“When we think of Canada, the North is a defining characteristic. Everyone relates to the North in some way. But, many people south of 60 [degrees latitude] see us as one big North, and not three distinct territories with really distinct and vibrant cultures,” says Kim Winnicky, executive director of MusicYukon, an association dedicated to helping musicians from the North achieve their career goals.
To raise awareness about what makes each of Canada’s territories unique during the sesquicentennial, and to celebrate their respective cultural contributions to the fabric of the North, MusicYukon launched From the North this year.
From the North is a travelling arts and music festival that brings together northern musicians, artists, storytellers, dancers and Dene and Inuit athletes. Beginning in October and lasting into November, the festival will stop in Whitehorse, Yellowknife, Iqaluit, Ottawa, Montreal and Vancouver. In each city, the show will include three different components: a free afternoon festival where artists, athletes, and performers will showcase and share their skills; an evening gala performance, which will weave together stories and music from some of the North’s most talented artists, including IVA, Quantum Tangle, the Dakhká Khwáan Dancers and more; and finally a touring arts exhibit that will feature works by six northern artists.
The goals of the tour extend beyond expanding awareness about the cultural contributions coming from north of 60 and increasing understanding about the unique communities in each of our territories. It’s also about facilitating collaborations between Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
“We’re so far apart from each other. It’s not like going from Regina to Winnipeg. To go to Iqaluit is a two-day adventure and $5,000,” says Winnicky. “The [Canada 150] funding has provided an injection of opportunity for us to work together.”
Tickets to attend From the North will be on sale soon. Check out north150nord.ca for all of the latest tour updates.