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William Tagoona - Compagnon des arts et des lettres du Québec

Prix et reconnaissances

On June 10, 2024, William Tagoona received the insignia of the Ordre des arts et des lettres du Québec, a prestigious distinction bestowed to personalities whose exemplary achievements reflect the artistic and literary development of Quebec. Discover the tribute paid to him by the Council.

Born in 1952 in Nunavut and living in Nunavik since 1971, William Tagoona found in music the strength to resist the loss of his mother tongue and culture. A self-taught musician, at age 13 he was the founding member and singer for the first Inuit rock band, The Harpoons, while at residential school in Manitoba. In the wake, he became the pioneer of Inuit country music, a recognized, popular style. Breaking down barriers of isolation of his people, his songs, written in Inuktitut, depict a parallel reality, with its own challenges, history, and dreams.

A singer-songwriter, as well as journalist, radio host, founder and editor of the magazine Taqralik, record producer and president of the Avataq Cultural Institute, William Tagoona has left his mark on and inspired generations of artists. Some 30 albums have emerged from his recording studio in Kuujjuaq, demonstrating the vitality and evolution of Inuit music. In 1999, the Aboriginal Music Awards honoured his engagement and achievements, and CBC North presented him with an Award of Excellence in Broadcasting.

A legend in the North, hearing his voice elicits pride in so many. For the past four decades, he has managed to make the improbable a reality, demonstrating how to create and thrive in Inuktitut.

About the Ordre des arts et des lettres du Québec

The Ordre des arts et des lettres du Québec This link will open in a new window is a distinction of the Council which aims to honor people who have made a remarkable contribution, through their commitment and dedication, to the development, promotion or influence of the arts and letters of Quebec. .

The Council would like to thank its partners, the Caisse de la Culture and the newspaper Le Devoir.

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