Jocelyn Ukutak Malla, of Rankin Inlet, is the grand prize winner of the 2022 Qiluat Inuktut songwriting contest. A professionally recorded compilation album featuring the 10 winning songs will be recorded for distribution this year. (Photo courtesy of Jocelyn Ukutak Malla)

Rankin Inlet songwriter’s entry wins 2022 Qilaut contest

Top finishers selected from more than 30 entries in annual Nunavut songwriting contest

By Andrea Sakiyama Kennedy

Rankin Inlet’s Jocelyn Ukutak Malla has been awarded first prize in the 2022 Qilaut Inuktut songwriting contest for her song Kajjaarijara, the Department of Culture and Heritage announced Wednesday.

Rosalie Pissuk, who submitted multiple entries, was awarded both second and third prize for her songs, Siqiniq Qaumalirivuq (second place), and Tariurmi Sukkaitumik Kaggaaraqtuq (third place).

The contest, run by the department, celebrates Nunavut’s vibrant Inuktut music scene and aims to promote the use of Inuktut in daily life, according to a news release from the department.

The theme of the 2022 competition was Kajjaarijara, which translates to “I find it beautiful” or “I find it welcoming.”

Malla’s song, also titled Kajjaarijara, was awarded first place from among more than 30 submissions.

The top three winning entries will receive $5,000, $2,500, and $1,500 respectively, and the seven runners-up will each receive $500, the release indicated.

The other winning songs were:

  • Fourth place, Shawna Seeteenak, for her song Malinnga;
  • Fifth place, Abraham Eetak, Takugakkit;
  • Sixth place, Eva Okatsiak, Anaanaga tuksiaqpuq;
  • Seventh place, Jocelyn Arreak, Kajjaarijakka;
  • Eighth place, Abraham Eetak, Quvianaqtuq;
  • Ninth place, Joanasie Aglak, Inuusivut Aksurungnaqtuq; and
  • Tenth place, Eli Qaqqasiq-Taqtu, Upinngaarainnuk.

As in previous years, the top 10 songs will be professionally recorded for a compilation album to be released in 2023.

Entries were judged by a peer panel that included Leena Evic, Mary Poisey, and Jo Ellen Pameolik, based on originality, creativity, melody and lyrics.

The Government of Nunavut first launched Qilaut, on World Indigenous Day, Aug. 9, 2015. Previous winners have included Joey Nowyuk, Jo Ellen Etuangat, and Leetia Kalluk.


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(2) Comments:

  1. Posted by 867 on

    nice to see some real musicians get recognized not just Tanya Taggaq who I find impossible to listen to

    • Posted by Tagalik on

      You can compliment, without insulting. Proud of all Inuit artists, I hope more people get comfortable sharing their art. Hard when people comment shiz like this.


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