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News Roundup: Apayauq Qualifies for 2024 Academy Awards

Oct 19, 2023
by IAQ

Artists from Inuit Nunaat Take Over Nocturne With Supersized Climate Exhibition

Nocturne, the annual nighttime contemporary arts festival that takes place in Halifax, NS, returned this year with a stunning lineup of exhibitions, workshops, artists talks and projects throughout the city, including qiaqsutuq (2023), a collaborative installation created by five artists from across Inuit Nunaat: Jamesie Fournier, Coco Lynge, Erin Gingrich, Malayah Enooyah Maloney and Taqralik Partridge. qiaqsutuq—Inuktitut for the sound of the whistling wind and the sound of crying—imagines the impacts of our changing climate from the perspectives of Iguttaq (Bee Woman), Tuktu (Caribou), Nanuq (Polar Bear), Tulugak (Raven) and Natchik (Seal), with each figure brought to life on a monumental scale. Curated by Inuit Art Foundation Board President Dr. Heather Igloliorte, IAF Executive Director Alysa Procida and NSCAD Associate Professor Dr. Carla Taunton, qiaqsutuq is the result of an artist incubator that took place in the summer of 2023 in Halifax, created at NSCADU’s CIMADE Lab and produced by Inuit Futures in Arts Leadership and the IAF. 


First-Ever Titiraqtat: Inuit Circumpolar Writers Festival Held in Iqaluit, NU

From October 13–15, writers from across the circumpolar north gathered in Iqaluit, NU, for the first edition of Titiraqtat: Inuit Circumpolar Writers Festival. Organized by the Inuit Circumpolar Council of Canada with funding provided by the Canada Council for the Arts, the festival was an opportunity to celebrate the continuation of storytelling practices and culture with Inuit writers from Canada, Alaska and Kalaallit Nunaat (Greenland). The festival lineup featured presentations on Inuktut literature, archival records of Inuit storytelling practices, playwriting with Sylvia Cloutier, author readings by Bill Flowers, Apollus Inûsugtok, Juaaka Lyberth, Maika Harper and Celina Kalluk, and poetry readings by Allison Akootchook Warden and Ashley Qilavaq-Savard. In addition, a three-day workshop led by IAF Tauttunnguaqti Napatsi Folger took place throughout the festival to give space for emerging writers to develop their skills and meet other writers. Titiraqtat is the first circumpolar writers festival of its kind; organizers hope it will become a regular gathering.


Sobey Art Award Exhibition Opens at the National Gallery of Canada

The 2023 Sobey Art Award Exhibition is now on at the National Gallery of Canada (NGC), with Calgary, AB-based Inuvialuk artist and curator Kablusiak—representing Prairies and North—among the five finalists included in the exhibition, whose installations will determine the winner of the award. Kablusiak’s series of ookpiks, five of which are included in the exhibition, playful reimagines the iconic toy—first made by Jeannie Snowball at the co-operative in Kuujjuaq, Nunavik, QC in the 1960s—as a furby, Garfield, plucked and in deep red sealskin wearing a leather hat or harness. The grand prize has previously been awarded two times to Inuit artists: first to Annie Pootoogook (1969–2016) in 2006 and most recently to Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory in 2021. Besides Kablusiak themself in 2019, no other Inuit artist has ever reached the shortlist, although several have been named to the longlist: Mark Igloliorte in 2012, Couzyn van Heuvelen in 2018, asinnajaq in 2020 (the year in which the award was split between all longlisted artists) and Maureen Gruben, Glenn Gear and Tanya Lukin Linklater alongside Williamson Bathory in 2021. Kablusiak’s installation for the 2023 exhibition was curated by Jocelyn Piirainen, Associate Curator of Indigenous Art, Indigenous Ways and Decolonization, who also curated Métis artist Gabrielle L'Hirondelle Hill’s installation. The exhibition runs until March 3, 2024, and the winner will be announced during a special celebration at the gallery on Saturday, November 18, 2023.


Montreal Museum of Fine Arts to Double Dedicated Floorspace for Inuit Exhibitions

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) has announced plans to take a “bold new narrative approach,” as it redeploys its Inuit art collection in 2024 with the help of visual artist and curator asinnajaq. Currently housed on the top floor of the Claire and Marc Bourgie Pavilion dedicated to Quebec and Canadian art, next year the Inuit art collection will be showcased on the ground floor of the Michal and Renata Hornstein Pavilion for Peace, which has twice the amount of exhibition space. This new space will allow for a broader display of Inuit art from among the MMFA’s collection of more than 900 works by over 300 artists, along with a range of public programming activities including concerts, conferences and symposiums on Inuit art. The new installation is slated to open to the public in fall 2024.


Apayauq Qualifies for 2024 Academy Awards

Apayauq (2022), a short documentary film about Iñupiaq musher Apayauq Reitan, the first openly transgender woman to run the Iditarod sled dog race, has qualified for the 96th Academy Awards after a tour of the festival circuit that won it several awards. Director Zeppelin Zeerip accompanied Reitan on the race in March 2022 to document her 12-day journey across Alaska from Anchorage to Nome, with the resulting film cutting between clips from the race and old home videos of Reitan as a child. Apayauq won for Best Indigenous Short at the Bend Film Festival, which qualified it for the next Academy Awards in the Short Film category. The official announcement of Oscar nominees will be made on January 23, 2024, and the ceremony will take place on March 10.

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