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Friday, October 06, 2017

Learning, growing, jamming: A Nunavut music renaissance | Nunatsiaq News

“The Nunavut music industry is very small. We’re isolated by geography but we’re also isolated by not having resources" continues Nunatsiaq News.

Kathleen Merritt, who goes by IVA, left, with Charlotte Qananiq, opening for Tanya Tagaq Oct. 1 in Iqaluit.
Photo: Nunatsiaq News - BETH BROWN

What do you get when you feed caribou stew and deep-fried bannock to four generations of Nunavut musicians and mix in some visiting movers and shakers from the southern music industry under a power-outing Iqaluit snowstorm?

You get the inaugural Nunavut Music Week.

Aakuluk Music, Nunavut’s first and only record label, hosted a three-day conference Sept. 28 through Sept. 30 that temporarily turned the Francophone Centre into a think tank for the territory’s Inuktitut music scene.

The event brought delegates from southern media outlets, as well as publicists and managers, to the Nunavut capital—all so that budding Nunavut artists could benefit from high-calibre advice and direction for career advancement, without having to fly to Toronto.

“Normally we have to go down and book meetings. It’s nice to have those kinds of people in one room together, to come to us,” Josh Qaumariaq, front man for Iqaluit’s Arctic soul band The Trade-Offs, told Nunatsiaq News

The band signed on with Aakuluk Music this summer, a few months after performing in Vancouver for National Aboriginal Day.

“It’s a really great networking opportunity to meet people from the music industry,” Trade-Offs bassist and singer Jeff Maurice said of the conference. “The Nunavut music industry is very small. We’re isolated by geography but we’re also isolated by not having resources.”

While conference panels covered trade tricks—such as how to self-market and how much to pay your agent—troubleshooting talks also identified a few industry challenges that are more acute for Nunavut artists. 

Source: Nunatsiaq News

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