Unveiling the new NACC
Potpourri of performance

Michele LeTourneau
Northern News Services

NNSL (Aug 20/99) - Walk into the Northern Arts and Cultural Centre these days and a perpetual din will greet you with banging, screeching, rumbling and whirring.

No, it's not NACC's second-hand ghost acting up -- though who could blame him?

NACC's home, Sir John Franklin high school, has been undergoing drastic renovations all summer.

But the show must go on and it's in this bedlam that Ina Murray, Mari Croizier and Pat Dei have been labouring to present to Yellowknife NACC's 1999-2000 season.

First on the agenda -- a membership drive.

"We're not exactly on the touring path," notes Murray.

NACC's operating budget isn't a king's ransom and though artists who come to Yellowknife always express the desire to come back, getting them here in the first place isn't an easy feat. Artists might even be cajoled into accepting a lower fee in exchange for a Northern experience, sponsorship may reduce airfare -- but let's face it, money's always a problem.

During its last year, NACC had approximately 250 members.

"We'd like to double it this year," says Murray. "But our goal is 1,000 members."

Think about it. One thousand members would mean a cash infusion of $25,000, increasing the possibilities for Yellowknifers of seeing top-notch acts our isolation wouldn't normally allow.

On that note -- NACC's beautiful theatre will resonate with the sounds of two fabulous acts this season.

Juno-nominated Wyrd Sisters, a Winnipeg trio comprised of Nancy Reinhold, Kim Baryluk and jazz-vocalist Lianne Fournier, have taken the music world by storm. They receive fan mail from all over the world, their songs are on soundtracks, and everywhere they go they elicit well-deserved rave reviews.

But Este Mundo are set to hit the boards first. Presenting a fusion of flamenco, Spanish and classical music, this ensemble from eastern Canada has a wondrous repertoire of gutsy, soaring and lyrical sounds.

But performers from the south aren't NACC's only concern. Northern programming is high on the list of priorities, with many of Yellowknife's theatre companies regaling us theatre-lovers with their annual productions. Diamonds in the Rough and Lunchpail Theatre, Ptarmigan Ptheatrics with their spring musical, the Gumboots with their glorious Spring concerts...this is the stuff Yellowknifers can count on year after year.

That's not to mention the two Northern plays -- written by Northerners, produced by Northerners -- that NACC will present. Final word on these two will come in the near future.

Ah yes! The Far North Film Festival, booked in for mid-November, is bound to return with yet another mind-boggling selection of films. For the outdoorsy types, there's the Banff Film Festival.

Membership guarantees discounts on ticket prices throughout this breath-taking season.

As Murray notes, even if you yourself don't attend regularly, you can bet your children do through their schools. I can't think of a better investment.

Murray does ask patrons to be patient until December, at which time the new ticket booth and concession stand will be completed. Until then, the cozy little lobby will serve as both.

For the season premiere, join CBC radio's taping of Madly Off in All Directions, a national radio program, with host Lorne Elliot on Sept. 24 and 25.