Saali Kuata

Saali Kuata
Courtesy the artist


Saali Kuata (Charlie Gordon) is an emerging circus artist, photographer and filmmaker working between Kuujjuaq, Nunavik, QC and Montreal, QC. Kuata is committed to teaching and mentoring Nunavik Inuit youth at the CIRQINIQ camp program; an agreement between Cirque du Monde and Kativik Regional Government. Kuata specializes in performing aerial maneuvers, such as rope-walking and trapeze, stilt walking, acting, juggling and acrobatics.

Kuata co-founded the first Nunavik Inuit circus organization - Tupiq A.C.T (Arctic Circus Troupe), in August 2018. “Tupiq A.C.T aims to preserve and promote Inuit culture and traditions and combine them with contemporary circus arts,” he explains [1]. His circus performances often represent Inuit legends, traditional hunting practices, spirituality and more to “empower Inuit” [2]. He has performed in several festivals and events, such as Caravan Co-op Caberet ZMALA in 2018 in Quebec City, QC. Caravan Co-op Caberet ZMALA presented various elements of Inuit culture, traditional hunting and spiritual practices, and legends through circus performances, stunning costumes, Inuit games and throat singing. In September 2017, Kuata performed as Charlie the Caribou with Tundra Circus, a circus troupe composed of Inuit and non-Inuit circus artists to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the United Nations’ Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Kuata was also involved the development of a new circus production Unikkaaqtuaq in the spring of 2019 in Iglulik (Igloolik), NU and summer 2019 in Montreal, QC. Unikkaaqtuaq was created with other Inuit performing arts organizations, such as Artcirq in Iglulik, NU and Taqqut Productions in Iqaluit, NU. It uses circus performances, light, sound, projections and music to present Inuit legends and myths based on drawings created by Yellowknife-based visual artist Germaine Arnaktauyok [3].

Kuata is also a self-taught photographer and filmmaker. His digital and analog photographs present urban landscapes, scenes from nature, memories, personal experiences and events, such as Indigenous Awareness Day dance performances at John Abbott College in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, QC. He also wrote, directed and created the original music and sound design for his first film, Kinauvunga (Who am I?/Who I am) in 2018 with Wapikoni Mobile. The film presents Kuata’s exploration of his identity as a young Inuk through his involvement in circus arts and hopes to continue to contribute to his community. He also co-created the sound recordings for additional productions.

Artist Work

About Saali Kuata


Performing Arts, Photography

Artistic Community:

Kuujjuaq, QC

Date of Birth:

Artists may have multiple birth years listed as a result of when and where they were born. For example, an artist born in the early twentieth century in a camp outside of a community centre may not know/have known their exact date of birth and identified different years.