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Update on the Inuit Film and Video Archives

Mar 16, 2017

The Inuit Broadcasting Corporation (IBC) announced earlier in March that significant progress has been made on the Inuit Film and Video Archives (IFVA), which was established to preserve and make accessible the significant collection of historic video and film that the IBC holds. The IBC produces award winning television programming by Inuit, for Inuit, supporting and celebrating Inuit cultural identity and practices. The IBC has collected over 40 years of film that includes an estimated 9000 hours of footage, which the IFVA archivists are working to digitally preserve, make accessible and physically protect. The process of digitization began a few years ago with some tapes being sent to Ottawa to be converted and others remaining in Nunavut. Digitization is costly and time-consuming but is important to preserving the legacy and impact of the IBC.

In the past year, both Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada and the Government of Nunavut’s Department of Culture and Heritage have provided generous donations allowing the IFVA to continue the process of preservation. Project archivists have also consulted with professors at both Queen’s University and the University of British Columbia on best practices for film archives. Both financial and advisory support ensures that the archive can continue to be a resource for educators and researchers both in Northern and Southern communities across Canada.

The IFVA is housed at the Nunavut Media Arts Centre (NMAC), which opened in December 2015. The NMAC is the first full-scale, state of the art facility that is able to support all aspects of audio and video recording as well as storing the IBC’s extensive archive. The archive is made available to onsite researchers, as well as through digital means. Currently, portions of the collection can be accessed through research requests submitted to the IBC, with some content available online through the IBC website, through Aboriginal Peoples Television Network online, on Isuma.tv and by visiting the Nunavut Media Arts Centre in Iqaluit, NU.

For more information on the IFVA and to stay up to date on its progress and services, including catalogue searches, video copies, and more links to online videos, please see the IFVA web page. 

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