February 25, 2004 – In collaboration with the Society for Arts and Technology (SAT) in Montreal and its SAT aRt&D unit, Igloolik Isuma Productions, the creative team behind the internationally acclaimed Inuit feature film Atanarjuat The Fast Runner, organized a internet video conference between Montreal and Iqaluit on February 25 to mark the roll out of broadband Internet across Nunavut in 2004.
A temporary high speed connection was installed in Iqaluit by the Nunavut Broadband Development Corporation, the non-profit group brokering broadband access for all of Nunavut’s 25 communities, linking the SAT network in Montreal. Montreal participants were Norman Cohn (producer/cinematographer of Atanarjuat and secretary-treasurer of Isuma), Jayson Kunnuk (independent Inuk media artist), Stephane Rituit (Isuma), and Danish author Jorn Riel, whose award-winning novel Le Jour avant le lendemain is currently being adapted by Isuma into a feature film script. The webcast allowed Jorn Riel to be formally introduced to Zacharias Kunuk (director of Atanarjuat) in Iqaluit. Other Iqaluit participants included the Nunavut Minister of Sustainable Development, Olayuk Akesuk, a great supporter of bringing broadband internet to Inuit communities. The event also included streaming the first two episodes of Isuma’s 13-part Nunavut Series to showcase how broadband internet in conjunction with high quality content providers like Isuma will preserve and enhance Inuit culture. This developement is part of the SAT’s endeavor to form canadian partnerships in the Open Territories project led by SAT and its research network, through the Canadian Culture Online Program of Canadian Heritage.