Stage Door News

Ottawa: NAC Indigenous Theatre presents the world premiere of “Unikkaaqtuat” January 9-12, 2020

Thursday, January 2, 2020

NAC Indigenous Theatre’s landmark inaugural season continues in the new year with the world premiere of Unikkaaqtuat (January 9 to 12, 2020), a major multidisciplinary production that blends circus arts, music, theatre, and video projection. Created by the internationally renowned Inuit circus group Artcirq (Igloolik), the leading Quebec circus company The 7 Fingers and the award-winning Inuit film production company Taqqut Productions (Iqaluit), this exciting new production sources Inuit traditions, culture and present day realities.

Unikkaaqtuat features Inuit and non-Inuit actors, musicians, and acrobats performing in a world of shadows and video projections, transporting us to an ancient realm where life did not known death; days had not seen nights. The ground-breaking 90 minute performance was inspired by Inuit founding myths and by the illustrations of Germaine Arnaktauyok.

The creative team includes Patrick Léonard, Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director of The 7 Fingers; Terence Uyarak, Co-Artistic Director of Artcirq; Guillaume Ittuksarjuat Saladin, Co-Artistic Director of Artcirq; Neil Christopher, Co-Director of Taqqut Productions; and illustrator Germaine Arnaktauyok. Unikkaaqtuat’s unique blend of circus arts, theatre, music, and video is a result of cross-cultural collaboration within a diverse team of designers and technicians. Video content was created by Inuit illustrator Germaine Arnaktauyok and directed by Neil Christopher; their vast repertoire and knowledge of existing portrayals of Inuit myths guided the project in respectful harmony with Inuit oral traditions.

"NAC Indigenous Theatre is incredibly proud to be presenting the world premiere of Unikkaaqtuat,” said Kevin Loring, Artistic Director of NAC Indigenous Theatre. “This extraordinary new work brings Inuit creation stories to life, and will showcase the artistry of its performers and the spirit of intercultural collaboration on the national stage.” 

The world premiere at the NAC kicks off a five-city tour that includes Camrose, AB, Nanaimo and Vancouver, BC, and Yellowknife, NT.

Unikaaqtuat was supported by the National Creation Fund, which invests up to $3 million a year in the creation of 15 to 20 compelling and ambitious new Canadian works in theatre, dance, music and inter-disciplinary performing arts. Fuelled entirely by donors, the Fund provides Canadian artists with the additional time, space and resources they need to create great work. The Fund’s investment of $225,000 made possible additional residency periods during the show’s development, including a longer residencies in Igloolik and in Montreal that provided the time required to respect cultural creation practices.  The investment also supported the high costs associated with travel from the North. 


In 2002, seven circus artists came together and became The 7 Fingers. Over the course of 17 years, the collective has grown. Ambassadors of diversity, the artists have consistently spread their horizons, mixing genres to better tell their stories. Fascinated by the human condition, The 7 Fingers create performances that speak about our world and our time. Their works reach audiences across nations, with over 800 shows a year.


Artcirq is an Inuit circus performance collective based in Igloolik, Nunavut, Canada. Co-founded in 1998 by circus artists from Montreal and local Inuit youth, its mandate has sought to bridge traditional Inuit culture to modern artistic practices by creating meaningful and original work through the performing arts.


Taqqut Productions is an Inuit-owned (51%) film production company located in Iqaluit, Nunavut. Taqqut is committed to bringing the stories of the North to the world, and aims to establish itself as an innovative leader of youth and children’s programming through live action, puppet, stop motion and 2D animation creations.


7:30 p.m. nightly Thursday, January 9 through Saturday, January 11;
Saturday, January 11 and Sunday, January 12 at 2 p.m.

Starting at $29
All My Relations $15 – Indigenous Theatre is committed to welcoming the Indigenous community at the NAC. The $15 All My Relations ticket is available to all self-identifying members of the Indigenous community throughout the Indigenous Theatre season.

Tickets are available:

·         Online on the NAC’s website:

·         In person at the NAC Box Office at 1 Elgin Street

·         At all Ticketmaster outlets**

·         By telephone 1-888-991-2787**

**A service charge applies to all purchases made through Ticketmaster.

Groups of 10 or more contact or visit

Find out more about the NAC Indigenous Theatre on Facebook and YouTube. To discover some fascinating facts about Unikkaaqtuat, visit theatre.

Illustration: Unikkaaqtuat. © 2019 Germaine Arnaktauyok.