Home Living Above & Beyond Raising funds for mental health in the Arctic

Raising funds for mental health in the Arctic

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L to R: Comics Nicole Etitiq, Bibi Bilodeau, Gabrielle Morrill, Jade Halcyon, Skye Plowman and Emily Blake perform at the Canadian North Arctic Comedy Festival October 9-10 at the Frobisher Inn in Iqaluit, Nunavut. © Northwestel/Northern Story

People say that laughter is good for the soul, and for the third straight year, the Canadian North Arctic Comedy Festival brought some of that magic to Iqaluit, Nunavut. 

Ten Northern comedians from Yellowknife and Iqaluit performed October 9‐10 for four shows at the Frobisher Inn, with special video appearances from top comics across Canada who were unable to travel due to COVID‐19 restrictions. 

“We are living through some pretty grim times,” says Jade Halcyon, Yellowknife comic and emcee for two of the four live shows. “Comedy is the reprieve from the storm. Laughter is the life raft, the hope for humanity. Then again, I’m probably the kind of person who would laugh on a sinking ship.” 

As a long‐time supporter of mental health, the Canadian North Arctic Comedy Festival partnered with the Nunavut Kamatsiatqut Help Line to raise funds for essential mental health services in the North. Funds were raised through the live shows, as well as donations through various virtual events presented during Mental Illness Awareness Week (October 4‐10), such as live Zoom events and online video presentations, featuring video submissions from comics from across Canada. 

Yellowknife performers Jade Halcyon, Skye Plowman and Emily Blake joined Iqaluit comics Bibi Bilodeau, Mary‐Lee Aliyak, Peter Autut, Azreer Gill (by tape from Cambridge Bay) and Nicole Etitiq for the four shows at the Frobisher Inn. 

Leading comedic talent from across Canada, including Mary Walsh, James Mullinger and Big Daddy Tazz, contributed taped sets for the festival’s virtual presentations.