Wednesday, July 2, 2008


This month continues on an artistic theme.

A purple and yellow big top went up in Iqaluit a couple of weeks ago. Over the last ten days, Iqaluit hosted Alianait, an arts festival hosting performers from across Canada. I missed most of the festival, being in Kugluktuk and Yellowknife, but I did my best to catch up last weekend. I volunteered a bit and found myself helping out with the helium balloons on Canada Day. Let me tell you, tying a helium balloon in one of the windiest places on earth is a challenge. One sadly comic moment came when I tied a balloon to one little munchkin's wrist, and it flew off into the wind the moment she reached up for her mother's hand. Oops. I never was very good with the old slipknot.

Balloons aside, Alianait is really about music and culture. There are all sorts of workshops to attend. I managed to get to two, one for throat-singing and one for drum-dancing. The throat-singing was really unique, with Nathan Rogers doing some Mongolian throat-singing, and some beat to keep it interesting. It's amazing to see little girls throat sing. In case you have never seen throat-singing before, here's a little video demo:

You may have noticed I mentioned Nathan Rogers played at Alianait. He was among one of the many musicians who came to Iqaluit to take part in the festival. Others included Dave Badini (formerly of the Rheostatics), Pacific Curls, Little Miss Higgins, the Gjoa Band, and Bomba. They played in the big top and brought something lively to a pretty chilly Canada Day eve. Making music seems like such an easy way to bring warmth and energy to colder climes. It's worth remembering when the weather gets grim.