Many years ago, Neil Christopher moved to Resolute Bay in northern Canada. Neil quickly fell in love with the North – the landscape, the wildlife, and the culture. It was also in those first years in the North that Neil was introduced to the rich mythology of the Canadian Inuit. For the last 10 years, Neil has been researching Inuit myths and legends and has used this research to develop publications for children, youth, and adults. In 2012, Neil wrote and directed his first animated film, Amaqqut Nunaat: The Country of Wolves. This film was an international success, garnering numerous awards and critical acclaim. The success of that film prompted Neil to start the film company Taqqut Productions with his publishing colleagues, Louise Flaherty and Danny Christopher.
As Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director of The 7 Fingers, Patrick Léonard co-directed Temporel, Vice & Vertu, La Vie and Loft, and performed in all four. In 2011, he created Patinoire, his first one-man show, and has been touring with it ever since, including a one-month run at the Avignon Festival in 2014. He regularly participates in The Fibonacci Project, and was cast as the main character with his two daughters in Amuse Un Dia (2013). In 2015, he co-directed the acrobatics in Moby Dick, directed by Dominic Champagne. Patrick has been travelling to Nunavut in Canada’s Far North to work with ArtCirq since 2014.
These collaborations led to the artistic co-direction of Unikkaaqtuat, a multidisciplinary production by Artcirq, The 7 Fingers, and Taqqut Productions. The show premieres in 2020 in Ottawa. Patrick also directs, acts, and performs in many of The 7 Fingers’ social cause projects and special events.
A quadruple Canadian champion in artistic roller skating, Patrick trained at the National Circus School after earning a bachelor’s in chemistry. He began his performing career as a clown and diabolo artist at the Casino de Montréal before performing in German cabarets (Wintergarten, Friedrichsbau Varieté, Pomp Duck and Circumstance), Teatro Zinzanni, and with Cirque du Soleil and Circus Knie. In 2003, Patrick was awarded the Prix Nikouline for his diabolo duo with Sébastien Soldevila at the Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain in Paris.
Born into a family of anthropologists, Guillaume Ittukssarjuat Saladin grew up partly in Igloolik up until the age of 15. After completing a bachelor’s degree in Sociology & Communication at UQAM in 1998, he helped start Artcirq while attending the National Circus School in Montreal. In 2001, Guillaume joined Cirque Éloize as an acrobat and performer for the four-year tour of the show Nomade, directed by the well-known Daniele Finzi Pasca. Since 2005, Guillaume has dedicated his passion and career to collaboratively leading Artcirq in Igloolik with the goal to improve opportunities for youth in Canada’s Arctic.
Terry Uyarak is one of the co-directors of Artcirq and the isumataq (thinker) of the group. He joined Artcirq in 2006 as a musician, juggler, and actor. Being a passionate hunter, he has been heavily involved in Artcirq’s cultural expeditions out on the land. Today he is a youth program manager for the Culture and Heritage Department of the Governement of Nunavut.
Germaine Arnaktauyok is an Inuit artist and illustrator, best known for her prints and etchings depicting Inuit myths and traditional ways of life. In 1999, she designed the special edition two-dollar coin commemorating the founding of the territory of Nunavut. She is the co-author, with Gyu Oh, of My Name Is Arnaktauyok: The Life and Art of Germaine Arnaktauyok. She lives in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories.