in partnership with Presentation House Theatre

ARVAARLUK: An Inuit Tale

Join us for a tale of Canada's far north in a new theatre-for-young-audiences play with breathtaking puppetry, masks, throat-singing and projections.


Starring acclaimed storyteller and author Michael Kusugak.

Brought to life by theatre artists from Pangaea Arts!

January 28 to February 2, 2014!

School Performances:
January 28, 29, 30: 10am and 1pm
January 31: 1pm

Public performances:
January 31: 7pm, February 1, 2: 1pm & 4pm

At Presentation House Theatre in North Vancouver
(333 Chesterfield Ave, North Vancouver)
Public performances Jan 31 - Feb 2

Director Heidi Specht leads Lenard Stanga, Heidi Specht and storyteller Michael Kusugak in the cast. The show features projection design and set by Jamie Nesbitt, lighting design by Parjad Sharifi, masks by Gina Bastone, puppets (including a huge polar bear) by Rick Holloway, animation by Ippiksaut Friesen. Sound design is by Judy Specht, featuring original throat singing by Lois Suluk-Locke and Kathleen Merritt. Props and shadow puppets are by Heidi Wilkinson. Costumes are by Lois Suluk-Locke and Margaret Mckea. Props, costumes and all aspects of production were assisted by cultural consultant Geraldine Pflueger.

Please download this information as a printable brochure.

ARVAARLUK: An Inuit Tale -_Brochure.pdf
(442 KB)

“These stories are fading rapidly. Inuit traditional stories are largely unknown. We do not live the way we did when I was a kid. My sons were the first generation brought up living in houses. The storyteller was replaced by books from the south and worse yet by a box called a TV... I want to restore, protect and revive the traditional stories that shaped me as a boy. We need to share them with other cultures in the world to see their true value.”

– Michael Kusugak

ARVAARLUK: AN INUIT TALE is a theatre-for-young-audiences play that brings to life traditional Inuit folktales and personal tales of Michael Kusugak's childhood growing up in Canada’s far north. From living with the threat of polar bears and hunting seals, to building igloos, the audience will hear and see firsthand the stories and images that shaped the imagination of one of Canada’s finest Inuit writers. Meet KAUGJAGJUK, a mistreated orphan boy who gains the strength to stand up for himself. Go undersea with NALIAJUK, who controls the sea creatures, and whose long hair gets tangled and knotted until she is calmed by a shaman.

This production brings a rich cultural tradition to life, combining Inuit storytelling and throat-singing with physical theatre, comedy, breathtaking puppetry, masks and costumes, while the audience is transported to the North using unique video projection techniques.


Language Arts: Storytelling, Folklore, Mythology

Social Studies: Geography, Culture, History, Cultural Characteristics of Canadian Society

Theatre Arts: Creative Expression, Puppetry, Mask, Costume, Music

Science: Environment, Behaviour of Animals


Arvaarluk: An Inuit Tale is a 50-minute play, suitable for grades K-7.


“Our students were captivated for the full 50 minutes. It was truly a magical experience for both our k/1’s and our Grade 4/5s. They excitedly talked about it on our whole transit trip home.
- Grandview/¿uuqinak'uuh Elementary School, Aboriginal Education Enhancement Teacher

“Remarkable production! It was funny, warm, moving and engaging. We loved the audience participation!”
- Macdonald Elementary, David Butler

“As an educator I loved the price, and the opportunity to hear an Inuit person describe his experiences. It was much more authentic than I, as a Caucasian teacher, trying to explain what life is like for the Inuit. I thought Michael was great as the narrator and enjoyed the actors, the stories, the puppets, masks, polar bear, etc. It was very well done. The students liked the stories so much they wished they could have heard more of them. They loved the polar bear, the costumes, and the audience participation.”
- Queen Victoria Annex, Scott Lundell

About Michael Arvaarluk Kusugak

Michael is a gifted Inuit storyteller and performer, originally from Repulse Bay in Nunavut. He has written ten books that have been published and distributed throughout Canada, the United States and Internationally. Michael’s work has won the Ruth Schwartz Award for children’s literature and has been short listed for various other awards, including the Anskohk Aboriginal Award in Saskatchewan. Michael was awarded the prestigious Vicky Metcalf Award for a body of work in Children’s Literature in November 2008. For more information see


Pangaea Arts gratefully acknowledges the support of: