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NACC hits the stage in Inuvik
Cafe Daughter starts season on theme of reconciliation in light of 150th anniversary of Confederation

NNSL photograph

Cafe Daughter plays in Inuvik on Sept. 21 at the Midnight Sun Complex. Based on a true story, the one-woman show is about a Chinese-Cree girl who is forced to hide her mixed heritage. - photo courtesy of the Northern Arts and Cultural Centre

Kirsten Fenn
Northern News Services
Thursday, September 14, 2017

The Northern Arts and Cultural Centre is opening the curtains on a new season of performances, with the first show happening in Inuvik in just a week's time.

Cafe Daughter plays at the Midnight Sun Complex on Sept. 21 and has been on NACC executive and artistic director Marie Coderre's radar for a few years.

"It's a nationally acclaimed play," said Coderre, explaining it grapples with themes of racism and is based on a true story.

The one-woman play featuring Juno winner Tiffany Ayalik of Quantum Tangle is the story of a Chinese-Cree girl who is sworn to keep her mixed heritage a secret, until one day she can keep that secret no more.

"In a time of reconciliation, I think it's a very strong play to present to understand a bit more the history all across Canada when it comes to the residential schools and this cultural genocide," said Coderre. "I strongly believe that the arts can be a perfect vehicle to pass on the message."

With 2017 being the 150th anniversary of Confederation, Coderre added it was important to highlight Indigenous perspectives in this the season's program at NACC.

While Cafe Daughter is a serious play, there are funny parts as well, said Coderre.

She described the show as a mix of strong content, high skill and education for the audience.

Having Ayalik as the star is also a point of pride.

"It's not easy to perform alone onstage as an actor," said Coderre. "Tiffany is definitely a strong ambassador from the NWT on the national scene. So we're very, very proud."

Anyone looking to see the show can find tickets online, over the phone or at the door on Sept. 21.

But it won't be the last performance here this year.

"We always present four shows a year in Inuvik," said Coderre.

The second is the Ko K'e spoken word festival on Oct. 16 which, according to NACC's website, features singer-songwriter, poet and filmmaker Caroline Cox and Inuvik's own Leanne Goose.

Another event is expected to take place in November, but this time in Tuktoyaktuk, to celebrate the opening of the new all-season road between the two communities.

"People in Inuvik are invited to come to that big celebration," said Coderre.

On Feb. 22, Inuvik will be treated to a show by internationally-acclaimed, Australian singer-songwriter Shawn Howard, featuring Indigenous Australian musician Yirrmal Marika.

"It's going to be very diverse," said Coderre of the upcoming season.

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