NEWS: Nunavut December 06, 2017 - 10:00 am

Nunavut songwriters earn cash in Inuktut song contest

Nunavut government hands out thousands to songwriters from across the territory


The Government of Nunavut is about to hand out thousands of dollars in prizes to up-and-coming Nunavut songwriters.

The territory’s Department of Culture Heritage announced last Thursday, Nov. 30, this year’s winners of the Qilaut Songwriting Contest, an annual event intended to promote the Inuktut languages and creativity among youth.

“I am especially pleased that so many young Nunavummiut participated in this year’s contest,” said Culture and Heritage Minister David Joanasie, in a Nov. 30 news release. “It demonstrates the vibrancy of our youth, and their pride in using Inuktut in creative ways.”

The top three winners, whose songs were chosen based on originality, melody and lyrics, receive $5,000, $2,500 and $1,500, respectively. The seven runners-up each get $500. This year, 23 people entered the contest and winners hailed from all three regions of Nunavut.

Here are this year’s winning songs and songwriters:

• 1st prize: “Qaigialaurit” by Leetia Kalluk of Arctic Bay

• 2nd prize: “Angijuq” by Joey Nowyuk of Pangnirtung

• 3rd prize: “Aullarniaqtunga” by Abraham Eetak of Arviat

Here are the runners-up:

• “Kihingmiuqlunuk” by Abraham Eetak of Arviat

• “Nagligijaugavit” by Corey Panika of Rankin Inlet

• “Angirrarviga” by Angela Amarualik of Igloolik

• “Ataata” by Colleen Nakashuk of Iqaluit

• “Inuinnaujaami” by Gordon Kaniak of Kugluktuk

• “Maanna” by Leetia Kalluk of Arctic Bay

• “Hilami Ulapkiyami” by Gordon Kaniak of Kugluktuk

All 10 songs will be professionally recorded on a CD to be distributed in February to coincide with the 2018 Uqausirmut Quviasuutiqarniq, Nunavut’s annual celebration of Inuktut.