Alianait firms up plans for Iqaluit’s first drive-in concert
Aasiva and Brenda Montana will perform at the free event on June 21, National Indigenous Peoples Day
Iqalummiut will be treated to a drive-in concert featuring local talent to celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21.
“People are ready to celebrate and do things with their friends and family,” said Alannah Johnston, one of the organizers.
Hosted by the Alianait Arts Festival, the organization has found a new way to bring music to the community amid COVID-19 restrictions.
This will be the first drive-in concert Alianait has hosted and will take place at the Tarr Inlet trailhead, with room for 80 cars.
“It’s becoming a big feat,” said Johnston, describing the steps of getting approval for the event from the chief public health officer and the City of Iqaluit, and figuring out how to host the event safely.
“Things are finally coming together,” she said.
Alianait has brought together Inuit and other circumpolar musicians and artists yearly in June since 2005, but had to move online amid COVID-19 restrictions last year.
This time around, they won’t be hosting their regular lineup of circus acrobats, dancers, storytellers, filmmakers and other creators from across the globe, or hosting thousands of attendees, but local artists will still be in the spotlight.
The upcoming event will feature Aasiva, a young Inuktitut songwriter originally from Pangnirtung who plays the ukulele and incorporates elements of throat singing into her music.
With a new album coming on July 9, Aasiva recently released two singles titled “Namu” and “Ungalirakki.”
The opening act will be Brenda Montana, an up-and-coming singer-songwriter from Rankin Inlet who describes her music as “heartfelt, meaningful and upbeat.”
She was also mentored by Juno-award-winning artist William Prince at a workshop Alianait ran a few years ago.
“I’m really excited to see what else she’s been up to since the last time we worked with her,” Johnston said.
The drive-in concert will last about two hours and Iqaluit residents can save their spot at the free event by registering through Eventbrite.
Concert-goers will need to stay in their cars as much as possible, wear masks and respect physical distancing rules.
Johnston said volunteers and security staff will be enforcing public health rules and organizers are asking that anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 stays home, to keep the environment safe.
The show will be streamed live, so Johnston said if anything changes with current public health restrictions, the backup plan is to host the entire show online.