Julie Grenier is a beader from Kuujjuaq, Nunavik, QC and currently based in Notre-Dame-de-l’ile-Perrot, just west of Montreal, QC. She creates a wide variety of beaded works, from beaded embroidery and applique, to beaded canvas and clothing and everything in between. Grenier’s love for discovering new beads and working with different kinds of beads inspires her work. “I have beads from all over the world,” Grenier says. “Anytime I travel, anytime I go anywhere, I am always on the lookout for a bead shop.” 
Grenier likes to experiment with other materials in her beaded pieces, such as ivory or bone. This wide range of creations speaks to her limitless creativity with her beading. The way she likes to create involves working off a simple design or concept and then figuring out the finer details and colour choices as she goes along. “I am very much a spur-of-the-moment beader,” Grenier says.
Grenier was interested in beading at a young age, and around the age of seven began experimenting with beads. However, it wasn’t until around the age of 12 that she began beading seriously, developing other techniques and creating doilies, necklaces and beaded lace. She also learned traditional sewing from her mother and grandmother. Grenier says that she owes much of her inspiration to the matriarchs in her life. Her grandmother was a well-known seamstress who sewed clothing for the whole family; that skill was then passed down to Grenier’s mother and then to Grenier herself.
Grenier’s talent for beadwork has not gone unnoticed. She received worldwide acclaim for her beadwork on the dress worn by Governor General Mary Simon to her installation ceremony in July 2021. She appeared in articles for Nunatsiaq News, the Globe and Mail, CBC, and more, all praising her skills for creating such delicate beadwork on such a tight timeline. Grenier was honoured to work on the project and says, “I grew up looking up to [Mary Simon] as a role model… When you have the opportunity to work on something for someone like that, it is not something you take for granted or take lightly.”
Other artistic achievements for Grenier include a collaborative amauti created with Beatrice Deer that is on display at the Museum of Man in Paris, France. The two artists were able to collaborate again to create Arnauti (2021) for INUA, the inaugural exhibition for the WAG-Qaumajuq. Using sealskin, silk, fox fur and seed beads, the two artists combined their talents to create an arnauti that turns heads with its pops of colour and beaded embellishments.
Grenier has received recognition from the Nunavik Arts Secretariat, was featured as artist of the month for May 2021 by the Avataq Cultural Institute and has been profiled on the website for Kativik Ilisarnilirijiit. Her success extends beyond her artistic practice, including a BA in Sociology from the University of Ottawa and a certificate in Indigenous Policing from École Nationale de Police du Québec. Grenier is also the Director General for Taqramiut Nipingat Incorporated (TNI). She credits her artistic practice for part of her success in her corporate career. “Because I am an artist and a very creative person, it also helped me in that career path,” Grenier says of her work at TNI. “It helps you to see things differently and present new ideas.”