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Showing on Jan 29-Feb 2

Playing at Waterfront Theatre

Collectif Aalaapi | La Messe Basse, (Nunavik | Montreal)


Crossing the boundaries of age, gender, and ethnicity in its collective authorship, AALAAPI | ᐋᓛᐱ enriches our lives with a nuanced understanding of contemporary Inuit experience. Combining the aesthetics of theatre and radio, the project takes us to the North. The focus is on two women living in Nunavik; over a long arc, we watch their lives play out. A radio is the centrepiece in their domestic setting, and through it come the sounds of an audio documentary. We listen along with the women, and eventually the broadcast comes under scrutiny in a process informed by ethical and political concerns.

Drawing on radio’s large role in the lives of Northern societies, this work makes brilliant use of the medium’s ambient quality—but never at the expense of engagement with the material itself. Collectif Aalaapi provokes us to critique the radio documentary and the ideology it engenders; the members have joined together to illuminate the politics of language and culture, and their invitation to the audience is to enlarge this union. Aalaapi has surtitles in English and French.

“[A] beguiling piece of documentary theatre… gives voice to the marginalised and opens our eyes and ears to lives far from our own.” —The Scotsman

“Constructed with skill and ingenuity… an absorbing and immersive piece of documentary theatre which demonstrates the true power of representation on stage.” —Le Devoir

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Artist Bio

Collective Aalaapi

In 2018, Laurence Dauphinais, theatre artist and Marie-Laurence Rancourt, sound artist, gather a group of Inuit and non-Inuit youth for the creation of a singular multidisciplinary piece where the spectator finds himself as a foreigner traveling north of the 55th parallel.

The hybrid project involves the creation of a radio documentary and then the creation of a play. The collective includes Akinisie Novalinga, Samantha Leclerc, Audrey Alasuak, Mélodie Duplessis and Louisa Naluiyuk, all young women from Nunavik that took part in the making of the radio documentary with Marie-Laurence Rancourt and Daniel Capeille, who are also part of the collective. Hannah Tooktoo, Nancy Saunders, Laurence Dauphinais and now Ulivia Uviluk and Angel Annanack, form the theatrical portion of the collective.

Aalaapi | ᐋᓛᐱ reflects the desire of the collective to position the piece in contrast to the often-conveyed images of the North. To open a door to a universe freed from clichés and preconceived ideas. It’s the possibility of meeting, both within the team and with the public. It’s an invitation to listen, as a means to better see. It’s a communion through bread and sound.


Waterfront Theatre

1412 Cartwright Street, Granville Island, Vancouver


  • January 29: 7:30
  • January 30: 4
  • February 1: 8
  • February 2: 8

Runtime: 100 mins

Streamed performance available starting January 29 at 7:30PM until February 2 at 11:59PM.


Single Tickets: $34


Icon signalling a deaf or hard of hearing friendly performance

This show will have Open Caption in English on Feb 1st

Icon signalling a performance with surtitles

In English, French and Inuktitut with subtitles alternating between English and French


Regarding the surtitles, with the exception of Feb 1st, the surtitles will be in English to translate anything said in French and Inuktitut, meaning there will be no English titles for anything spoken in English (there will be French surtitles). On Feb 1st all there will be Open Captions in English.

You can view or download the visual story. The visual story contains in formation to help people decide if this show is right for them and / or to prepare for the experience.


Produced by Collectif Aalaapi Original idea Laurence Dauphinais + Marie-Laurence Rancourt Directed by Laurence Dauphinais Radio documentary directed by Magnéto – Marie-Laurence Rancourt + Daniel Capeille Performed by Nancy Saunders and Ulivia Uviluk  Set Design Odile Gamache Lighting Design Chantal Labonté Music Antonin Wyss Sound and Video on tour Joël Lavoie Video Guillaume Vallée Other members of the collective Audrey Alasuak + Mélodie Duplessis + Caroline Jutras Boisclair + Samantha Leclerc + Louisa Naluiyuk + Akinisie Novalinga Assistant Director Charlie Cohen Set Design Assistant Nancy Saunders Translated by Brett Donahue + Nicolas Pirti-Duplessis Animation Camille Monette-Dubeau Tour Manager Charlotte Ménard Technical Director and Lighting Manager on tour Chantal Labonté Production Director of the original version Letícia Tórgo Production and touring La Messe Basse