Okanagan College joins forces with Route97

Okanagan College joins forces with Route97 Culture to present fast-rising throat singing duo – PIQSIQ in Penticton

Live music will return to Okanagan College’s Penticton campus this November 4, 2022, for students and music fans alike.

In collaboration with the Route97 Culture Road Trip series, Okanagan College will co-present the debut of PIQSIQ in the region, who will perform a special concert inside the LEED Platinum-certified building known as the Centre of Excellence in Room 113. You can buy tickets for the show here.

With a style perpetually galvanized by darkness and haunting Northern beauty, sisters Tiffany Ayalik and Inuksuk Mackay come together to create the Inuit-style throat-singing duo PIQSIQ. Rooted in Nunavut’s Kitikmeot and Kivalliq regions, where the sisters grew up in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, inspired by endless sunlight which shines for two short summer months and deep, wintery darkness which consumes the rest of the year, the duo leave their listeners enthralled with the infinity of possible answers to the question “what is the meaning of life?”

As PIQSIQ, the sisters perform improvisational looping live and incorporate the winter darkness and ethereal feel creating a dynamic audience experience that changes with every show. PIQSIQ has recorded four studio albums to date, and their album Taaqtuq Ubluriaq: Dark Star charted for several months nationally in the top 30 featured in both the electronic and national categories.

Alison Gibson, Regional Dean for South Okanagan-Similkameen for Okanagan College, sees the Route97 Culture Road Trip Series as a phenomenal cultural experience for students and community members alike.

“Celebrating and weaving Indigenous culture into all aspects of college life is deeply important to us at Okanagan College,” notes Gibson. “This is such an exciting opportunity, not only for our college community but for the entire region. We are honoured to have PIQSIQ on campus, and we are proud to partner with Route97 Culture to be able to make this event possible. We look forward to opening our doors and inviting the community to join us in experiencing first-hand these remarkable artists.”

PIQSIQ, fresh off performing at numerous Canadian festivals this summer, will now bring their powerful live concert experience to Okanagan audiences. After years of forging hard-won skill, PIQSIQ has developed their own musical form, blending haunting melodies with otherworldly sounds. Approaching adulthood, the sisters realized throat singing was not only a musical expression but a radical political act of cultural revitalization. Expect to be awed by the power and beauty of PIQSIQ as they blend magic with sound.

Mark Greenhalgh of Penticton’s Misty Mountain Productions is one of the co-creators behind the Route97 Culture Road Trip Series, and he is looking forward to the PIQSIQ show:

“We are so excited to be bringing PIQSIQ to Penticton and Okanagan College! It’s an important aspect of the programming we do in presenting cultural artists that are embracing modern technology in music-making along with traditional sounds and, especially in the case of PIQSIQ, vocalization. We are extremely fortunate to have many of the world’s top Indigenous artists be from our part of Turtle Island! PIQSIQ is quickly rising, and we are so excited for the concert at Okanagan College on November 4. It promises to be an amazing experience.”

Tanja Wilson, Indigenous Student Services Coordinator, Okanagan College, Penticton Campus, also recommends checking out the PIQSIQ show:

“Bringing Indigenous Cultural Events to the Penticton area is of the utmost importance so that we can educate everyone on how talented, loving and caring our people are. The Route97 Cultural Road Trip Series is a huge factor in doing this. I highly recommend that everyone take in at least one of their performances, preferably the one being held at the Penticton campus of the Okanagan College on November 4, 2022, featuring PIQSIQ.”

Mandy Wheelwright from Blister Management, a full-time career artist manager with artists Frazey Ford, Kinnie Starr, Steph Cameron and The Be Good Tanyas on her roster, is the other co-creator behind the Route97 Culture Road Trip Series, and she sees a bright future for live music returning to the college campus:

“For a long time, many artists developed their careers by performing at colleges and universities across the country. In the last 15 years, live music presentation with fantastic original Canadian artists, who write and perform their own music, has fallen off the campus list of activities. We aim to correct this imbalance and bring exceptional, inspiring artists back to campus for both students and the wider public to enjoy. PIQSIQ is the perfect artistic duo to launch our campus concerts.”

PIQSIQ is set to perform at Penticton’s Okanagan College Campus in Room 113 this fall on November 4, 2022. Doors are at 7 pm. You can buy tickets for the show here.

In addition to the PIQSIQ show, the Route97 Culture Road Trip Series continues with a mix of emerging and nationally recognized artists, such as:

  • Grammy Award-winning musician Alex Cuba (October 21, 2022, at the Cleland Community Theatre)
  • CBC darling and JUNO-Award Nominee Begonia (November 21, 2022, at the Cleland Community Theatre)


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