• Co-creators Reneltta Arluk, Rawdna Carita Eira and Alon Nashman

Kiuryaq is an immersive circumpolar performance that explores our relationship with the Northern Lights. Created by musical, digital, and theatre artists from Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples of Canada, Sápmi, Greenland, and Alaska, this piece follows threads of stories which weave through the aurora borealis, or Kiuryaq in director Reneltta Arluk’s Inuvialuktun language.

These stories - frightening, spiritual, epic and playful - are situated in our connection to and our relationship with Kiuryaq. Our lived experiences, imagined and real, along with our traditions converge and interweave within each other in ways we could not have envisioned. Kiuryaq situates these stories in an overarching narrative about two siblings separated by an adoption from a northern Indigenous community. Sister and brother, one raised under the aurora and the other raised with no experience of their place of origin, are reunited by the Northern Lights. Kiuryaq is a transformative performance for northern audiences, southern audiences, and across all borders.


Akpik Theatre was founded in the Northwest Territories in 2008. The company adheres to its namesake, the cloudberry, striving to flourish in the northern climate it reflects. Akpik Theatre develops stories of the circumpolar, whether oral tradition or contemporary inspiration, into dynamic professional theatre productions. They encourage and mentor the development of Indigenous stories, preferably within but not limited to northern communities, with the potential of adapting these stories for live performance. In addition to presenting professional northern and/or Indigenous scripts for local, national, and international audiences, engaging actors, and theatre professionals from the north and across Canada, Akpik Theatre produces live/audio/film productions that inhabit at least one of these qualities.

Theaturtle was established in 1999 to create essential, ecstatic theatre that touches the earth and ignites the soul. The company develops its work slowly, with intention and passion, then glides into national and international waters to share its physically and musically robust theatre.

Creative team

  • Co-creators Reneltta Arluk, Rawdna Carita Eira and Alon Nashman
  • Co-directors Reneltta Arluk and Carmen Braden
  • Music Carmen Braden
  • Choreographer Mique’l Icesis Dangeli
  • Performers Yolanda Bonnell, Salik Lennert, Elin Oska
  • Set and video design Hailey Verbonac
  • Lighting design Bonnie Beecher
  • Costume design Samantha McCue
  • Film production Davis Heslep
  • Collaborating filmmakers Riddle Films

National Creation Fund investment

The National Creation Fund’s investment of $150,000 makes it possible for the core creative team to gather in circumpolar communities, each home to a different member of the team, and learn songs and language in each locale as well as witnessing the aurora within a new landscape. Building upon Akpik Theatre’s land-based practice, the artists will learn from the culture keepers in each community, as they gather and rehearse. The Fund’s investment also supports a 10-day design workshop, providing time for the company to experiment with immersive projection models that can be scaled for a variety of performance sites.


Created with the support of Canada Council for the Arts, Northern Arts and Cultural Centre, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Geordie Theatre, The Sámi National Theatre Beaivváš, Suialaa Arts Festival, Greenland (formerly Nuuk Nordisk). 

Developed with support from the National Arts Centre's National Creation Fund.

Performance dates

Past performances

Premiering in 2025.