Inuit Art Quarterly
Updates and highlights from the world of Inuit art and culture
Zacharias Kunuk’s Angakusajaujuq
Wins Best Canadian Short Film at TIFF
Angakusajaujuq: The Shaman’s Apprentice (2021) was announced as the winner of the IMDBPro Shor t Cuts Award for
Best Canadian Film at the 46th Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). This award automatically qualifies Angakusajaujuq to be considered for an Academy Award nomination.
The stop-motion animated film is a co-production between Taqqut Productions and Kingulliit Productions Inc., directed by Zacharias Kunuk OC, ON. The film is an adaptation of a traditional Inuit stor y from the Qikiqtaaluk region of Nunavut. Lucy Tulugarjuk plays a young shaman apprenticing under her grandmother (voiced by Madeline Ivalu) who must face her fear with a trip underground to visit Kannaaluk, The One Below, in an effor t to save a young hunter who has fallen ill. In its programming, TIFF described the film as “an astonishingly intricate and mesmerizing stop-motion marvel.” The 21-minute production also features the voice of Jacky Qrunngut as the young hunter and music by Beatrice Deer.
This announcement comes on the heels of Angakusajaujuq winning the prestigious FIPRESCI Award at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival in France this past July. Earlier in June, the book adaptation published by Inhabit Media, The Shaman’s Apprentice
(illustrated by Megan Kyak-Monteith), won the Indigenous Voices Award for work in an Indigenous Language.
Tarralik Duffy Wins 2021 Kenojuak Ashevak Memorial Award
The Inuit Ar t Foundation is thrilled to announce that multimedia ar tist Tarralik Duffy has won the 2021 Kenojuak Ashevak Memorial Award, a biennial prize celebrating established mid-career Inuit ar tists.
Duffy was named winner of the $10,000 award at a virtual ceremony hosted on September 8 by the IAF’s Board President, Dr. Heather Igloliorte. The event was opened by Elder Asenath Kannutaq and featured a performance by Juno Award–winning musicians Silla and Rise.
For the first time, a shortlist of three additional ar tists was also selected, each of whom received $3,000 to suppor t their practices. The 2021 shor tlisted ar tists are Eldred Allen, Kablusiak and Couzyn van Heuvelen. The finalists and winner were selected by an all-Inuit jury comprising independent curator and writer Jocelyn Piirainen, journalist Ossie Michelin and artist and curator Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory, who won the inaugural award in 2018.
Duffy will be the first winner of the Kenojuak Ashevak Memorial Award to receive a solo exhibition, exhibition catalogue and residency at the WAG-Qaumajuq in Winnipeg, MB, thanks to a new par tnership between the ar t museum and the IAF. The WAG-Qaumajuq will also acquire one of Duffy’s works into its permanent collection. Duffy’s solo exhibition is scheduled for fall 2023, when the next Kenojuak Ashevak Memorial Award winner will be announced.
Nunatsiavut Artist Jason Sikoak Designs Coin for the Royal Canadian Mint
In 1999, when Nunavut was officially named Canada’s newest territory, the Royal Canadian Mint marked the occasion with a commemorative two-dollar coin, designed by Germaine Arnak tauyok, featuring a drum-dancer with their body in relief, encircling a map of Nunavut and a quilliq.
Nunatsiavut artist Jason Sikoak recalls holding that toonie in their hand and thinking that someday they might design a coin like Arnaktauyok—though they never believed they would ever have the opportunity. Twenty-one years later, with that dream still in the back of their mind, Sikoak received a call from the Royal Canadian Mint, which had been referred by Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, asking them to submit an original design for a contest.
Although they initially thought it was a prank, Sikoak, who is wrapping up their Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Concordia University in Montreal, QC, quickly realized that it was a genuine invitation and submitted their proposed drawing. A few weeks later, Sikoak’s illustration of the sea goddess Sedna was chosen to represent the first coin in the Mint ’s new Generations commemorative series, which is intended to share Indigenous legends and stories. A limited edition of 5,000 coins has now been released.