The Jerry Cans

The Jerry Cans (NU)


Welcome to Iqaluit, the capital of Nunavut. It’s a little more than 2,000 kilometers north of Montreal, more than 3,500 from Vancouver. Twenty minutes by small plane south of the Arctic Circle. Three days by dogsled from the closest community. Insanely high food costs. A few less than 7,000 people, and pretty well everyone has access to a truck or a snowmobile. And everyone has jerry cans full of gasoline.

Iqaluit is home to the The Jerry Cans. Some down-south writers have described them as a cross between the Clash and the Pogues — and that’s not too far from the mark. Try to imagine Inuk throat singing mixed with the fire and energy of a Celtic band in a packed bar, and then add a hint of reggae, the gruff passion of Johnny Cash, powerful fiddle parts and rough-hewn vocals in Inuktitut and English.

Their “politics” expresses hope and encouragement for young people in the North, and the need to preserve a distinct culture. And the “message” is that you should dance, and that you should get to know more — a lot more — about Canada’s north. This truly unique band will take you on a stroll through the streets of Iqaluit to share a glimpse of Arctic life.

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