Touring in 2026

Creative Team

  • Written by: Reneltta Arluk, Rawdna Carita Eira, Alon Nashman
  • Directed by: Reneltta Arluk and Carmen Braden
  • Music by: Carmen Braden
  • Choreographed by: Mique’l Icesis Dangeli
  • Performed by: Yolanda Bonnell, Salik Lennert, Elin Oskal
  • Set and Video Design: Hailey Verbonac
  • Lighting Design: Bonnie Beecher
  • Costume Design: Samantha McCue
  • Film Production: Davis Heslep
  • Collaborating Filmmakers: Riddle Films

Kiuryaq is an immersive circumpolar experience exploring the power and mystery of the Northern Lights. It is an interdisciplinary piece created by musical, visual and theatre artists from Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples of Canada, Greenland, and Sápmi. We have been following the 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 memories and experiences, and in our traditions which converge and talk to each other in ways we could not have imagined. Kiuryaq situates these stories in an overarching narrative about two siblings separated by a forced adoption from a Northern Indigenous community. Brother and sister, one raised under the Aurora and the other raised with no knowledge of their place of origin, are brought together by the Northern Lights. Kiuryaq is a transformative performance which knits the circumpolar region together and offers its wisdom to the planet. In form, Kiuryaq is a blend of concert, with original music played by live string quartet and singer, theatre, with three performers embodying multiple roles, and film, with expansive, immersive projections. It is being designed to tour and have impact in multiple performance venues and for various communities, from large concert halls, theatres and planetariums, to snow amphitheatres and Northern community centres.

Reneltta Arluk, Creator/Director

Reneltta is an Inuvialuit, Dene and Cree mom from the Northwest Territories. She is founder of Akpik Theatre, a northern focussed professional Indigenous Theatre company. Raised by her grandparents on the trap-line until school age, this nomadic environment gave Reneltta the skills to become the multi-disciplined artist she is now. For nearly two decades, Reneltta has taken part in or initiated the creation of Indigenous Theatre across Canada and overseas. Under Akpik Theatre, Reneltta has written, produced, and performed various works creating space for Indigenous led voice. Current works include Pawâkan Macbeth, a Plains Cree takeover of Macbeth written by Arluk on Treaty 6 territory. Pawâkan Macbeth was inspired by working with youth and elders on the Frog Lake reserve. Reneltta is the first Inuk and first Indigenous woman to graduate of the University of Alberta’s BFA Acting program and Reneltta is the first Inuk and first Indigenous woman to direct at The Stratford Festival. There she was awarded the Tyrone Guthrie – Derek F. Mitchell Artistic Director’s Award for her direction of the The Breathing Hole, a piece she also directed at Canada’s National Arts Centre. In 2020, she co-directed Messiah/Complex with Against the Grain Theatre, a distinctive interpretation of Handel’s Messiah with soloist from every region of Canada, including many Indigenous performers singing in their own languages. Reneltta is former Director of Indigenous Arts at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, and is currently Senior Manager of Indigenous Ways and Decolonization and the National Gallery of Canada.


Rawdna Carita Eira, Creator/Writer

Rawdna Carita Eira is a Sami Norwegian writer and playwright, born in Elverum and raised in Brønnøysund. She writes in Norwegian and Northern Sami. As a playwright, Eira debuted with the monologue Elle muitalus / Elens historie in 2003, where she herself played the lead role, and has since written several plays for the Sami National Theater Beaivváš . In 2012, her play Guohcanuori šuvva / Sangen fra Rotsundet , was staged at Beaivváš Theater. The play was nominated for the Ibsen Prize. Eira now lives in Guovdageaidnu / Kautokeino and works as a director at Beaivváš Sami National Theater. Eira is also a lyricist and vocalist in the band Circus Polaria with musicians Roger Ludvigsen and Kjetil Dalland. Eira has written the text in the Sami part of the opera Two Odysseys: Pimooteewin / Gállabártnit. In 2020, the opera was nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore Award for “Outstanding Opera Production” and was awarded the prize for “Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble”.

Alon Nashman, Creator/Producer

Alon Nashman is a performer, director, creator, and producer of theatre. Selected acting credits include: The Breathing Hole (National Arts Centre), Birds of a Kind, Hirsch (Stratford Festival), I send you this cadmium red (Art of Time Ensemble), Much Ado About Nothing, Forests, Scorched, Democracy, Remnants, Alias Godot (Tarragon Theatre), Hamlet, All’s Well That Ends Well, Botticelli in the Fire/Sunday in Sodom, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, THIS (Canadian Stage), The Wild Duck (Soulpepper), Hedda Gabler (Volcano/Buddies in Bad Times), If Jesus Met Nanabush (De-ba-jeh-mu-jig Theatre), and Tales of Two Cities (Tafelmusik). Alon established Theaturtle in 1999 to create essential, ecstatic theatre that touches the earth and agitates the soul. With Theaturtle, Alon has been involved with the creation and touring of numerous theatre pieces, such as Adam Nashman’s The Song, Wajdi Mouawad’s Alphonse, Kafka and Son developed with Mark Cassidy of Threshold Theatre, and The Snow Queen, scored for string quartet and narrator by Patrick Cardy. Alon wrote the libretto for Charlotte: A Tri-coloured Play with Music which premiered at Toronto’s Luminato Festival and has toured to Taiwan, Israel and Europe, including the Czech National Opera.

Carmen Braden, Composer/co-Director

Carmen Braden is a versatile, genre-jumping musician from the Canadian sub-Arctic. Winner of the 2019 and 2020 Western Canadian Music Award for Classical Composer of the Year, Carmen is a composer/performer based in her hometown of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. Hailed as “a talented, bold musician” (Up Here Magazine)Carmen is a life-long Northerner whose music has been described as “drop-dead gorgeous” (Ottawa Citizen). Carmen’s second studio album Songs of the Invisible Summer Stars (2019) was nominated for an East Coast Music Award for Classical Album of the Year. Her debut studio album Ravens was released in 2017 – both albums are on the Centrediscs label.