Inuit Art Quarterly
Updates and highlights from the world of Inuit art and culture
Three Inuit Singer-Songwriters Recognized by 2022 Juno Awards
Three Inuit musicians were celebrated at the 2022 Juno Awards, which recognizes the best of Canadian music. At this year’s opening-night ceremony in Toronto, ON, the three-time Juno Award-winner Susan Aglukark, OC, received the 2022 Humanitarian Award for her contributions to improving the lives of children and youth in nor thern communities.
Born in Churchill, MB, and raised in Arviat, NU, Aglukark is the first Inuk musician to have a Canadian top-10 commercial hit in Canada with her song “O Siem” off her 1995 album, This Child. In 2012 Aglukark launched the Arctic Rose Project, now expanded to the Arctic Rose Foundation, which provides af ter-school ar ts and mentorship programs to Inuit and other Indigenous students across Nunavut.
“It is an honour to receive this award, and a privilege to have had the oppor tunity to help create safe spaces for Northern Inuit and [other] Indigenous youth to explore their own potential and forge cultural connections through Indigenous-led programs,” said Aglukark in a statement on the Juno Awards website.
Fellow Inuk ar tists Looee Arreak and Deantha Edmunds are also up for a Juno this year for their per formances in Against the Grain Theatre and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s operatic production of Messiah/ Complex, in the running for Classical Album of the Year (Large Ensemble).
Two Canadian Screen Awards Go to Inuit Shorts in 2022
In ceremonies bet ween April 4 and 10 , the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television announced that the Canadian Screen Awards for Best Short Documentary and Best Animated Short would go to Inuit filmmakers: Jennie Williams for Nalujuk Night (2021), and Zacharias Kunuk, OC, ONu, for Angakusajaujuq: The Shaman’s Apprentice (2021).
The 13-minute documentar y Nalujuk Night is the first film from Williams, and chronicles the fun and frightening Nunatsiavut tradition of the same name, where people dressed as terrif ying creatures come in of f the ice.
“I am feeling very overjoyed to have won,” said Williams after the ceremony. “The whole experience has been absolutely amazing and I am so happy to be able to share this very unique Labrador Inuit tradition with the world.”
Written and directed by Kunuk, Angakusajaujuq is a 21-minute stop-motion animation featuring a largely Inuit cast and production. The s tor y follows a young shaman who goes on her first test to learn why a community member has fallen ill.
“I want to thank all the talented people [I] worked with,” said Kunuk in his acceptance speech. “Tr ying to work with the stop-motion depar tment down in Toronto all the way from Iglulik was quite challenging and fun… you guys made it happen, and it worked. Qujannamiik.”
David Ruben Piqtoukun Wins 2022 Governor General’ s Award
On March 1 , David Ruben Piqtoukun received the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Ar ts Ar tistic Achievement by the Canada Council for the Ar ts. He was nominated for the award by the President of the Sculptors Society of Canada, Judi Michelle Young.
“He is a leader, with progressive innovations of contemporary works,” said Young in a press release. “In exploring the human condition, Piqtoukun’s work speaks of and to people’s resilience. Through his work, he inspires, mentoring the younger generation with poignant narratives.”
Piqtoukun, who is from Paulatuk, Inuvialuit Settlement Region, NT, is well known for his sculptures and printmaking, which he uses to explore Inuit legends and mythology. “I collect the stories from [my] childhood. We used our imagination when we heard the stories, and for me I was fascinated,” he says about his work in a video portrait by Bawaadan Collective.
Piqtoukun’s first solo exhibition was in 1973 , with many solo and group exhibitions in the years since. He has been featured in many previous issues of the IAQ, gracing the cover on numerous occasions. He also served as a board member for the Inuit Art Foundation from 2011–14.