Kenojuak Cultural Centre Opens Its Doors in Kinngait Named after the acclaimed artist Kenojuak Ashevak, CC, ON, RCA (1927–2013), the Kenojuak Cultural Centre and Print Shop (KCC) officially opened on September 5, 2018, in Kinngait (Cape Dorset), NU.
The opening celebrations included a large community gathering, which featured a prayer, a flag raising, a qulliq
(oil lamp) lighting, throat singing, official tours for the community and more. A country food feast with Inuit square dancing at Sam Pudlat School capped off the festivities.
Accompanying the opening were two exhibitions of never-before-seen works from the West Baffin Eskimo Cooperative archives and permanent collection, curated by KCC Manager Louisa Parr Pootoogook and Dorset Fine Arts Marketing Manager William Huffman, which featured a survey of works on paper by Kenojuak Ashevak.
“This vital new facility will ensure that we continue to preserve and celebrate the unique Inuit culture of our region,” explains Kinngait Mayor Timoon Toonoo. Construction for the 10,400-square-foot, $10.2 million facility was completed in early March of 2018 by architectural firm Panaq Design Inc. and contractors Kudlik Construction Ltd.—both Iqaluit-based, Inuit-led companies. The KCC includes a state-of-the-art community facility, exhibition spaces and will house the Kinngait Studios.
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts Acquires Work by Niap and Expands Relationship with Nunavik
The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) in Quebec, deepened its promotion of
Inuit art and culture along with its connection to Nunavik with the recent acquisition of work by Kuujjuaq-born, Montreal-based artist Niap (Nancy Saunders) as well as the announcement of a new partnership with the Avataq Cultural Institute.
Saunder’s sculptural installation
ᑲᑕᔾᔭᐅᓯᕙᓪᓛᑦ Katajjausivallaat, le rythme
bercé (2018) was acquired by the museum this summer after clearing an internal committee of museum representatives as well as an external committee comprised of established Montreal-based artists in early June. “We have this will at the institution to best represent the artists of Nunavik and their involvement with the contemporary scene,” explains MMFA curator of Quebec and Canadian Art Jacques Des Rochers, who led the acquisition.
“It’s huge for my practice and also for my people,” Saunders says. “To be considered as an artist who just-so-happens to be Inuk, not just tagged as a folkloric ar tist or Inuit artist and to have my work part of larger discussions of contemporary art is surreal.” The piece will be the first installation work by an Inuk ar tist to be included in the MMFA’s collection.
Alongside the acquisition, the museum and the Avataq Cultural Institute announced a new partnership between the organizations on September 6, 2018. The partnership will see Avataq aid the MMFA in establishing lasting relationships with Nunavik communities, while relocating their offices and expansive collection to various buildings nearby and owned by the museum, to increase the dialogues between both institutions and their surrounding communities.
Circumpolar Film Highlighted at imagineNATIVE 2018
From an experimental film out of Sápmi to a fantasy epic from Greenland, the 2018
edition of the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, which ran from October 17 to 21 in Toronto, ON, featured extensive offerings from the circumpolar North. The festival marked the return of familiar faces like Zacharias Kunuk, OC, who, ahead of Isuma’s much anticipated showcase at the 2019 Venice Biennale, screened his new film Kivitoo: What They Thought of Us (2018), sponsored by the Inuit Art Foundation.
Other highlights included Lucy Tulugarjuk’s directorial debut Tia and Piujuq (2017), which tells the story of Tia, a Syrian girl new to Montreal, QC, who meets Igloolik-based Piujuq after stumbling across a magic portal, and the international premiere of Greenlandic director Marc Fussing Rosbach’s Akornatsinniitut—Tarratta Nunaanni (Among Us—In the Land of Our Shadows) (2017), a sci-fi adventure that follows friends Nukappi and Mio as they become entangled in an epic battle against an evil angakkoq (shaman) from the parallel dimension Tarratta Nunaanni.
59th Annual Cape Dorset Print Collection Released
The 59th Annual Cape Dorset Print Collection was unveiled by Dorset Fine Arts and Kinngait Studios in Kinngait (Cape Dorset), NU, in early September 2018. The 34-piece collection features a series of new prints and lithographs by Saimaiyu Akesuk, Shuvinai Ashoona, RCA, Qavavau Manumie, Malaija Pootoogook, Cee Pootoogook, Quvianaqtuk Pudlat, Pauojoungie Saggiak, Pitaloosie Saila, RCA, Pudloo Samayualie, Ningiukulu Teevee and Papiara Tukiki.
This year also marked the first time sculptor and printmaker Aqjangajuk Shaa, RCA has been featured in the collection since 1961. The full collection was officially launched and available for purchase on October 20, 2018.
Orchestre symphonique de Montréal Tours Nunavik
Across 10 days, between September 9 and 19, 2018, musicians from the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, led by Maestro Ken Nagano, toured Nunavik and northern Quebec with the new symphony Chaakapesh, The Trickster’s Quest. “This creation, a touring and cultural exchange project, constitutes a daring re-imagining of our practices as a modern orchestra,” says Nagano. “By reaching north, we are pushing the physical and artistic boundaries of our practice in order to share, exchange and create exceptional works, reflecting the diversity of our country as well as our current reality of living on shared and sometimes disputed territory.”
The symphony—performed in Cree, Inuktut, Innu, French and English—made stops in Kuujjuaq, Salluit and Kuujjuaraapik and featured Innu and Inuktut vocal performances by Florent Vollant and Akinisie Sivuarapik.
Circumpolar Artists and Academics Present at the Art Gallery of Ontario
From September 13 to 15, 2018, the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, ON, hosted the inaugural symposium aabaakwaad (it clears after a storm), featuring presentations by leading national and international Indigenous artists, curators and academics. Anchorage– based Sonya Kelliher-Combs spoke with Sobey Award–winning artist Nadia Myre on themes of materiality that spread across both artists’ practices. Later, award-winning filmmaker Alethea Arnaquq-Baril joined Darlene Naponse and Alanis Obomsawin, OC, GOQ to discuss the future of Indigenous filmmaking. Finally, multidisciplinary performance, video and installation artist Tanya Lukin Linklater participated in a panel discussion with artists Archer Pechawis and Kent Monkman, while Dr. Heather Igloliorte spoke with artist and curator Tania Willard and writer Tanya Talaga about communitybased curatorial approaches.
Permanent Installation by
Couzyn van Heuvelen Unveiled at OCADU
On September 26, 2018, a large-scale permanent installation by Bowmanville-based artist Couzyn van Heuvelen opened at the historic George Reid House at OCAD University in Toronto, ON. Completed in 1921, the facility was the first building in Canada constructed specifically for art and design education and currently houses the university’s renovated and expanded ceramics studio, mouldmaking studio and foundry.
Speaking at the opening, van Heuvelen remarked, “Including the artwork in this space sets the tone for what histories are part of art education here at OCADU moving forward.” The installation draws on the stonecuts used in printmaking across the North and was initiated during a residency in Qamani’tuaq (Baker Lake), NU. The compositions draw on art historical references, like Henri Matisse’s The Dance (1910), reimagined through the lens of Arctic animals.
Kelly Fraser Receives 2019 Indspire Award
Hailing from Sanikiluaq, NU, and currently based in Winnipeg, MB, 25-year-old Kelly Fraser was recently announced as one of 12 winners of the 2019 Indspire Awards. The awards recognize the outstanding contributions of Indigenous professionals and youth and will be officially presented at a ceremony in Calgary, AB, on February 22, 2019. “They are an inspiration to their local communities and for Indigenous people across Canada, showing our young people that they can do it too,” says President and CEO of Indspire and Executive Producer of the Indspire Awards Roberta L. Jamieson.
Known for her combination of English and Inuktut as well as translation of pop songs like Rihanna’s “Diamonds” into Inuktut, the Juno Award–nominated Inuk musician was cited for her promotion of Inuit language and culture through music. She intends to use the award to assist in funding her third album, currently titled De-Colonize. In addition to her music, Fraser teaches songwriting and Inuktut language lessons as well as aids in organizing Nunavut Hitmakerz— a project which aids underprivileged Nunavummiut youth.