Our Mission and Goals

Summer 1998, Igloolik, Nunavut.

Two teenagers commit suicide, once again shattering this small island community of 2,000 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 were taken to give children and teenagers a medium through which they could express themselves. An initiative of Isuma Productions (movie Atanarjuat, the Fast Runner) forms a group of eight young people with the goal to prevent suicide in this small community. The organisation Inuusiq is born, which means “Life” in Inuktitut. With the help of Isuma Productions, its first mission is to produce a televised series about the life of youth in the Canadian Arctic of today. Guillaume Saladin a member of the Innusiq Youth Drama Group and a student of Montreal’s National Circus School returns to Igloolik the following year with 5 classmates to lead circus workshops for youth, which marks the beginning of the social circus project Artcirq.

Since Artcirq has grown into an Inuit performing arts collective with the mission to bridge traditional Inuit culture to modern artistic practices by creating meaningful and original work through the performing arts, music, and video. Artcirq members have created a rich body of work featured on a national and international scale, through which Inuit artists express and redefine themselves in their changing world. 

Our guiding actions are to:

  • Cooperate with Inuit youth groups by providing access to universal vehicles of creativity and communication to express themselves through performing arts, music, video, etc. to promote social wellness;
  • Integrate the insight and roots of traditional Inuit culture and performance with the aesthetic techniques of modern circus, to be shared with Canadian and international audiences;
  • Promote the body and spirit of Inuktitut in performance arts;
  • Bridge Inuit performing artists with international performers;
  • Develop and present live performances created by Inuit artists and international guest artists for the community of Igloolik;
  • Deliver circus and performing art workshops locally, nationally, and internationally;
  • Promote spiritual and physical self-expression while enhancing the self-esteem of participants;
  • Document these activities on video and with new media to share and inspire others;
  • Produce short films, documentaries and fictions about Inuit youth, by Inuit youth;
  • Increase the awareness of environmental issues and the warming of the Arctic climate.