The Inuit Art Foundation is pleased to announce that it has completed the last of thirteen meetings with artists and arts community representatives from across Canada. This consultation initiative is a critical opportunity for the Foundation to hear from many important voices and exemplifies the organization’s commitment to building stronger connections with a range of communities. Launched in Winnipeg, the Foundation visited Baker Lake, Gjoa Haven, Inuvik, Iqaluit, Kugluktuk, Kuujjuaq, Ottawa and Toronto. The tour concluded April 2014 in Nunatsiavut with visits to both Nain and Hopedale.
“During these consultations we heard from a diversity of stakeholders, about a range of issues relating to art practices within Canada’s Inuit arts communities”, says Board President Jimmy Manning, an artist who is resident in Cape Dorset, Nunavut. “We heard about great successes and we were made aware of the many challenges facing Inuit artists. Both sides of this story are important to shaping the Foundation’s role moving forward.”
A process of this scope and scale is unprecedented within the Inuit arts. The Foundation undertook these discussions as a means of learning firsthand, about the current state of Inuit arts communities. These findings will inform the organization’s strategic planning process and become the basis of a public research document. Complementing this initiative are two unique partnership projects; a collaboration with Avataq, which endeavours to record the biographies and histories of Nunavik Inuit artists; and in cooperation with the Government of Nunatsiavut, the Foundation has seed funded a pilot study aimed at the creation of an artists association in the region. The Foundation looks forward to sharing this important data with a range of its partners in the realm of government and within both the public and private sectors.