HITTING THE ROAD: NORTHWEST TERRITORIES & NUNAVUT

aurora-borealis-lofoten-norway-nightToday we drive north from Saskatchewan into the Northwest Territories and Nunavut! Although we have a confession to make: we were woefully under-prepared for this segment of the road trip. Almost certainly, we have barely scratched the surface of what these two territories have to offer. If you know of any regular readings, presses, or magazines run out of NWT or Nunavut, please let us know! We’d love to work more at involving our northern communities with the work we do year-round here at the League. You can comment below or email info@poets.ca with any information you have on literary goings-on in the territories.

Writers in NWT should check out the NWT Arts Council, which provides great opportunities for funding to individuals and organizations. In Nunavut, writers can check out the Arts Development Program, which also includes a new partnership between the Government of Nunavut the Canada Council for the Arts to provide professional Nunavut artists access to travel contributions. The website Visit Yellowknife has an active events listing, which includes book launches, literary panels, and readings taking place in Yellowknife. You can also check out the Yellowknife Public Library/City of Yellowknife and Nunavut Public Library websites to find information about literary programming.

NorthWords is an organization that promotes and supports northern & aboriginal writers to facilitate the development of a northern literary culture. They hold an annual writers festival in Yellowknife in May / June which allows established and emerging northern authors to share the stage with renowned Canadian authors, as well as facilitating workshops and literary contests and other literary events throughout the year.

Poetry in Voice invites students in NWT and Nunavut to participate in regional and national poetry recitation competitions. Students who participate in Poetry In Voice/ Les voix de la poésie recitation competition and its optional lessons and activities can meet many of the requirements for Senior High School English Language Arts. Find guidelines for NWT and Nunavut on the PIV website.

pexels-photo-64775Yellowknife Slam is a bi-weekly slam poetry competition currently undergoing a rehaul. Visit their website to find out about upcoming shows or how to participate!

What’s Your Story? is a youth outreach program that visits northern communities teaching youth various skills like theatre, storytelling, singing, spoken word and dance over the span of a day up to a week! Akpik Theatre developed this program to work with northern youth and artists in their community.

The Qaggiavuut Society is an organization that aims to build a Nunavut Performing Arts Centre. Anyone can join the society, which involves artists of all types, including storytellers and spoken word artists.

Up Here magazine, although not strictly literary, features stories about Northern life by northerners, and welcomes submissions and pitches.

The Nunavut Public Library facilitates literary events around Nunavut, including reading circles and literacy programs. Reading circles are organized around particular themes or literacy objectives. Whether individual community library initiatives or part of Nunavut and Canada-wide programs, reading circles are opportunities to develop an appreciation for good books and good stories. Check in with a librarian to see if there are any literary goings-on near you.

For bilingual writers, the Nunavut Arctic College offers an interpreter-translator program for students interested in the more technical aspects of the Inuktitut language and who wish to pursue a career in this field. The first year places special emphasis on language development, communication skills and technical skills necessary in translation.  The second year is designed to assist the student to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes required as an interpreter.  Emphasis will be placed on helping the learner acquired specialized vocabulary in technical areas, and on consecutive and simultaneous interpreting skills.

Please help us fill out this leg of our virtual road rip! If you know of any literary programs or initiatives taking place in Nunavut or the Northwest Territories, email info@poets.ca with information–we look forward to hearing from you!