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News Roundup: William Tagoona to Become a Member of the Order of Arts and Letters of Quebec

May 17, 2024
by IAQ

William Tagoona to Become a Member of the Order of Arts and Letters of Quebec

William Tagoona will be named a member of the Order of Arts and Letters of Quebec in recognition of his extensive work promoting Inuit culture and language within the province. Based in Kuujjuaq, Nunavik, QC, Tagoona is a singer, songwriter, journalist, radio host, editor and producer; he is best known for founding the Inuit rock band The Harpoons in the 1960s. Tagoona also notably challenged the CBC to include more Inuit artists on its airwaves during his three decades working there. “Music is where you’re going to save the language,” he told the CBC. In addition to recording over 30 studio albums, Tagoona has been honoured by the Aboriginal Music Awards and received an Award of Excellence in Broadcasting from CBC North. He will receive the honour at a ceremony in Montreal, QC, on June 10 alongside 15 other inductees.  

Red Dress Day Exhibition Opens in Iqaluit

Earlier this month, Nunavummiut artists marked Red Dress Day on May 5 in Iqaluit, NU, with an art exhibition. While the community normally hosts a march organized by Qulliit Nunavut Status of Women Council, an advisory group that supports women, girls and gender-diverse people in the territory, this year focused on an art exhibition featuring textile, painting and sculptural work made by local artists. The exhibition, titled RED (Remember-Educate-Dedicate), is available to view online and will travel across Nunavut starting in September. Works in the show reflect on feelings of hardship but also hope and include works by artists Eva Young, Yurak, Shelly O’Gorman, Elisapee Ipeelie and more. Red Dress Day is held annually to honour and remember missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQ2I+ people.

Jessica Kotierk Named to National Monuments Board

Curator Jessica Kotierk is now representing Nunavut on the Historical Sites and Monuments Board of Canada (HSMBC). Currently the Manager and Curator of Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum in Iqaluit, NU, Kotierk began her four-year term on the HSMBC in December though the news was released publicly this month. Established in 1919, the HSMBC advises the Canadian government on which places, persons and events should receive designation based on their historical and national significance. Currently, there are more than 3,000 historical designations across Canada, including many from Nunavut. Among them are: artist and the first Inuk photographer Peter Pitseolak (1902–1973) from Kinngait (Cape Dorset); and the Fall Caribou Crossing National Historic Site on the Kazan River. 

Films by Nyla Innuksuk and Vinnie Karetak Part of Telefilm Canada’s Investment in 13 Projects

Telefilm Canada, a Crown corporation that supports Canadian screen-based content, announced its investment of $26.4 million in 13 projects in the English market, including two Inuit-led and co-led productions. The projects are Nyla Innuksuk’s psychological thriller In the Heart of the South and the drama In Alaska, co-directed by Vinnie Karetak and Jaap van Heusden. Originally from Iglulik (Igloolik), NU, Innuksuk is a film director, writer, producer and virtual reality content creator known for her films Kajutaijuq (2015), Breaths (2016) and Slash/Back (2022). Karetak was born in Arviat, NU, and is based in Iqaluit, NU, where he co-owns the production company Qanukiaq Studios and is known for his work on the comedy series Qanurli (2011–2019); the film The Grizzlies (2018); and the theatrical production Kiviuq Returns: An Inuit Epic

Nancy Pukingrnak Aupaluktuq Wins Commissioner’s Arts Award

Artist Nancy Pukingrnak Aupaluktuq has won the 2023 Nunavut Commissioner’s Arts Award for her contributions to the visual arts in Nunavut. Aupaluktuq began making art in 1962 in Qamani’tuaq (Baker Lake), NU, and has worked with various media including prints, drawings, sculpture, textiles and fashion design. In a news release from Commissioner Eva Aariak, Aupaluktuq was praised for her “extraordinary ability to capture Inuit lifestyle and beliefs before colonialism and celebrate Inuit language and culture through her art and by sharing her skills with others.” The Commissioner’s Arts Award is valued at $10,000 and recognizes artists from Nunavut who have made significant artistic contributions throughout their lifetimes. Previous recipients include filmmaker Zacharias Kunuk and sculptor Jaco Ishulutaq

Sámi Museum Wins Museum of the Year Award 

The Sámi Museum Siida is the winner of the European Museum of the Year Award 2024. Located on the banks of Lake Inari in Sápmi, Finland, the national museum specializes in researching, showcasing and caring for a permanent collection of Finnish Sámi cultural heritage. The Sámi Museum Siida was established in the 1960s as an outdoor museum, and the idea for a building that could support modern museum activities came about in the 1980s. The museum opened to the public in 1998 and saw a major renovation and expansion in 2022. The Sámi Museum Siida came out on top among 50 nominated museums from across Europe, recognized by the awards jury for its “excellence in its open, participatory, and transparent process of integration, which creates new opportunities for both the Sámi and the broader population to link past and present,” adding that “...the museum also strongly resonates with broader discussions about the practice of reparations for Indigenous peoples, in Europe and globally.” Notably, the Sámi Museum Siida is the only museum in Finland that actively collects works of Sámi cultural heritage. 

Lindsay McIntyre Announced as a 2024 Forge Fellow

Filmmaker and multidisciplinary artist Lindsay McIntyre is one of six artists to participate in the 2024 Forge Project Fellowship. The Forge Project, which was co-founded in 2021, is a Native-led organization that strives to advance Indigenous leadership in arts and culture. The fellowship consists of a cohort of Indigenous individuals who represent a diversity of cultural practices. McIntyre’s work focuses on  portraiture and place, as well as connections to her personal and family history in Nunavut. She has made over 40 short films over the past 20 years, including NIGIQTUQ ᓂᒋᖅᑐᖅ (The South Wind) (2023), which won the Best Short Live Action award at imagineNATIVE in 2023; and Ajjigiingiluktaaqtugut: We Are All Different (2021), which earned special mention at the 2021 Vancouver International Film Festival. Each fellow will receive a $25,000 grant and participate in a three-week residency this summer in Mahicannituck (Hudson River) Valley in New York.


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