Artist Exchanges and Workshops


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The Ilisarniq Series is a series of workshops for Inuit artists, curators, writers, and art administrators to learn new skills and expand their practices, organized by the Inuit Art Foundation and Inuit Futures in Arts Leadership. Each online event provides Inuit artists with highly accessible tools, resources, and peer mentorship to support learning about different parts of the arts landscape.

Upcoming Workshops

Check the IAF Calendar for upcoming workshops in 2024!

Recordings of some workshops are available on the IAF YouTube channel, while the others are available exclusively to Inuit artists through the Developing Qanuqtuurniq: Artist Portal (DQAP).

You can also find information and videos from the 2020 De-ICE-olation series of online Inuit artist-led workshops and presentations here.


Past Opportunities

Over the years, the Inuit Art Foundation has supported Inuit artists as they expand their skills and artistic practices as well as make connections across the art world and achieve more visibility. Below are some highlights from past opportunities created by the IAF in an effort to meet these specific professional needs.

“Quyanaq to all who have supported us. I am honoured to be here in Nuuk representing Canada as an Inuit artist. Being able to bring cultures together from all over the Arctic feels incredibly uniting. I am so thankful to have been given this opportunity to connect with the land and the community.”

—Caroline Blechert

“Traveling to Nuuk, Greenland and being able to exhibit our work here is just amazing. I think when Inuit artists see other Inuit artists succeed, it drives us. Thank you for giving me this experience.”

—Lavinia van Heuvelen

April 2019 – March 2020

Circumpolar Exchange Program: As the only national organization representing Inuit artists working in any artistic discipline across Canada, the Inuit Art Foundation is committed to fostering opportunities for meaningful collaboration between artists. To facilitate the development of a circumpolar artistic network, the IAF is organizing artist exchanges in which Indigenous artists from Canada and other countries in the circumpolar North will attend artistic festivals, residencies or workshops to partake in exciting, significant and impactful experiences. Exchange opportunities will be announced through to March 2020.

We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.

Canada Council for the Arts


Under the program, artists Caroline Blechert and Lavinia van Heuvelen recently represented the IAF at the 2019 Nuuk Nordisk Kulturfestival, which took place in Nuuk, Greenland from October 7-13.


The IAF funded a residency opportunity for ceramic artists John Kurok and Pierre Aupilardjuk to work with Shary Boyle at Medalta. The works produced, and their collaborations, were featured prominently in Esker Foundation’s exhibition Earthlings.



In partnership with the Mobilizing Inuit Cultural Heritage Project at York University, the IAF organized an exhibition of contemporary artwork at the Great Northern Arts Festival in conjunction with the Inuit Circumpolar Council meeting, and provided professional development workshops to the artists in attendance.


The Cultural Industries Certificate Program was established. It consisted of ten-day sessions tailored to the specific interests of northern cultural workers, with a focus on networking and business training for emerging arts administrators. 


During the IAF’s annual Arts Alive events, Inuit artists from across Inuit Nunangat and beyond came together for demonstrations, seminars and cultural exchange.


The IAF organized Arctic Workshops for studio training and professional development, including a session where artists were provided technical training by Bill Nasogaluak.


During a two-phase workshop, Nunavik artists visited Kinngait Studios. Led by Pitseolak Niviaqsi, Qavavau Manumie and Rob Harmer, participants collaborated with Kenojuak Ashevak, Arnaqu Ashevak, Kananginak Pootoogook, Pitaloosie Saila and Shuvinai Ashoona to learn printmaking techniques.


The IAF organized the Kitkmeot Carver’s Symposium, a two-week program of studio work, technical training and professional development that culminated in the annual Qaggiq.


Emerging carvers took part in a six-week workshop in Kinngait, led by Okpik Pitseolak. They learned about stone types, tool use, carving techniques, health and safety issues and pricing.


The IAF organized the first Pan-Arctic Women’s Workshop for three weeks of studio and professional development work.


The IAF brought together artists from across Inuit Nunangat to demonstrate their artwork as well as participate in workshops and demonstrations at the annual Qaggiqs, which attracted tens of thousands of visitors over two days.


The IAF brought together Mayoreak Ashoona, Ida Karpik, Okpik Pitseolak, Napachie Pootoogook, Towkie Qarpik and Pitaloosie Saila for a printmaking residency, where they learned etching techniques.


The IAF offered a two-week workshop to the Ujaraqtait Society in Qamani’tuaq (Baker Lake) on the safe use of power tools, inlay techniques and health and safety practices.


The IAF organized Beyond Boundaries: Intercultural Sculpture Symposium in Ottawa. Three weeks of exchange between artists culminated in a group exhibition.


The IAF ran a sculpting workshop in Vermont and Ottawa that consisted of two modules: one on quarrying techniques and the other on carving techniques.


The IAF founded the Inuit Artists’ College, a “college without walls” that provides capacity-building training to Inuit. In the inaugural workshop, led by Abraham Anghik Ruben and Ronald Senungetuk, artists learned sculpting techniques and toured local museums.


After surveying Nunatsiavut communities regarding the specific needs of artists and granting local carvers $1,500 to purchase power tools, the IAF held two Power Tool Workshops taught by Mattiusi Iyaituk and Charlie Kogvik that focused on using the new tools and developing economic self-sufficiency.