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Where is Igloolik?

Summary and background of the “Artcirq - Arctic Circus” Mission

Summer 1998, Igloolik, Nunavut. Two teenagers commit suicide, once again shattering this small island community of 1500 residents. Every time a suicide occurs, feelings of despair and powerlessness resurface in this world where two cultures collide. In the Arctic, loss of sense and sorrow are real facts of life.

Following the recurrence of such tragedies in Igloolik, some concrete actions are taken to give children and teenagers a medium to express themselves. The initiative of Isuma Productions (movie Atanarjuat, the Fast Runner) forms a group of eight young people, intended to prevent suicide in this small community. The organism Inuusiq, which means “Life” in Inuktitut, is created, and its first mission is to realize and produce, with the help of ISUMA production, a television series about the youth’s life in the Canadian Arctic of today. Guillaume Saladin was a member of this organism, “Inuusiq youth drama group”, and a co-writer and actor of the series. Furthermore, studying at the National Circus School of Montreal at that time, he implements the circus project Artcirq with six others students of the circus school, including Karine Delzors.

Now Artcirq evolved in a community-based circus and multimedia company, allowing northern and southern artists to bridge and meet in a meaningful and creative way.

The goals and objectives of the group are to:

1. Introduce Inuit to circus arts;

2. Use the roots of traditional Inuit culture (acrobatics, juggling, clown) to relate with the techniques of modern circus;

3. Give young Inuit access to universal communication vehicles offered by circus arts, to bridge the gap between the different generations and cultures;

4. Promote spiritual and body self-expression while enhancing self-esteem of participants;

5. Deliver orientation workshops on circus arts in the village of Igloolik;

6. Create and present live performances with the young people of the village and the artists of Montreal, in partnership with Cirque Eloize;

7. Videotape the whole experience and to produce short films in collaboration with Igloolik Isuma Production;

8. Cooperate with the Youth Group of Igloolik in order to prevent suicide by increasing the communication tools within youth, a communication often limited by a lack of resources.

9. Increase awareness on global environnemental issues, especially on Arctic's climate warming and its impacts on communities, in partnership with Globaïa.



Guillaume   Guillaume Ittukssarjuat Saladin
Co-founder, Co-Artistic Director, Trainer, Cast. He is from an anthropologists family, grew up partly in Igloolik until he was 15. After graduating from UQAM in 1998 in Sociology and Communication, he helped starting Artcirq while being at the National Circus School of Montreal. In 2001, he was part of the cast of Cirque Éloize’s show Nomade, directed by the world known Daniele Finzi Pasca for a 4-years-worldtour as an actor and acrobat. He now lives in Igloolik on a permanent base to carry on the training and to work on several cultural and artistic projects.
Terry   Terry Uyarak
Member since July 2006. Graduated from Igloolik High School, captain of hockey team and coordinator of the Arena.  Passionate by hunting, he is also musician, juggler and actor. He has been putting a lot of energy and heart into the Artcirq projects.  He is one of the “isumataq”, thinker, of the group.
Jacky   Jacky Qrunnut
High School graduate, father of three children, he joined Artcirq in 2004 as a technician.  After discovering his clowning talent he swiched to be on stage. He traveled around the world with the troup, from Timbuktu to Greece, Guinea, Mexico and France.
Jimmy   Jimmy Qamukaq
Father of two children, he is a crazy talented acrobat, flyer and comedian.  He loves to hunt and is always willing to do tasks around the community.  He performed in B.C stadium for the Olympic Winter Games in 2010. He has also been travelling around the world with Artcirq tours. 


Joey Ammaq
Graduate of Attaguttaaluk High School, he is father of two children.  "Strong man" of three men high, he has hand-to-hand act with his wife, Jenny.  Also part of the Igloolik music group Kikkukia, he is a greatt musician and singer.


Jenny   Jenny Ammaq
High School student, she isthe mother of a girl named Briana and a little boy, Wesley.  She began her circus formation in 2007, has great talents in contortion and as hand to hand flyer.
Nikita   Nikita Ungalaq
She participates to the full time formation since October 2005 as a flyer and contortionist.  Currently in Igloolik High School, she has been involved with the recreation department of Igloolik Hamlet.  She is dreaming to study to the Montreal Circus School. 


Daisy Iqqarsaq
Multi-talented artist, mother of 2 children, she was involved in the Igloolik Youth Group. She participates to the full time formation since October 2005 as contortionist, whip artist, throat singer and juggler.


Derek   Derek Aqqiaqiuq
Derek is an active member of Artcirq since its beginning in 1999.  Musician, juggler, he is also part of the famous Rock band from Igloolik “Northern Haze".  He is now renewed as a filmmaker and editor with Artcirq and Kiinguliit productions.  He released his second documentary “Northern Haze, Living The Dream” in 2011. He is currently installing media players around Nunavut for isuma.tv website.
Reena   Reena Qulitalik
Great actress, strong girl, throat singer and juggler, she started her actress career in the famous movie “Ataanarjuat”, by Igloolik Isuma Productions in 2001.  She loves to go out on the land camping and sewing traditional clothing.  She has been traveling the world with Artcirq since 2005. 

Damien Tulugarjuk
He is gold medalist of the Winter Arctic games, one foot high kick, for the junior category. With Artcirq since 2009 as an acrobat, he left for his first international tour to Toulouse in march 2010, and got lost by a rainy day in the Pyrenees woods for 6 hours! What an experience...

  Celina Kalluk
Multitalented artist from Resolute Bay, she has been travelling the world sharing inuit culture.  Amazing throat singer, she has been performing for the Queen at the Diamond Jubilee in 2012.  She composed and recorded many songs, some can be heard in the Artcirq music albums. 

Cara Di Staulo
With a BA in communication, Cara Di Staulo has been Artcirq’s “Special Agent” since 2007. Based in Montreal, she is involved in the group’s financing, project coordination, distribution and administration. By investing all her enthusiasm, professionalism and resourcefulness, she dedicates herself 100% to the Artcirq adventure. She has visited the troupe 3 times in Igloolik (2008, 2010, 2012) and accompanied members during performances and cultural exchanges in Toulouse (France) and Conakry (Guinea). A complete novice in the circus arts, she is however well acquainted with city backing, hiking and rock climbing.    


Vanessa Kneale
Vanessa is Artcirq’s new administrative, logistical, and financial ‘Jack of all trades’. With a background in arts and business, she is thrilled to combine both passions into one with Artcirq. As well as crunching numbers and juggling emails, Vanessa is also a dancer, clown, and fitness instructor. She is delighted to be a new member of the Artcirq family and looks forward to contributing her positive and plentiful energy to its quest.  


Annie Désilets
First involved in the project coordination, Annie developped many other talents in the collective since 2010. She helped creating the « Women’s sharing knowledge, traditional summer camp » ,  she's the webmaster and she provides logistic support to Arcirq's projects.


Solomon Uyarasuk (1986-2012)

To my Dear friend Solomon Tapatsiaq

The first time I met Sol, I was going for a walk with my bow and arrows, just outside the town of Igloolik. He looked like a free man, sensitive, with a strong mind and a deep look in his eyes.

Not long after, he joined Artcirq, along with his brother Benjy, for Kaugjagjuk show in the summer of 2004.

We made a promise to each other that I would permanently move back to Igloolik, if he was to invest himself in Artcirq.

The next year, I moved back, and he devoted himself: his heart, body, soul and pain, to the group.

Amongst all of us, he was the one that could create the easiest. He had a gift; he was a unique creator, poet, acrobat, musician… Artist.

Fighting continually to live his life freely, he leaves us with strong memories to remember him by. But his departure is still a mystery for me, I can't understand this way of parting with the world.

Hope you are free now Sol.

Guillaume Ittukssarjuat Saladin
Artcirq Co-founder





Eric Nutarariaq Christopher Piugatuq Guillaume Ittuksarjuat Saladin Geneviève Pépin
Peter Henry Arnatsiaq Joyce Attagutaaluk Cindy Paniaq Jean-Julien Bonzon
Lucy Tulugarjuk Edward Taparjuk Bartlomiej Soroczynski  
Maggy Ukalianuk Karine Delzors Yann Graal  



Krysztof Sorocyznski
Félix Boisvert
Mamoudou Diallo (Kalabanté)
Jonathan Causaubon (Cirque Alfonse)
Guillaume Montel
Geneviève Drolet
Claude Roussel
Lionnel Deschamps (Cirque Alfonse)
Jessica Arpin
Bruno Besnaiou (Cie K)
Jakob Ludvigsen (N.A.I.P.)
Josiane Laporte (Cirque Alfonse)
Patrick Léonard (7 doigts de la main)
Khagan (Cie K)
Karl Berthelsen (N.A.I.P.)
David Simard (Cirque Alfonse)
Yamoussa Bangoura (Kalabanté)
Antoine Carabinier Lépine (Cirque Alfonse)
Knud Berthelsen (N.A.I.P.)
André Gagné (Cirque Alfonse)
AK Bangoura (Kalabanté)
Andrea Pelaez (Cirko de Mente)
Nada Ane Helimann (N.A.I.P.)
Julie-Carbinier Lépine (Cirque Alfonse)
Leo Constantino (Cirko de Mente)
Victor Zapatero (Cirko de Mente)
Pavia Tobiassen (N.A.I.P.)
Sandy Silva
Alexis Bowles
Sylvia Watt Cloutier
Valerie Tobiassen (N.A.I.P.)
Jean-Pierre Cloutier
Nicolas Tardif
Karina Bleau
Tukummeq Martinsen (N.A.I.P.)
Nicolas Chirokoff (Cirko de Mente)
Félix Pharand Deschesnes (Globaïa)
Marjorie Nantel
Ane Berthelsen (N.A.I.P.)
Jean-Philippe Cuerrier
Samuel Tétreault (7 doigts de la main)
Alexandre Domingue (Post-Moderne)
Rikka Egede
Manu Cyr




Igloolik (red dot below) is a small insular community located in Nunavut, Canada.
To see it with Google Maps : I G L O O L I K.




Artcirq Productions © 2010