Indoor performance spaces are still off-limits, so NACC gets creative

Last modified: June 15, 2020 at 1:42pm

After shutting down for nearly three months, the Northern Arts and Cultural Centre (NACC) is gearing up to make a comeback with socially distanced arts programming.

Tentatively on the roster are buskers taking to Yellowknife’s trails, screenings of performing arts films dedicated to each NWT region, and outdoor music performances.

Executive and artistic director Marie Coderre told Cabin Radio it was “important to not rush into things, and make sure NACC develops projects that do justice for the artist.”


Coderre and her staff have already designed programming to comply with the small outdoor gatherings allowed in phase one of the territory’s Covid-19 recovery plan.

Phase two of the plan – which could kick in as soon as Friday – would further ease those restrictions, expanding what can be done outdoors.

One of the most noticeable plans coming to Yellowknife will be three “busker trails” on August 2, 9, and 16.

Musicians and other performers will set up at different spots on the city’s Frame Lake Trail and perform for those hiking by. The more you hike, the more you’ll find.

Coderre got the idea from her parents, who hiked a similar busker trail in her hometown of Québec City.


“I’m trying to find a way to bring the arts outside of the stage,” she said.

Each busking performance will last for 10 to 15 minutes, meaning the total hike will most likely be around three hours if you want to see them all.

Wamp partnership

Another project is a 10-minute film series produced in partnership by NACC and Western Arctic Moving Pictures (Wamp).

The series will feature artists from each of the territory’s five regions and will be gradually released online from September 2020 to March 2021.

While details of the project are still to be confirmed, Coderre is glad for the opportunity to strengthen NACC’s relationship with Wamp. Jeremy Emerson, executive director of Wamp, returned the sentiment.


“It just made sense for us to partner up and help each other out,” Emerson said. “And the fact that it’s for creative artists and supporting them through media arts, I believe, meets our mandate.”

While Wamp has worked with NACC in the past on screenings and other events, this will be the first time the two are teaming up together to create something, Emerson said.

Coderre says there is also the potential to create music concerts, dance recitals, and children’s theatre as the year goes on.

“There’s a lot of room to do lots of creative projects,” she said.

“I have a lot of space to try new things. It’s the goal this year to test new ideas and make sure that we do it right.”