Watch it live: The team behind Aqpik Jam’s livestream

Tumiit Media had annual festival covered and transmitted it around the world

Tumiit Media’s Samuel Lagacé helms the broadcasting board that handles the five cameras facing this year’s Aqpik Jam, all to be streamed on Facebook. (Photo by Cedric Gallant)

By Cedric Gallant - Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Thanks to a high-quality Facebook livestream led by a Kuujjuaq company, this year’s Aqpik Jam could be viewed from anywhere in the world.

Anyone watching online Friday, the final night of the four-day festival based in Kuujjuaq, can enjoy a lineup of eight performers that includes Juurini, Cops and Pilots, and Arctistic.

At Tumiit Media which is producing the livestream, Samuel Lagacé is in charge of video production while Derek Tagoona takes care of prints and designs.

At first, Tumiit was solely about print and designs, as the name says in a play of words: Tumiit (Paw Print) Media.

“I moved to Kuujjuaq seven years ago,” said Lagacé in an interview minutes before the performances were to begin on Thursday night.

He had lived most of his life in Kangiqsualujjuaq, he said, and studied cinema at multiple schools down south.

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“When I moved here,” he continued, “I asked Derek, ‘I need a job. I can do video, would you like to include that in the company?”

Tagoona accepted and the partnership had life.

Now, Tagoona, Lagacé and multimedia contractor Ed Maruyama are taking care of livestreaming Aqpik Jam, an effort that’s been done before but never to this extent.

Previously, the festival had been broadcasted by Taqramiut Nipingat Inc. on the local television channel. “But I would say that in the last 10 years, this is the first livestream of Aqpik Jam,” said Lagacé.

Due to low internet speed, livestreaming was not possible before this year.

“We tried a few years ago,” he said, “but it just did not work.”

Initially, Tumiit Media was hired to livestream one day of Aqpik Jam this year.

“We have been talking about for a while,” Lagacé said, but “the committee for Aqpik Jam was kind of reluctant, saying ‘What if people don’t come and prefer to watch it at home?’”

However, the livestream seems to have had little effect on the size of crowds that have packed the Kuujjuaq Forum over the four nights of the festival.

Air Inuit was the first company to sponsor a livestream and, as Lagacé said, that got the ball rolling.

“The initial plan was to do one day, up until last week,” he said, “and then we found out we were going to do all four nights.”

On the second night, the Northern Village of Kuujjuaq sponsored the livestream. On day three, Willie and Daniel Gadbois sponsored the broadcast with their own companies.

At the time of the interview, Lagacé said “we don’t know who will be sponsoring [Friday’s livestream] yet, but safe to say we will be streaming.”

This year at the festival has been a learning experience for Tumiit Media. If it handles the livestream again in future years, Lagacé said they aim to make it even better.

“We would like more manned cameras,” he said, referring to hand-held cameras that may walk through the crowd or in front of the stage.

“As soon as you add movement, the image becomes more attractive,” he said.

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