On December 30, 2016 his Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, announced 100 new appointments to the Order of Canada, including Inuit Art Foundation board member Mathew Nuqingaq. Nuqingaq is a metalworker, jeweller, performing artist, and educator being recognized for his contributions as a jewelry designer and drum dancer.
Nuqingaq grew up in Qikiqtarjuaq (Broughton Island), Nunavut but now lives in Iqaluit where he co-founded the Aayuraa Studio, part-workshop and part-storefront. The fully equipped studio hosts workshops and encourages innovative artists to work alongside one and other. Nuqingaq began making jewelry in the mid 1990s when he first registered for a course at the Arctic College (where he now teaches) and completed his Jewelry and Metalwork Diploma in 1999. Nuqingaq’s designs focus on incorporating non-traditional materials including silver and copper, to produce work that relate to traditional imagery. In addition to being a renowned jewelry designer, Nuqingaq is a well-known drum dancer and is invited to festivals and events across Canada to perform.
Mathew Nuqingaq is a leader in his community as an arts educator, a co-founder of the Nunavut Arts and Crafts Association, and a current member of the Inuit Art Foundation board, serving as the Secretary-Treasurer. In these prominent positions, Nuqingaq works continuously on behalf of Inuit artists throughout the North.Alongside Nuqingaq, Tanya Tagaq was also appointed as a Member of the Order of Canada for her contributions to Canadian culture as a throat singer. The Inuit Art Foundation would like to congratulate both Mathew and Tanya for their well-deserved recognition.