungalaq, Christine Tootoo, Vinnie Karetak, Avery Keenainak, Keenan Carpenter and Charlotte Qamaniq are just back from a run in Nuuk, Greenland. After their Iqaluit stop, they will head off for a 32-show run at Toronto's Tarragon Theatre.