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People & Culture

New Arctic festival to ease food insecurity and climate change

New festival to increase awareness about climate change in the north while simultaneously raising money to help local food insecurity.

  • Feb 18, 2016
  • 459 words
  • 2 minutes
Overlooking the Nunavut town of Igloolik, which is hosting the Kiss the Earth festival to help raise awareness of climate change's impact on food security. (Photo: BaShildy/Wikimedia Commons)
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A tiny Inuit community is stepping into the Hollywood limelight this weekend with a new festival designed to increase awareness about climate change in the north while simultaneously raising money to help local food insecurity.

The four-day fundraising event–called Kiss the Earth–aims to combine a series of tourism activities, educational workshops and film screenings to help attendees personally see and experience the impact that climate change is having in the Arctic.

Located on a small island between the Canadian mainland and Baffin Island, Igloolik is considered to be a cultural epicenter for the Inuit people.

In addition to having the world’s only Inuit circus troupe, Igloolik is also home to Theo Ikummaq, an Inuit elder who recently starred in the drama Chloe and Theo along with actress Dakota Johnson. The film, which was backed by billionaire Sir Richard Branson, tells the story of an Inuit (Ikummaq) who travels to New York City from his tiny Arctic village to tell the world: “My world is melting. Please help us.”

The festival will include a “green carpet” screening of Chloe and Theo, with Ikummaq himself on hand to answer questions.

Climate change is creating food insecurity as Northern people are not able to access traditional hunting areas and wildlife is impacted. Luckily, says Duane Wilson, vice president of merchandising and logistics at Arctic Co-Operatives Limited, although climate change is a huge issue that will require global initiatives, increasing food security is much easier to do on a local scale.

The money raised will go towards supporting Friends of the North‘s community programs such as food banks and a local network of social workers who help provide resources to those who are most in need within the community, says Wilson.

Northern outfitter Arctic Kingdom has created a fun and informative itinerary for festival attendees:

  • February 19, 2016 – Join Tundra Take Back as they present how they are cleaning up the Arctic by removing recyclable materials from Nunavut landfills. Wind up the day with a concert performance featuring throat singers, drum dancers and local school children.
  • February 20, 2016 – See local artisans turn stone into works of art. Green Carpet presentation of Chloe and Theo, starring Theo Ikummaq and Dakota Johnson. Mr. Ikummaq will answer questions. End your day at the VIP after party.
  • February 21, 2016 — Attend a screening of Chasing Ice, a National Geographic documentary. A roundtable discussion occurs after the screening with local elders and Mr. Ikummaq.
  • February 22, 2016 – Enjoy activities like dog-sledding, ice fishing, or building an igloo. Personally see and experience the impact that climate change is having in the Arctic.
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