Ivujivik, named after the piles of ice that stack along the shore, is Nunavik, QC’s most northern village. Built on a sandy cove, the surrounding landscape is dominated by massive granite cliffs that dramatically drop into the turbulent waters of Digges Sound where the forceful currents of Hudson Bay meet the Hudson Strait. The nearby East Digges Island and Cape Wolstenhome are noted ecological sites for their large colonies of Thick-billed Murres.
Rich in plant and animal life—locals are familiar with occasional polar bear warnings shared on Facebook—Ivujivik winters are extremely cold, which can impede transportation in and out of the village, but rarely stops the local hunters.
Ivujivik has an important sculptural legacy, which includes artists such as Simon Luuku and Tivi Paningayak. While early carvings were mostly created out of steatite—which has become more difficult to source—many sculptors, such as Mattiusi Iyaituk, experiment with a variety of stones, including serpentine, sandstone and granite. Iyaituk, who, early in his career was influenced by the work of his brother Nutaraluk Iyaituk (1943–2005), is well known for his highly stylized abstract style, depicting visual representations of his personal experiences and observations.
In May 2017, artists Passa Mangiuk, Qumaq M. Iyaituk and Mary Paningajak worked with Lyne Bastien in her home studio to get trained on linocut printing, which led to Convergence North/South, a 2019 group exhibition of their work at Feheley Fine Arts in Toronto, ON. For the past decade, members of the community have been advocating for a dedicated arts space that would serve not just Ivujivik, but other nearby communities who come to the village for training in disciplines such as drawing and printmaking. Until the project comes to fruition, Paningajak’s home serves partly as a printmaking studio, and she also facilitates workshops through the local Nuvviti school. The hope is that a proper facility would also help revitalize and educate younger generations.
Digital art and graphic design is an emerging discipline in Ivujivik, thanks to Nuvviti Director Thomassie Mangiok, whose company, Pirnoma Technologies, promotes Inuktitut language resurgence through films, apps, comics and colourful animations inspired by Japanese manga and other popular styles. The community’s current mayor, Adamie Qalingo, also serves as President of the Board of Directors for Théâtre Aaqsiiq, a theatre company working regionwide to offer training to local youth and to create Inuktitut-language plays based on stories from Nunavik and its people.
This profile was authored by the IAQ and created in collaboration with Mary Paningajak of Ivujivik, Nunavik, QC, and Avataq Cultural Institute in 2023.
The hamlet of Ikaahuk, meaning “where you go across to”, is located on the southwestern tip of Banks Island in the Western Arctic. The only permanent settlement on the island, Ikaahuk is home to approximately 100 residents and headquarters of Aulavik National Park, located on the northern end of the island. The park is famous for having the highest concentration of muskoxen on earth–an important link to artmaking in the community where hats, scarves, mittens and other items are created from qiviuq or the wool of the soft undercoat of the musk ox. Artists such as Lena Wolki and Tanis 'Akutuq' Simpson are renowned for their work with the material.
Clothing made from furs is also an important artistic activity in the community. Warm down parkas and beautifully crafted kamngit and slippers featuring wolf, polar bear and fox fur are staples, and nod to the community’s history as a major trapping community for Arctic fox in the 1960s and 70s. Artists known for their detailed textile works include Beverly Amos, Sharan Green, Edith and Betty Haogak, Jean Harry and Agnes Nasogaluak.
The White Fox Jamboree is held each May, an opportunity for community members to gather to celebrate the return of spring with traditional activities and food and a break from the long, cold winters Ikaahuk is known for.
This profile was authored by Tusaayaksat Magazine (Tyanna Bain and Jason Lau) and the IAQ, and created in collaboration with Bambi Amos of Ikaahuk, Inuvialuit Settlement Region, NT, in 2023.
Known as a major hub for Inuit art-making, Kinngait (Cape Dorset), NU, is located on Dorset Island, at the southern tip of Qikiqtaaluk (Baffin Island), and is named for its mountainous terrain (Kinngait meaning “place of the large mountains”).
The community has been operating printmaking programs since the late 50s and releasing an annual collection of prints since 1959. The Kenojuak Cultural Centre and Print Studio, opened in 2018, now houses the print studio and dedicated space for sculpture-buying, as well as exhibition, workshop and gathering spaces.
Kinngait’s natural surroundings are often the subject of art produced in the community. Iconic prints by Kenojuak Ashevak (1927–2013) CC, ONu, RCA regularly depict local fauna (particularly birds), and have become recognizable across the world. Mary Pudlat (1923–2001), Aqjangajuk Shaa (1937–2019) and Pauta Saila (1916–2009) also drew inspiration from animal life, and contemporary sculptors Ashevak Adla and Samonie Shaa are known for their bears, birds and walruses. Kinngait has also produced notable women sculptors including Ovilu Tunnillie, RCA (1949–2014), Goota Ashoona and Ning Ashoona.
A fascination with documentation has been a strong current throughout the community’s history—from Peter Pitseolak (1902–1973)’s early photographs to Pudlo Pudlat’s (1916–1992) depictions of modern technologies, to Tim Pitsiulak’s (1967–2016) drawings and Jamasee Pitseolak’s sculptures of vehicles.
Kinngait drawing practices are renowned, and artists such as Pitseolak Ashoona, CM, RCA (c. 1904–1983), Napachie Pootoogook (1938–2002) and Annie Pootoogook (1969–2016) were prolific makers of largely autobiographical drawings. Works by Ningiukulu Teevee, Ooloosie Saila and Shuvinai Ashoona continue to garner recognition.
Traditional sewing—including purses, kamiit, parkas, amautiit—has been a part of Kinngait’s artistic production for generations. Artists such as Annie Manning, CM, and Annie Manning Lampron are recognized for their doll-making and work in educating young sewists.
Many well-known artists have achieved acclaim for their work in multiple media: including Jutai Toonoo (1959–2015), Qaunaq Mikkigak (1932–2020) and Lukta Qiatsuk (1928–2004). Many other Kinngait artists who have become known for their sculptures, printmaking, or drawings also work adeptly in other forms.
This profile was authored by the IAQ and created in collaboration with Nakasuk Alariaq of Kinngait, NU, in 2023.
Kangiqsujuaq is one of the 14 communities located on the Hudson Strait in Nunavik, QC, and the meaning of its name is “large bay.” Kangiqsujuaq is in a valley surrounded by mountains and hills, which are some of the highest in Nunavik. The community is known for its rich seafood and the cultural activities that surround it. During the winter, people engage in mussel picking under the ice during low tide, which has garnered attention from around the world. Throughout the summer the community boat is used to scrape the sea floor for scallops, sea urchins and starfish. In the fall, the Harvest Time Music Festival is a time to celebrate the bounty.
Notably, the municipality is responsible for the Qajartalik petroglyph site from the Pre-Inuit Tuniit (Dorset) culture (2400-900 years old). Located on an island 40 km offshore, it is on the short-list to be considered for UNESCO Heritage Status. Qajartalik is the only known Dorset rock art site in the Arctic, with over 180 faces carved into a stone outcrop.
In Kangiqsujuaq, artists such as Mark Tertiluk, Jobie Arnaituk, Pitsiulaq Pinguatuk and Johny Pilurtuut (1928-1996) are known for their sculptural work. Striking photography comes from the region, such as the works of Yaaka Jaaka, and Kangiqsujuaq was also the home of writer Mitiarjuk Nappaaluk (1931-2007) author of Sanaaq (1984), considered the first Inuktitut language novel of all time. Painter Ulaayu Pilurtuut who designed a special issue five-dollar coin for the Royal Canadian Mint is also a well-known artist in the community.
This profile was authored by the IAQ and created in collaboration with Mary Pilurtuut of Kangiqsujuaq, Nunavik, QC in 2023.
Salluit, Nunavik, QC, is the second most northern community in Nunavik, located on the Hudson Strait between the Ungava and Hudson Bays with a population of approximately 1600 people. Its name means “the thin ones,” a reference to a long ago period of starvation in the area. While fish are today plentiful in the area all year round, the water is known for being dangerous and rough.
The community has a strong desire to honour cultural traditions, visible through a number of local activities including a very active sewing group which works from a sewing centre in town, traditional dance lessons held during winter holidays and a local radio station with a strict Inuktitut-only language policy. Salluit’s Inuktitut musical scene is well developed, with an annual music festival that attracts singers from across Inuit Nunaat to perform each summer, and several famous town musicians, including the band Sugluk, led by singer George Kakayuk and guitarist Tayara Papigatuk, and Elisapie Isaac, who sang with Sugluk in her youth before going on to become famous in her own right.
There is public art located all around the community, including in hospitals, the church, local offices and the airport, which features a large bird sculpture by young sculptor Benjamin Isaac. Sculpture was the community’s artistic mainstay for many years, nurturing well-known artists like Tivi Illisituk, Sammy Kaitak (1926-2004) and Johnny Issaja Papigatok. Today, painting is growing rapidly as a favourite among local artists including Louisa Payungie, as well as graphic art by artists such as Putulik Ilisituk, who also serves as the local radio announcer.
Tasiujaq, Nunavik, QC, is located near the Ungava Bay, between Kuujjuaq and Aupaluk. The name of the community, meaning “lake-like”, comes from the small bay nearby. Established in the mid-1960s, the current location of the hamlet was chosen to support a growing population that was initially located on the other side of the bay in Tasiujatuqaq, where the Hudson’s Bay Company and the Révillon Frères French fur trading company had built trading posts at the turn of the 20th century. Tasiujaq is known for having the highest tide and the lowest tide in the world, and features a landscape characterized by many rolling hills in the area.
The community of Tasiujaq is culture-oriented and is today focused on reclaiming and promoting their culture. An ongoing project is the creation of an online virtual space named Piqalujaq Culture Committee which provides visitors with information about the community and promotes community events for youth, adults and Elders.
Artists in Tasiujaq are known for creating beautiful parkas, snow pants, sealskin boots and jewelry. Printmakers like Cecilia Angatuk, who took part in the exhibition Revival: Printmaking in Nunavik 2014-2019 at the Musée d’Art de Joliette in 2021, are also creating new and innovative works. Community members established the Tasiujaq Cooperative Association in 1971 and in 2004 joined the Fédération des coopératives du Nouveau-Québec—the last Nunavik cooperative to join.
“Beautfiul little inlet,” is the English translation of Kangiqtugaapik (Clyde River), NU, a community of just over 1000 located in Patricia Bay on the northeast shore of Baffin Island. Surrounded by the dramatic landscape of Kangiqtugaapik Uqquqti, or Sam Ford Fjord, the area boasts a sheer cliff measuring approximately 1500 meters tall, well known among rock climbers and BASE jumpers around the globe. Kangiqtugaapik is home to Piqqusilirvvik, Nunavut’s only cultural learning centre, as well as Illaqsivik, a community centre that has programs for all community members, from prenatal care for mothers and infants to elders.
Historically the community has had robust sculpting activity, with many artists working with stone and antler. Through the years, notable sculptors have included Solomonie Tigullaraq (1924–2000), Simionee Qayaq (1920–1971) and Atiana Iqalukjuak (1914–1990), as well as Tommy Kunilussie and Mosha Arnakuk, who are both working with antler today.
Graphic arts was another popular early medium for a host of artists including Lydia Jaypoody, Nubia Enuaraq (1927–1985) and Elisapee Enuaraq, all of whom were part of the Igutaq Group, an early artist collective. The Igutaq group worked with items historically classified as “craft,” such as doll-making, but also experimented with silk painting as well as screenprint, resulting in the creation of the community’s sole print collection in 1981. Today, a new generation of artists are depicting the dramatic land and abundant wildlife, this time through photography: Kangiqtugaapik’s celebrated photographers Robert Kautuk and Niore Iqalukjuak are both well known for documenting the land and animals around them.
This profile was authored by the IAQ and created in collaboration with David Saila Qayaq of Kangiqtugaapik (Clyde River), NU, in 2023.
Located on the southeast of Baffin Island in the Pangnirtung Fjord, Panniqtuuq (Pangnirtung), NU, is a community bursting with art. Panniqtuuq, whose name translates to “land of the bull caribou,” is known for its turbot fishery as well as the Uqqurmuit Centre for Arts and Crafts, which has the distinction of being one of only four places in the world where unique contemporary tapestries are made by skilled artists like Kawtysie Kakee, Eena Angmarlik and Madeline Maniapik. Their tapestries can be found on display throughout the town, most notably at the airport.
Uqqurmuit also plays host to a printmaking studio, and a strong community of graphic artists who supply their drawings for use to both the printmakers and tapestry artists, as well as partaking in printmaking themselves as part of the community’s print program, which was released between 1973 and 2010, with a special release in 2018. Artists like Andrew Qappik, Joel Maniapik and Elisapie Ishulutaq (1925–2018) have made the landscape of Panniqtuuq famous, often depicting recognizable landmarks in their works.
Despite limited access to materials, there are artists working in other mediums: Jaco Ishulutaq is one of the community’s most prolific and celebrated sculptors working in stone, and the town boasts a number of musicians like Tim Evic, Riit, Aasiva, Miali and Joey Nauyuk. Husband and wife team Alex Kilabuk and Annie Akulukjuk Kilabuk are also known in Panniqtuuq and beyond for their accessories and jewellery.
Inuuvik, roughly meaning “the place of man” in Inuvialuktun, is the largest of six hamlets in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region. Before its naming by Elder Ovin/Owen Allen, Inuuvik was previously known as “East Three”, because there were three potential locations for Inuvialuit from Aktlarvik (Aklavik) during their search for higher ground to avoid seasonal flooding.
A major hub of connection between all six Inuvialuit hamlets, the town of Inuuvik is a centre of artistic diversity, as well as cultural revitalization. The Inuuvik Community Corporation is home to the Brighter Futures Program, where weekly sewing and Inuvialuktun language classes take place, as well as cultural activities such as Northern Games practices and Elders’ camps. The Inuvialuit Regional Corporation Craft Shop and Inuvialuit Cultural Resource Centre are also important spaces for cultural production and exchange.
Elder Brian Rogers (Nungkii) is a particularly esteemed seamster from Inuuvik who not only sews hats, mitts, maklaks, and atigis (parkas), but regularly mentors younger artists as a sewing class instructor. Nungkii is a major player in the continued revitalization of traditional Inuvialuit sewings, passing down patterns and knowledge to his students while cultivating a thriving sewing community. Other notable artists from Inuuvik include beader Jessie Colton and her mother Mary Kaglik, another notable Inuvialuk seamstress, as well as painters Brian Kowikchuk and Penny Chase, sculptor John Taylor, jeweller Erica Joan Donovan and filmmaker Jerri Thrasher.
The town of Inuuvik is best known for The Great Northern Arts Festival every summer, which takes place at the local Midnight Sun Recreation Complex and brings together artists and performers from across the North, as well as annual celebrations marking Inuvialuit Day and National Indigenous Peoples Day.
This profile was authored by Tusaayaksat Magazine (Tyanna Bain and Jason Lau) and the IAQ, and created in collaboration with Brian (Nungkii) Rogers of Inuuvik, Inuvialuit Settlement Region, NT, in 2023.
Located on the eastern shore of Tuvaaluk (Diana Bay), near the Ungava Bay the landscape of Quaqtaq is defined by mountains to the north and to the southeast, smaller, rocky hills. Meaning "tapeworm" in Inuktitut, the hamlet is one of the northernmost inhabited places in Nunavik.
The population of approximately 450 is known for its love square dancing during the winter holiday season, hosting an annual New Year’s Eve frozen lunch of aged walrus meat and other country foods at Nuvuk Lake about 10 km away from the town.
Artists from the community are known for their work in textiles and clothing, as well as music. Notable musicians include singer-songwriters George Angnatuk and Beatrice Deer, and a gospel singing group comprised of Johnny Oovaut, Rhoda Ezekiel and Lizzie Niniuruvik. Jaaji (Sunchild Deer-Okpik), one half of award-winning duo Twin Flames was also raised in Quaqtaq.
The local airport features stone carvings of beluga by Jusipi Kulula displayed in a glass case as well as large metal mesh metal replicas, suspended from the ceiling–a nod to Quaqtaq’s role as a beluga hunting community. And although sculpture is not a central activity in the community today, there is a long history of miniature ivory carvings for trade and community use–a substantial collection of which can be found in the collection of the Avataq Cultural Institute.
This profile was authored by the IAQ and created in collaboration with Beatrice Deer of Quaqtaq, Nunavik, QC, in 2023.
Situated on the west side of the Mackenzie Delta–Canada's largest freshwater delta–the hamlet of Aktlarvik (Aklavik) is home to approximately 530 residents. The former administrative centre for the region, the community has a long history as a settlement from the early movements of Iñupiat from Alaska who settled in the area in the early 1800s to the establishment of a Hudson's Bay Company trading post in 1912, an important site of the northern fur industry with plentiful caches of muskrat, beaver, fox and lynx furs.
Sewing and beading, including with furs, remains a core part of creative life in the community. Local workshops in parka making, for example, are an important aspect of knowledge transfer and learning–ensuring the skills honed over decades by Elders in the community are shared and carried forward by the next generation. Notable visual artists in the community include textile artist Nellie Arey, multimedia artists Danny C. Gordon and Tom Mcleod as well as jewelers Karlyn Blake and Megan Lennie and graphic artist
Aklavik is well known for the strength of its drum dancing. Groups such as the Aklavik Delta Drummers and Dancers, one of the three groups that formed out of the regional Mackenzie Delta Drummers and Dancers in 1989, are highly sought after for their work, including notable performances at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Featuring dancers of both Inuvialuit and Gwichin heritage, the group has continued to grow in part through their school program teaching youth from kindergarten to grade nine.
This profile was authored by Tusaayaksat Magazine (Tyanna Bain and Jason Lau) and the IAQ, and created in collaboration with Renie Arey of Aklavik, Inuvialuit Settlement Region, NT, in 2023.
One of the southernmost Inuit communities in Nunatsiavut, the Inuttitut name for Rigolet is Kikiak, meaning gathering place. An important local site during fishing season, Rigolet was also deemed a gathering place due to the establishment of the Hudson Bay Company which became a regional hub to trade furs, buy food or other necessities and obtain healthcare.
Rigolet has many unique places of interest such as the Net Loft Museum, a registered heritage museum built in 1876. Rigolet is also known for its lengthy wooden boardwalk that extends eight kilometres out from the community to Double Mer Point—the longest wooden boardwalk in North America.
The community hosts annual festivals including the Rigolet Salmon Festival held every August, while the Tikigiaksaugusik Festival is held every March and includes dog team races, games and the Francis Campbell Memorial Rifle Shoot.
Textiles such as sealskin boots and slippers or saltwater seagrass baskets from the community are prized for their skill and artistry. Access to materials has always been a challenge for artists in the region, prompting them to work with what they could find. Artists like Derrick Pottle began carving at a young age using wood and stone. Today, artists from the region are exploring new mediums, such as Eldred Allen with photography and Tammy Ann Hannaford who creates jewellery out of antlers.
This profile was authored by the IAQ and created in collaboration with Inez Shiwak of Rigolet, NL, in 2023.
Located on the west coast of Victoria Island, the hamlet of Ulukhaqtuuq (Ulukhaktok) is well-known for its long history of printmaking and carving, as well as sewing and beading. Surrounded by the Beaufort Sea and named for “the place where material for uluit are found”, in 2006 the community officially changed its name back to Ulukhaqtuuq from Holman Island, a name given to the community by the federal government. The surrounding area is rich in natural resources including copper, stone, alabaster and muskox horns as well as sealskin, wolf pelts and caribou skin–all used in the creation of local artworks.
In 1961, a local cooperative was established to support economic development in the community as well as artmaking. Today, the Ulukhaktok Arts Centre is highly regarded for its rich printmaking history and the contributions of celebrated graphic artists including Peter Aliknak Banksland (1928–1998), Harry Egotak (1925–2009), Victor Ekootak (1916–1965), Agnes Nanogak Goose (1925–2001), Billy Goose (1943–1989), Helen Kalvak, CM, RCA (1901–1984), William Kagyut, Elsie Klengenberg, Susie Malgokak, Jimmy Memorana (1919–2009), Mary Okheena and Peter Palvik.
Sculpture remains an important practice and is prized by visitors to the community. Notable artists include Rex Goose, known for his miniature sculptures and jewellery, and Buddy Natuk who works primarily in horn to create delicate birds. Sewing and textile works from the community are distinct for their embroidery patterns and forms, such as mother hubbard parkas–recognizable throughout the Western Arctic region.
This profile was authored by Tusaayaksat Magazine (Tyanna Bain and Jason Lau) and the IAQ, and created in collaboration with Laverna Klengenberg of Ulukhaqtuuq (Ulukhaktok), Inuvialuit Settlement Region, NT, in 2023.
The second most northern community in Canada, Qausuittuq, NU, is located on the southern end of Cornwallis Island, where the island meets the northern shore of Resolute Bay. The area was populated by various peoples as early as 1500 BCE, but Qausuittuq was created as a permanent community in 1953, when the federal government relocated several families from Inukjuak, Nunavik, QC, to Qausuittuq (and Ausuittuq), places with much harsher environments than they were prepared for.
This harsher environment may be why the relocated Inuit gave the place the name Qausuittuq, which means “the place that never dawns,” recognizing that the area is in complete darkness from November to February, when the community holds a feast to celebrate the return of the sun. Qausuittuq also holds Christmas games to keep people busy during the darkest time of the year. The landscape is predominantly hilly with ample gravel and little plant life; there are several local lakes and a river where people swim when it’s briefly warm, but snow falls in the community from August to June.
Although only about 200 people live in Qausuittuq, the community boasts several prominent artists, among them throatsinger and writer Celina Kalluk, illustrator Babah Kalluk and stone sculptors Isaac Naqtai and Alex Patsauq. Likely the best known artist from the area is Simeonie Amagoalik (1933–2011), one of the original relocatees from 1953. Amagoalik was involved in the early negotiations for the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement and carved a large stone monument of a lone man looking towards Ausuittuq, which stands in Qausuittuq today in recognition of the relocation.
This profile was authored by the IAQ and created in collaboration with Devon Manik of Qausuittuq, NU, in 2023.
Located on the edge of the boreal forest and the Koksoak River, the largest in the region, is the community Kuujjuaq. Named for the “Great River” in Inuktitut, life in the hamlet of approximately 2,700 residents is oriented to and closely tied to the river and is the largest village in Nunavik. Home to the annual music festival Aqpik Jam, established in 1996 and Nunavik's largest music festival, Kuujjuaq is host to numerous year-round activities, including Ski-Doo races and the annual fishing derby.
Notably, Kuujjuaq is home to Jennie Snowball’s signature ookpik doll. These stuffed sealskin owls with large round eyes would eventually become a Canadian icon, putting Kuujjuaq on the map for an international audience. The financial success of Snowball’s dolls in the early 1960s, gave the community's recently opened co-operative the financial support it needed to build momentum. Today the co-op remains an important part of daily life.
The community is well-known for its many contemporary performers and storytellers including spoken word artist, curator and writer Taqralik Partridge; performer and playwright Sylvia Cloutier; circus performer Charlie Gordon; and musicians Etua Snowball and Juurini; as well as William Tagoona, a member of The Harpoons, one of the first Inuit rock groups, who settled in Kuujjuaq in the early 1970s from Qamani’tuaq (Baker Lake), NU.
Jewellery, graphic arts, photography and painting are also strongly associated with the hamlet today. Notable artists working in and often across these mediums include: Eva Saunders, Hannah Tooktoo, Jennifer La Page, Julie Grenier, Mary Gordon, Niap, Charleen Watt, Dawn Forrest, Janice Parsons Gordon, Sammy Kudluk and Tanya Innaarulik.
This profile was authored by the IAQ and created in collaboration with Charleen Watt of Kuujjuaq, Nunavik, QC, and Avataq Cultural Institute in 2022.
Kangiqliniq, the second-largest settlement in Nunavut (after Iqaluit), is named for its geographic location, a “deep inlet” on the Kudlulik Peninsula. The regional centre for Kivalliq, Kangiqliniq exhibits an active cultural and community life, with hockey, fishing and the annual Pakallak Tyme festival (featuring skidoo races, sculpture contests, singing, dancing and games on the sea ice) as major attractions. Cultural programming organized by community organizations offers opportunities to connect with art and culture—including food and sewing classes, and art and culture camps on the land.
Several major economic shifts have informed the community’s artistic identity: the North Rankin Inlet Nickel Mine (1957–62) brought many Inuit off the land, a period of federal work projects in the 1960s (including a ceramics studio) created new working conditions in Kangiqliniq, Inuit-owned businesses gained prominence in the 1970s, and the nearby Meliadine Gold Mine (launched in 2017) has already influenced the creation of new infrastructure.
The community has been home to notable sculptors and ceramicists including Pierre Aupilardjuk, Patrick Kabluitok, Pierre Karlik (1931–2013), John Kavik (1897–1993), John Kurok and John Tiktak (1916–1981). Kangiqliniq is also developing a reputation for the work of seamstresses and makers of jewelry and accessories. Victoria’s Arctic Fashion, launched by Victoria Kakuktinniq, has become well known for its fusion of traditional parka design with couture details.
This profile was authored by the IAQ and created in collaboration with Denise Kusugak of Kangiqliniq, NU, in 2023.
A large community with more than 1,800 inhabitants, Inukjuak, Nunavik, QC, is located along the eastern shore of Hudson Bay at the mouth of the Innuksuak River. Although internet sources often claim the community name means “giant,” community members tell two different stories: in one, the name came from a woman named Inukjuak who lived in the area long ago. In the other, a hunting party was arriving at the shore and someone yelled out “Inukjuak, Inukjuak,” meaning “many people,” to call people to greet them. Inukjuak is home to both the iglu-shaped Daniel Weetaluktuk Museum and the head office of the Avataq Cultural Institute.
The town’s public art includes two large stone monuments, one which celebrates the 1922 film Nanook of the North and one which commemorates the forced relocation of several Inukjuak families to the High Arctic in 1953, designed by Siasi Smiler. There are also two murals in Inukjuak, both created by Sarah Lisa Kasudluak.
Carving and printmaking were the community’s initial claims to artistic fame; early sculptors in the community included Akeeaktashuk (1898-1954), Johnny Inukpuk (1911-2007), Lucassie Echalook, Charlie Inukpuk (1941–2022) and Eli Weetaluktuk (1910-1958), and dollmaker Elisapie Inukpuk, many of whom also released prints in the town’s 1976 print collection. Jewellery makers Laina and Andrew Nulukie, basket maker Anna Ohaituk and parka maker Sara Samisack are local working artists. Inukjuak is also home for the Qimutjuit band and author Markoosie Patsauq (1941-2020), whose book Harpoon of the Hunter (1970) is considered the first English novel written by an Inuk. Other notable artists with ties to Inukjuak today include printmaker Maggie Napartuk, filmmaker Jobie Weetaluktuk and multimedia artist asinnajaq.
This profile was authored by the IAQ and created in collaboration with Sarah Lisa Kasudluak of Inukjuak, Nunavik, QC, in 2023.
Located on an peninsula that juts out into Hudson Bay opposite Qikiqtarjuaq, NU, Akulivik, Nunavik, QC, was named for its geography: “akulivik” refers to the central prong of a kakivak, the traditional Inuit fishing spear. Aptly, fishing later became a major industry in the town due to its proximity to the migratory routes of many different types of fish and animals, and the prevalence of these animals in the area has meant that they are often represented in the town’s artwork.
Stone carving was the main source of income in the community when it was first incorporated in the late 1970s and early 80s; sculptors like Johnny Kakutuk (1946-2018) worked with steatite on larger pieces during this period. However, due to the difficulty involved in accessing suitable carving stone, sculpture is less prevalent today. Some sculptors like Levi Alashuak and Laly Ammituk are still working with stone on a smaller scale, but many others, like Simon Qinuajuak, have switched to antler and ivory. The antler pieces produced are often necklace pendants, rings and earrings.
There are multiple murals and paintings on public display around two: one mural outside the local school and two at the nursing clinic were created by Adamie Alaku Anauta (1946-2016) and Henry Qullialu Quissa and the municipal office displays paintings by Makusi Pangutu Anauta. Painting and drawing supplies are still readily available through the local co-op, but few artists in the community are working with painting or graphic art today. Musically, Akulivik is known as the home of Tumassi Quitsaq, a blue-rock singer who released music in the 1990s, as well as Nicolas Pirti-Duplessis, a singer-songwriter working in three languages today.
Situated on the western shore of Ungava Bay, Aupaluk, Nunavik, QC, takes its name from the location’s iron-rich red soil, with a name that translates to “where the earth is red.” It is the least populous community in Nunavik, with approximately 230 residents, and features a mostly flat landscape with local lakes that provide mussel and clam picking opportunities.
Despite the community’s small size, it is full of creativity, with artists working in graphic art, sculpture, clay and jewelry. Ivory and soapstone carving have taken place there for years; sculptor Johnny Akpahatak is particularly well known, having won the Fédération des coopératives du nouveau Québec’s carving contest in 2015 before becoming town mayor. Ellie Partridge is sought after for her bead and clay earrings, and artist Maggie Cain works in a variety of mediums, including printmaking.
There is also quite a large number of public artworks in the community in addition to the art found in private homes there: the school features a mural by Maggie Akpahatak, and there are sculptures around town created by Annie Akpahatak, Annie Ama and Eva Grey.
This profile was authored by the IAQ and created in collaboration with Maggie Cain of Aupaluk, Nunavik, QC, in 2023.
Located on the north coast of Labrador is the town of Makkovik, Nunatsiavut, NL. The hamlet’s name is derived from two Inuttitut words, maggok meaning “two” and vik meaning “place”. The landscape surrounding the community of 400 is defined by its treelined vistas. It is home to the White Elephant Museum, the Makkovik Craft Centre and, annually over four days in August, a trout festival known for its musical performances—a nod to local traditions of guitar, fiddle and accordion, and more recently the work of violinist Kendra Jacque.
The hamlet is widely regarded for its signature work in coat-making: silipaks (traditional and lightweight) and akuliks (lined and fur trimmed). Dr. Nellie Winters and her daughter Blanche Winters are particularly well-known for their work in this area as well as their teaching and skill sharing initiatives to support the next generation of textile artists.
A massive untitled mural painted by artist Jessica Winters is situated on the side of Frank’s General Store. Created in 2020 with assistance from four local youth interns, the scene depicts marine and other local wildlife against a backdrop of vibrant teals. Adorning the wall at the local museum is a mural by artist Gerald Mitchell Sr. whose paintings and prints can also be found in homes throughout the community.
The work of photographer James “Uncle Jim” Andersen is also synonymous with the community of Makkovik, laying the groundwork for a rich local practice of image making that is carried forward today by Holly Andersen, Gary Andersen and others.
This profile was authored by the IAQ and created in collaboration with Joan Andersen of Makkovik, Nunatsiavut, NL, in 2022.
Salliq, meaning “large, flat (island)” in Inuktitut, is both the name for Southampton Island, and its only hamlet, also known as Coral Harbour, NU. Part of the Kivalliq Region, the island is home to abundant wildlife, and known for natural features including steep cliffs, waterfalls and Fossil Creek (named for its fossilized coral), as well as for its many Tuniit archaeological sites.
Sewing, doll-making and carving are major artistic activities in the community. While Salliq’s community hall is an important gathering location, there is no dedicated venue for people to sew, carve and create art, and artists primarily work out of their own spaces. Nonetheless, Salliq has developed a distinct style of parka patterns, and boasts a number of well-recognized artists from the region. Renowned artist Pudlo Pudlat (1916–1992) was born at Ilupirlik, a small camp near Amadjuak, NU, but lived in Salliq until he was six years old. Salliq sculptors Daniel Shimout (1972–2022) and Noah Natakok are known for their carvings in stone, bone, antler, horn and ivory, often incorporating materials harvested on the island, and Kupapik Ningeocheak works primarily in stone to create abstract compositions of human and animal figures. Textile artists such as Mona Netser, Helen Ell-Natakok and Elizabeth Ningeongan are known for their skills as doll-makers and seamstresses. Salliq-born, Saskatoon-based jeweller, artist and writer Tarralik Duffy’s work has garnered international acclaim, and was the inaugural recipient of the 2021 Kenojuak Ashevak Memorial Award.
This profile was authored by the IAQ and created in collaboration with Marlene Watson of Iqaluit, NU, in 2023.