Elisapie was born and raised in Salluit, a small village in Nunavik (the northern region of Quebec). In this community, accessible only by plane, Elisapie was raised by an extended caring, yet slightly dysfunctional, adoptive family. Growing up there she lived through the loss of cousins who ended their lives, experienced young love, witnessed first hand the effects of colonialism, and danced the night away at the village’s community center.
As a teenager, Elisapie began performing on stage with her uncles, who were themselves members of a famous Inuit rock ’n’ roll band named Sugluk (also known as Salluit Band). During the same time, she worked at TNI, the village's radio station which broadcast all over Nunavik, and managed to secure an interview with Metallica at age 15. She moved to Montreal as a bright and ambitious young woman to study and, ultimately, pursue a career in music. Since then, her work has always integrated Inuit themes and rock music. Today, Elisapie is an emblematic Canadian Inuk singer-songwriter.
Since winning her first Juno Award in 2005 with Taima, her band at the time, Elisapie’s body of work has been frequently praised. Her 2018 album The Ballad of the Runaway Girl was shortlisted for the Polaris Music Prize, earned her numerous Félix Awards, and received a nomination at the Junos. Following this critically acclaimed album, Elisapie performed with the Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal to the invitation of Yannick Nézet-Séguin, at the SummerStage Festival in New York City’s Central Park and in the NPR office for her own Tiny Desk Session, as well as in several venues and festivals locally and internationally.
Aside from her musical career, Elisapie is known for her acting roles in the TV series Motel Paradis and the experimental 2023 movie VFC. She has also graced the covers of magazines like Châtelaine and Elle Québec. A devoted activist, Elisapie created and produced the first Canada-wide broadcast TV show to celebrate the National Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
Elisapie's unconditional attachment to her territory and her language, Inuktitut, remains at the core of her creative journey. This millenary language embodies the harshness of the environment and the wild beauty of the Inuit territory. Always surrounded by the best musicians from the Montreal indie and folk scenes, Elisapie makes her culture resonate with finesse by mixing modernity and tradition.