Showcasing Performers

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Diyet and the Love Soldiers

Born in a tent, raised in a cabin on the shores of a glacial lake in the Kluane region of Canada’s Yukon Territory, Diyet embodies her Southern Tutchone, Japanese, Tlingit and Scottish roots with a musical presence that is equally diverse and unique.

Diyet got her start singing on the school bus, went on to acquire a degree in music, then became a published songwriter in Vancouver, BC. When the pull of the North was too strong, she packed her bags, and her Dutch husband, moving back to her village of Burwash Landing without a plan or even a pub to play in. The result of this unlikely career move has been international collaborations; touring in Canada and Europe; and two acclaimed albums (The Breaking PointWhen You Were King) with her third, Diyet and the Love Soldiers scheduled for imminent release.



Jennihouse invents spontaneous soundscapes. Sam Gallagher plays lap steel with effects and a loop station. Scott Maynard plays keyboards and guitar through a loop pedal, also piano, and sometimes drums. Jennihouse is primarily an instrumental improvisational project, and is building into a sonic outfit of epic proportions. Both Sam and Scott are songwriters, and these songs occasionally find their way into the Jennihouse system. The band came together as part of an artist residency, which included the use of a local heritage building called the Jenni House, from which the band have taken their name. Jennihouse recently released a live album.


Reneltta Arluk

Reneltta is an Inuvialuit, Cree and Dene woman from the Northwest Territories. She is a graduate of the University of Alberta’s BFA Acting program and founder of Akpik Theatre, the only professional Indigenous Theatre company in the NWT. Raised by her grandparents on the trap-line until school age, this nomadic environment gave Reneltta the skills to become the multi-disciplined artist she is now. Reneltta has taken part in or initiated the creation of Indigenous Theatre across Canada and overseas. In 2017, She became the first Inuit and first Indigenous woman to direct at The Stratford Festival. She was awarded the Tyrone Guthrie – Derek F. Mitchell Artistic Director’s Award for her direction of the The Breathing Hole by Governor General Award winning playwright, Colleen Murphy. Reneltta is now Director for the Indigenous Arts Section at BANFF Centre for the Arts. She is also a mom.


Lazarus Qattalik

Singer-songwriter Lazarus Qattalik lives in Igloolik and has made quite a splash in the vast territory of Nunavut He has already made his first CD, Iqippagit, and played at the Aliainat Festival in Iqaluit last year with a return visit already planned. This is his first time outside of Nunavut and we are thrilled to welcome him to the Yukon.


Gwaandak Theatre

Gwaandak Theatre illuminates Indigenous and Northern stories. We develop, produce and tour plays for youth and adults. Our stories question, honour, and celebrate. They explore themes around decolonization, cultural identity, social justice, underrepresented voices and human rights. We tour to tiny communities and major centres, and provide school study guides. Our programming includes new play development, readings and professional training for theatre artists. We welcome collaborations.

Gwaandak’s most recent show is Map of the Land, Map of the Stars. Forthcoming productions include The Unplugging by Yvette Nolan, Bystander by Yukon playwright Wren Brian and, in development, Vuntut Gwitchin Stories for Theatre – Using Gwich’in Language.


Nakai Theatre

Founded in 1979, Nakai has a rich history of theatre making in Whitehorse and beyond, currently anchored by the Pivot Festival and the 24hour Challenge. Under the new leadership of Artistic Director Jacob Zimmer, Nakai is reaching out to create and collaborate across the territory and around the world.  We believe that theatre offers opportunities for stronger communities, shared understanding and great nights out. Find us at and on Facebook.


Open Pit Theatre

Founded in 2011, Open Pit Theatre develops new works using collective devised theatre techniques, and our physical aesthetic provides a unique way for northern artists to tell their individual stories. We incorporate a plethora of artistic mediums such as physical theatre, dance, storytelling, and text into our work. We are focused on providing the public with high calibre theatre that addresses themes and issues that are relevant to the north today. Open Pit Theatre believes in an open and transparent creation process. We aim to inform the Yukon public about creating theatre, and by doing so open up the dialogue between the audience and the artist in all stages of theatre development. Every Open Pit project includes open rehearsals, daily artist blogs and theatre mentorships.


Ramshackle Theatre

Ramshackle Theatre creates cardboard science fiction puppet shows, outdoor theatre events and multidisciplinary work from our home base in Whitehorse Yukon.

As a touring company we have presented shows across the country and every community in the Yukon.  Our work has been seen at Summerworks, the Magnetic North Theatre Festival and at the National Arts Centre’s Canada Scene.

With a floating roster of Yukon artists, our company also works with professionals from outside the territory.  We are always searching for new collaborators and exploring story through our ramshackle lens.


Ryan McNally

Whether he's playing with his own solo band or other various outfits, he can't be kept off Canadian stages. Ryan McNally was raised in rural Quebec, south of Montreal along the U.S. boarder. He began pursuing music at the age of ten when he first picked up the guitar. But for the past ten years he has based his career in Whitehorse, Yukon.

Last year Ryan McNally was nominated for Blues Artist of the Year at the West Coast Music Awards and he and his band also performed a private show for the Prince William and Princes Kate, Duke and Duches of Cambridge. His career is building momentum year after year.

McNally will be recording his third album this spring and his summer schedule is full with festival bookings across Canada.


Claire Ness

Yukon Backcountry Jazz.

Claire Ness is a singer/songwriter and multi-disciplinary artist from Whitehorse, Yukon. She is at ease performing as Leading Lady in old-time cabaret and vaudeville shows, rocking family venues with her kids’ band The Swing Sets, doing live shows for adults either solo or with accompaniment, clowning, stilt-walking, making balloon animals, and teaching aerial circus workshops. 

ith an abundance of humour and imagination, Claire's songs feature poetry, storytelling, imagery, and metaphor. Fluently bilingual, she writes and performs her untamed tales from the far north in both English and French.


Sharon Shorty

Sharon Shorty is from the Tlingit, Northern Tutchone and Norwegian Peoples and has been voted one of the TOP 10 YUKONERS to meet (Up Here Magazine, 1999). Sharon is from the Raven Clan and was raised with the storytelling tradition of her southern Yukon community.
As a result, she likes nothing more than to share stories in various genres. Her popular character "Grandma Susie" tells the old stories as well as her adventures with Colonel Sanders and trips to New York City.
Sharon is also an award-winning actor (Aurora Award, 1997) storyteller (Aurora Award, 1998) and more importantly, an award-winning bannock-maker! (New Yukon Indian Days, 2003) She was recently named "Best Comedian" and "Best way to dress as an Elder", and Grandma Susie's clothing can now be seen at the Canadian Museum of History.


Soda Pony

Formed in 2013, Whitehorse rock duo Soda Pony is a much beloved Yukon treasure. Exploring small town coming-of-age tales to science fiction scenarios, members Patrick Hamilton and Aiden Tentrees deliver a powerful combo of unique instrumentation, clever songs, and raw, cutting performance.

Far from romanticizing life in the north, Soda Pony's songs subvert regional clichés with a humorous mixture of small town coming-of-age tales and science fiction scenarios. But don't get the wrong idea: though the content is often funny or absurd, it is unrelentingly delivered by Hamilton and Tentrees with a raw, cutting sincerity. And this is the magic of Soda Pony's space-dump-rock style: at the heart of their original sound is their friend ship, tried and sailed through years of learning, performing, and exploring together.


The Sweeties

New to the stage in this guise The Sweeties are are on a mission to combine some very unusual influences. Skillfully weaving Doom rock riffs into old Sacred Harp gospel songs and vintage country hits, The Sweeties Utilize Old style vocal harmonies and heavy guitars to create a cacophonous heavy metal square dance.

Their unique "Sacred Doom" style has turned heads in Whitehorse and that's just the beginning for this sensational couple! Treat yourself. See The Sweeties! 


Leela Gilday

A passionate singer/songwriter and soulful performer, Leela Gilday has a voice that comes straight from the heart.  Confessing her stories to her audiences with a gutsy voice and open stage presence, Gilday weaves her experiences as a northerner, a member of the Dene nation, and a traveler into a beautiful world that transports the listener.

With four full-length recordings and a long touring history, Gilday has numerous awards to her credit, including a Juno, two Western Canadian Music Awards, Aboriginal Female Entertainer of the Year to name a few.  Above all, she seeks connection with her audiences through music, and with each record brings more unique stories to the world. Whether it’s an anthem for the oppressed, or an upbeat song about mortality, she infuses her songs with a sense of humour as well as a sense of social justice, and an ironic appreciation of human folly.

Based out of Yellowknife, NT, Leela has toured festivals and concert halls with her four-piece band through every province and territory in Canada.  She has also played internationally in several countries including Japan, US, Greenland, Denmark, and New Zealand.  Her live shows, and many appearances on television and radio have earned her an important place in the Aboriginal music scene, as well as a loyal mainstream following.



Shaman is a first collaboration between the National Film Board of Canada and Labrador Inuk artist—and first-time animator—Echo Henoche. The short brings to life Henoche’s favourite legend, told to her by her grandfather in her home community of Nain, Nunatsiavut, on Labrador’s North Coast. It is the story of a ferocious polar bear turned to stone by an Inuk shaman. Hand-drawn and painted by Henoche in a style all her own, Shaman shares with the world her perspective on this Labrador Inuit legend.


Calla Kinglit

Calla is a musician, songwriter and poet who draws inspiration from the awe of wilderness and exploring the human experience. She is currently preparing the release of her debut album comprised of songs written while living as a researcher in the Congo Basin in the Central African country of Cameroon, exploring the vast and redemptive beauty of her home base in Canada’s Yukon wilderness, manoeuvring through landslides in the Himalayas, and contemplating the spiritual journey of one small being. Her debut album 'Dreamer's Sea' will be released in April 2018.


Quantum Tangle

Fusing of old-world sounds and new-world flair, Greyson Gritt and Tiffany Ayalik are embracing their blended backgrounds. Combining their talents of throat singing, haunting melodies and traditional legends, the JUNO award winning pair are excited to present a mix of flavours from across Northern Canada. As Ayalik charismatically embodies her stories, Gritt infuses it with a soulful blues to create an experience that consumes the senses.

Quantum Tangle combines the wide-ranging artistic visions of Greyson Gritt and Tiffany Ayalik who draw from their respective Anishinaabe-Métis and Inuit backgrounds to create a fusion of old-world sounds and new-world flair. Proudly and boldly displaying their roots, the pair tailor their music to examine systemic racism and colonialism, while offering ways to empower marginalized groups.


chunday k'anat'a dancers

The Chunday K'anat'a Dancers are all from Elijah Smith Elementary. The dance group name means, "Flying Eagle Dancers" in the Southern Tutchone language and it was chosen by the students themselves, as their school is built in the shape of an eagle, when viewed from the sky. The dance group is welcoming to children of all nations, and all grades. They practice twice a week. We have approximately 77 dancers in our group. Although the dance group leaders are Khasa (Stephen Reid) and Sakinya (Stefanie Sidney), they recieve help from elders and other staff at the school, including Shirley Adamson, Ian Angus, George Bahm, Rachel Pollet, Selena Pye, and Rosie Innuaraq. They teach the children Southern Tutchone and Tlingit songs. Many volunteers have contributed to their school regalia, although some dancers have made or acquired their own traditional regalia. The students love to share these songs and dances with you. 


haugaaq julia ogina

From Cambridge Bay Nunavut, originally from Ulukhaktok NT, been living in Cambridge Bay 19 years.

A mother of three tow boy and Girl, 3 beautiful grandchildren 1 teenage grandson and two preteen grand girls.

I work for the Kitikmeot Inuit association as their programs coordinator for Elders, language and Culture. I plan, administer, write proposals & reports on language and cultural programs & projects in consultation with Inuinnait of our region.

I am also a drum singer and story teller of both the Copper inuit and the Ualinningmiutun style as I have gran parents from both groups.

I love to sew our clothing  such as atigi’s, kamiit, and dance outfis which I do my best to teach others in all that I know.


Jerry Puglik

I was born in Yellowknife June 23,1959 and raised in Bay Chimo and Bathurst Inlet for the first 14 years of my life. I went to residential school starting in Cambridge Bay in 1964 and in 1965, my siblings and I went to residential school in Fort Simpson. We would be picked up in the month of August and not returned home to our families till the following spring in May so back then I started losing a little of my language and culture as they did’nt teach that in school. My father passed away while I was at residential school in the winter of 1966. Back then in Bay Chimo, there was a Hudsons Bay Company store so my Mother and I along with my brothers and sisters continued to live there. With the closure of the store in 1969 and only sporadic Bay clerks coming in to open the store, my Mother decided to move our family to Cambridge Bay in 1974 where its been home since.

I have been fortunate to adapt to the way of life there where it gave me the opportunity to gain a little more education there in the school and off to high school in Yellowknife where I dropped out of grade 12 a few months short of graduating.

I met Julia Ogina in 1991 and we have been living together common law since 1993 and to this day, I thank her for being in my life as she has taught me so much especially getting back into the cultural part of my life especially in drum dancing which she and I along with our daughter Trisha Ogina and a bunch of other enthusiastic people are working to keep our culture alive in both Central style drumdance and also the Western style dance where Trisha has been our main instructor. I hope we can keep our tradition alive for many years.