2019 Keynote Speaker: Tanya Tagaq

FAI 2019 Keynote Speaker - Tanya Tagaq

2019 Keynote Speaker: Tanya Tagaq

We’re thrilled to announce Tanya Tagaq as our 2019 keynote speaker. She is a celebrated Inuk throat singer from Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, in the Canadian Arctic, who employs exquisite, unnerving vocal improvisations that bridge traditional roots with contemporary culture.

Tanya is a 2014 Polaris Prize-winning recording artist (Animism), author of a 2018 Scotiabank Giller Prize longlisted novel (Split Tooth), an actress, a painter, and has collaborated extensively with Bjork, Kronos Quartet, Shooglenifty, and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

The recipient of multiple Juno Awards, a Canadian Folk Music Award, and a 2016 International Folk Music Award nominee, her work addresses topics ranging from food sovereignty and environmental issues to the plight of women and indigenous peoples.

Her improvised live performance to accompany screenings of Robert J Flaherty’s 1922 silent black-and-white film, Nanook of the North explores the colonial nature of appropriation and recalibrates a contrived “happy Eskimo” facade to a visceral portrayal of a people deeply connected to the land, elements, animals, and spirit.

She has been hailed as “one of today’s most electric, transfixing performers in any genre” (Rolling Stone), “forthright and opinionated” (The Guardian), and “fiercely contemporary” (The New York Times) and her novel remains on the Toronto Star’s best-seller list as of January 2019.

Tagaq is a mother of two and a Member of the Order of Canada, one of the country’s highest honors.

Past FAI keynote speakers have included Judy Collins, Al Gore, Billy Bragg, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Graham Nash, Ani DiFranco, and more.

This year’s keynote will be on Saturday, February 16, at 1:00pm. To view more daytime programming and plan your time at #FAIMontreal, check out our schedule here!

Check out more of Tanya Tagaq’s work here:

Tanya’s Website
Tanya’s YouTube
Interview on World Cafe