Ulivia Uviluk

Ulivia Uviluk
Courtesy Avataq Cultural Institute


Ulivia Uviluk (Olivia Lya Thomassie) is a multidisciplinary artist from Kangirsuk, Nunavik, QC, whose practice encompasses film, beading, writing and more. Uviluk learned traditional crafting techniques at beading workshops held during the Aboriginal Youth Forum in 2017, and spent the next year creating earrings and other 3D objects as a kind of self-residency for herself.

In 2018, she took her first steps into filmmaking by working with non-profit Wapikoni Mobile, which sends mobile film studios to Indigenous communities across Canada to train budding filmmakers. Uviluk had always loved movies and TV, and had a host of stories she wanted to tell. For her first picture, Wearing My Culture (2018), she chronicled the evolution of traditional clothing in Kangirsuk, inspired by the sewing skills of Inuit women and how everyone’s winter clothing was highly unique to them in Kangirsuk. Working with Wapikoni “makes you touch a little bit over everything about filmmaking,” says Uviluk, adding that she was able to take her learnings from this picture and increase her speed and efficiency in her next film project.

She went on the create two further films with Wapikoni—Not Just a Missing Or Murdered Aboriginal Woman (2019), a highly personal story about growing up with her mother as an MMIW, and Inuktitut Dialects in the 21st Century (2020), about accessing language resources in the South to relearn Inuktitut. While her first two movies were shot and put together over a period of one month, Inuktitut Dialects was the result of a year-long residency with Wapikoni as part of Unesco’s Year of Indigenous Languages in 2019. It’s another highly personal piece for Uviluk, who lost her language when she moved to Montreal at age 8 and reclaimed it later using language resources like the ones in the film. Inuktitut Dialects was shown at the 2021 ImagineNATIVE festival, the 2021 St John’s International Women’s Film Festival, and the 2022 Arctic Arts Summit, among others.

Uviluk also began taking up roles in front of the camera, having always wanted to be an actress. In 2020 she had a supporting role in TV show Épidémie and was the subject of short documentary Inuk Butterfly, and in 2022 she starred opposite Niap in award-winning play Aalaapi. 

Although film and performance remain important to Uviluk, she is currently focussing more on her visual arts—”they take me as I am,” she says about the change in focus. A red amauti she beaded, inspired by her mother, was exhibited in 2019 at the fifth Contemporary Native Art Biennale at La Guilde. In 2020, as part of her work as a programs officer for Aumaaggiivik, the Nunavik Arts Secratariat at Avataq Cultural Institute, she curated the ᓴᓇᓐᖑᐊᓂᑎᒍᑦ ᒪᑭᑕᖃᑎᒌᓐᓂᖅ / Sanannguanitigut Makitaqatigiinniq / Standing Together Through Art / Debout ensemble à travers l’art virtual exhibition, creating a series of works for the exhibition including a miniature beaded tupiq and a map of Nunavik with northern lights in the background. Other recent works include earrings, which she doesn’t sell—”I have a slight earring addiction,”—and a set of fish jewellery that can be turned into hair accessories.

In 2022 she left her job at Avataq to focus on practicing and experimenting with her own artistic style, aiming to discover her next steps artistically. She has also begun forays into writing, authoring a series of pieces for the Inuit Art Quarterly as Olivia Thomassie. “I had to disconnect myself from what is popular or wanted [saleable] and find what makes me happy,” she explains. Lamenting that she’s not good at drawing, Uviluk explains that she wants to bead pictures instead, and has a stack of photos that she has taken which she’d like to start with.


This Profile was made possible through support from RBC Emerging Artists.

Artist Work

About Ulivia Uviluk


Curatorial, Film, Jewellery, Textile

Artistic Community:

Kangiqsuk (Kangirsuk), QC

Aalaapi, 2022


Inuk Butterfly, 2020