Christine Tootoo is a performer and musician from Kangiqliniq (Rankin Inlet), NU, and currently based in Iqaluit, NU. She is an enigmatic and captivating actor in film and theatre. Tootoo is also an original cast member and creator of Kiviuq Returns: An Inuit Epic, produced by the Qaggiavuut! Society and directed by Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory. Kiviuq Returns: An Inuit Epic is an interdisciplinary performance that combines stunning costumes, drum dance, Inuit music and storytelling. It presents the story of Kiviuq, an Inuk hero who experiences many challenges as he travels home . Jerry Laisa, Miali Buscemi, Natashia Allakariallak, Kathleen Ivaluarjuk Merritt and Chad Hayohok also starred in Kiviuq Returns: An Inuit Epic, and the production was based on legends shared by elders Miriam Aglukark, Susan Avingaq, Madeline Ivalu and Qaunaq Mikigak.
Kiviuq Returns: An Inuit Epic was performed in summer 2017 at the Banff Centre for the Arts and Creativity in Banff, AB, the Alianait Arts Festival in Iqaluit, NU, the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts in Kingston, ON, the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, ON and the Fleck Dance Theatre in Toronto, ON . Tootoo was part of the touring cast for the theatre production in Nunavut and Ontario in 2017, as well as in Greenland and Toronto in 2018 and 2019. Tootoo has described the power of performing arts by noting that “this is going to be a big part of the healing that we need and it will help Inuit see that we’re so resilient and awesome” .
Tootoo has toured with the theatre production nationally and internationally. She also performed drum dancing and throat singing with the Inuksuk Drum Dancers in Ottawa, ON, Iqaluit, NU and Greenland, and is a talented button accordion player. Tootoo completed button accordion mentorships with Nunavut musicians Simeonie Keenainak, Jeannie Nungaq and Zebedee Nungaq. Tootoo has also performed at multiple festivals and events in Canada, such as the Folk Alliance Festival in Montreal, QC, the Folk on the Rocks Festival in Yellowknife, NT, and the Alianait Arts Festival in Iqaluit, NU. In 2016, Tootoo starred in the feature film “Iqaluit” (2016) directed and written by Quebec director Benoît Pilon. She is also an educator, and has led workshops throughout Nunavut to teach youth about Inuit performing arts.