Tapiriit brings Arctic fine dining to Ottawa
Event celebrates Inuit food, culture for about 200 guests at National Arts Centre
A bit of the Arctic came south to Ottawa on Monday for an evening that celebrated country food harvested from across Inuit Nunangat.
Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami’s social event Tapiriit brought a feast of Inuit food and culture to the National Arts Centre, showcasing the unique dishes of the North in a reception-style dinner for approximately 200 guests.
Formerly known as A Taste of the Arctic, Tapiriit, which means “united” in Inuktut, returned for the first time since 2019. It had been on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Buffet tables stretched across the room with dishes prepared by Inuk chef Sheila Flaherty and arts centre chef Kenton Leier.
The fare ranged from frozen delicacies like mattaaq (beluga skin) and tuktu (caribou) with minced broccoli flower sauce, to pipsi (dried Arctic char) and nikku (dried beluga meat), to umingmak (muskox stew), to roast kanguq (snow goose) with sumac potato pavé and cranberry chutney.
Bannock was served fried, baked and as doughnuts with berry compote, and desserts included aqpik (cloudberry) cheesecake bites and wild berry cobbler.
DJ Geronimo Inutiq kept the party going throughout the evening with a blend of music from Inuit singers and pop music.
Circus performers from Igloolik’s Artcirq troupe and Nunavik’s Cirqiniq group moved through the crowd wearing wolf skin and polar bear skin costumes and displaying acrobatics and dances.
Opera singer Deantha Edmunds sang in her soprano voice as throat singers Nancy Mike and Sylvia Cloutier accompanied her. Other singers and musicians included Terry Uyarak and Leanne Goose.
“Our resilience is one of our greatest strengths,” said ITK president Natan Obed, speaking on the importance of Inuit self-determination.
See below for more photos from the event.