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  • Julie Spackman

Cultural Gala Connects Past, Present, and Future

When the last rays of the day’s sun paint the tops of the Chugach mountain range the Glenn Massay Theater comes alive with the Arctic Winter Games Cultural Gala. 

Every Arctic Winter Game holds a Cultural Gala. Galas are theatrical representations of the different cultures represented in the Games. Each team has a performance troupe in addition to the athletes. The performers practice all week for the final Gala. Over the last five days, troupes have held live practices in pop-up performances around the Mat-Su. 

The Mat-Su Winter Arctic Winter Games’ theme ‘Rising Strong Together’ is the heart of  Friday’s gala. Gala directors Erin Tripp and Rio Alberto say in the Gala program that the stage holds the Northern People’s past, present and future. “We hope that you feel that sense of connection as you hear the voices lifted and hear the drum beating.”

Friday’s Gala decorations turn the Glenn Massay Theatre into the Auroras. The audience will feel as if they have been invited to grab hold of a ribbon of the Aurora and travel the circumpolar North as the lights touch down in different lands.

Galas interconnect all of the Northern cultures represented in the Games. On Friday the audience can look forward to a variety of performances, from powwow dancing from Alberta North to yoiks from the Sami performers.  Together they rise - voices from across the North. Rising strong as they sing and dance their way into the hearts and imaginations of the audience.

Tickets for the 3 p.m. matinee are still available at


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