What's Your Story? Youth Outreach

What's Your Story? is a youth outreach program that visits northern communities teaching youth various skills like theatre, storytelling, singing, spoken word and dance over the span of a day up to a week! Akpik Theatre developed this program to work with northern youth and artists in their community. We bring the teachers to you! Youth learn various forms of performance and at the end perform their own new work in front of a supportive audience.

Before we get started with the youth, the facilitators offer a pay-what-you-can performance in each community visited so you can get a sense of the work we do as professional artists. Prior to arriving, Akpik Theatre also sources out local artists to connect with. By having local artists part of the performance, youth begin to see their community as one that can foster the Arts. 

The main initiative is to help northern youth find their artistic voice. The goal is to have this outreach become a yearly event. You can help make that happen by booking us in advance so we can include you in our programming. We are also available to do classroom sessions that give a brief introduction to the work we do and get students involved.

IN COOPERATION WITH KEYANO COLLEGE We Are returning to The Wood Buffalo Region in 2016 to:

  • Fort Chipewyan
  • Fort McKay
  • Anzac
  • Conklin
  • Janvier
  • Fort McMurray

The 2016 What's Your Story? Youth Outreach tour is still being scheduled so let us know before we hit the road! If you are an organization that works with youth ages 12-17 and are located in a northern community please contact us. We would love to bring Arts into your classrooms and youth programs!

What's Your Story? Facilitators:

Reneltta Arluk - Akpik Theatre Founder/Artistic Director. Reneltta is of Inuvialuit and Dene descent originally from Fort Smith, NWT. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts – Acting degree from the University of Alberta in 2005 becoming the first Aboriginal woman as well as the first Inuk to graduate from that program. For over ten years Reneltta has been a part of or initiated the creation of Indigenous Theatre across various parts of Canada and overseas. She will teach the Theatre element of the workshop intensive.

Renee Benson – Singer/Songwriter/Actor graduate of prestigious Tisch School of the Arts from New York University. Renee has toured the stages of United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Holland, Germany, Austria, Denmark, Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria. From Hip Hop to Jazz, Renee performs confidently in all the genres she loves. Renee will teach Group Choral and Writing Script for Song element of workshop intensive.

Alex Twinn - A Plains Cree Actor and Dance Artist from the Swan River First Nation in Alberta, Alex is a graduate of the Centre for Indigenous Theatre. Most recent acting credits include: World premier of The Making Of Treaty 7, as a dance artist in two of Kaha:wi Dance Theatre's productions: Medicine Bear, and the World Premiere of The Honouring. He has also participated in several Canadian Festivals Including: 2011 Rubaboo Festival (Edmonton), 2012 Talking Stick Festival (Vancouver), 2012 Dancing On The Edge (Vancouver), 2012 Fresh Blood (Toronto) and 2013 Vanguardia Latin American Dance Festival. Alex will teach the Dance element of the workshop intensive.


  • Lucy Tulugarjuk - Fort Smith, NT
  • Ria Coleman - Fort Smith, NT
  • Gerry Antoine - Fort Simpson, NT

New What's Your Story? partnerships in 2015:

  • Keyano College Theatre Department. The facilitators and Keyano College organizer, Lauren Thomas, toured through the Wood Buffalo Alberta Region doing one-day workshops in six communities. We'll be returning to the same communities to do our longer programming in March of this year.


In My Words! ran in April 2015. Renee Benson (Song) , Reneltta Arluk (Theatre) and Micheala Leslie-Rule (Film) worked with the New Settlement Apartment Girls Program in South Bronx. In My Words! is an intensive arts workshop incorporating music, storytelling and filmmaking. Young women between the ages of 12-18 explore the role of the arts in personal growth, community health, and learn how to use art as a catalyst for social change. It was held during their spring recess, afterwards they shared their songs, lyrics, poems, self-created plays, and films to their appreciative South Bronx community. Another season of In My Words! is currently in planning for 2016.


IN partnership WITH keyano college:

  • Anzac
  • Conklin
  • Janvier
  • Fort Chipewyan
  • Fort McKay
  • Fort McMurray

Total of YOUTH Participated: 400

In 2013 What's Your Story? worked with:

  • Yellowknife's YWCA GirlSpace
  • Yellowknife Weledeh School
  • Yellowknife St. Pat’s HS Leadership Resiliency Program    
  • Fort Smith's Uncle Gabe's Friendship Centre
  • Fort Smith PWK High School    
  • Hay River's Diamond Jenness High School

Total of YOUTH Participated: 120

Thank you so much for reaching out to GirlSpace and sharing your passion and talents with us. It was really special!!!
Thank you so very much for making this happen. It was a pleasure having you here, please come back anytime.
That was an amazing event last night!! I was so impressed by how sincere, courageous and talented our kids presented their own work. Their words, their power, their art had me spellbound. They truly shared their story!! Last night I saw art as something different. It was needed art, not ornament art, not a show off. But real and powerful. To sum it up in my daughter’s words: That was WOW!
This was so terrific!!! I will miss this!

No Shame Pitch:

We are a grassroots organization and it takes much effort to make this happen. Akpik Theatre applies for arts funding to make this endeavor cost effective for the youth involved. Meaning we don't charge a fee per youth. However, we accept meals, donations, accommodations, and travel if it can be afforded. We are a northern based indigenous company and have no corporate sponsorship, yet. Any support you can offer is greatly appreciated!


Mahsi Cho Sponsorship: