Northern News Services: Article on NMAC partnership announcement

Monday, September 30, 2013: IBC to get new home – $5.1-million facility expected to be completed by 2015. Written by Cody Punter.

Nunavut’s television and film industry got a huge boost on September 25, as the Inuit Broadcasting Corporation (IBC) announced that it will be building the Nunavut Media Arts Centre (NMAC) in Iqaluit.

“This has really been a long time coming,”said Debbie Brisebois, executive director at IBC. “Hopefully it opens a lot of opportunities for a lot of people.”

The NMAC will be Nunavut’s first full-scale, state-of-the-art, digital audio, video, recording, performance and post-production facility.

The IBC currently has a studio, but it is housed in an old government building, which was not intended to be used as a studio.

“It’ll be a facility that will be more conducive for more production,” said Brisebois of the new centre.

According to Brisebois, IBC has been expanding in recent years. It has even started producing original shows, including the popular ‘Qanurli?’.

Qanurli?’s producer Stacey MacDonald said the upgrades are very much needed.

“We’re already spilling out of our office. We don’t have a lot of space,” said MacDonald.

On top of the lack of space, MacDonald said the current studio has poor sound quality.

“If you listen closely to our show, you can probably hear a low-pitched hum,” said MacDonald.

The centre will also house the Inuit Film and Video Archive.

Brisebois said the IBC currently has over thirty years worth of archived footage that need a home.

“Really at this point, they’re not stored properly, and worst of all, they’re not accessible to the public,” said Brisebois.

By providing a digital, high definition studio with editing capabilities, Brisebois hopes the new centre will offer a forum for new talent to thrive, from local and territorial freelancers, to medium-sized production companies and international broadcasters.

“Hopefully this will provide the opportunity to expand,” said Brisebois.

Three Inuit-owned firms – Qikiqtaaluk Corporation, NCC Properties Limited and Atuqtuarvik Corporation – will partner with IBC in the construction and financing of the project

Together, the three firms and IBC have formed a new company, Sanavallianiq Limited, with the specific intention of completing construction of the NMAC.

Construction is expected to begin next summer and it is hoped the Arts Centre will be complete in early 2015.

The cost of the new building, $5.2 million, will be funded and administered by Sanavallianiq Ltd.

The foundations for the building were installed several years ago and will be re-used for construction of the new centre.

Brisebois said IBC is still working on obtaining financial support for $3.1 million for the furniture, modern media equipment and other related costs.

She said IBC is continuing to apply to territorial and federal programs. It is also actively seeking the establishment of public and other private partnerships.

“I feel quite optimistic now that we’ve entered into a partnership,” said Brisebois. “That’s our next big step.”

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