NEWS: Iqaluit July 04, 2018 - 3:45 pm

Nunavut Arts Festival kicks off

Barbecue tonight, print launch on Sunday, don’t forget to grab a graphic tee


It’s round two for summer festivals in Iqaluit this week, with today’s start of the Nunavut Arts Festival, run annually by the Nunavut Arts and Crafts Association.

The festival, which will run from July 4 to July 9, opens tonight with a barbecue at Sylvia Grinnell Park Pavilion. Artists eat for free—and there are sure to be lots of artists.

Craft-makers from all three Nunavut regions are in Iqaluit this week for a schedule of events that will see skill development and networking along with artmaking.

Visiting artists will lead workshops open to the public that include mould-making and casting, sealskin upholstery, traditional pattern-making techniques, pixel art, 3D modelling, and leatherwork for bags and accessories.

The workshops are held at Nakasuk School, but you have to register for them in advance. Workshops, which supply tools and material, are $25 for the general public and are free for artists. You can register by calling (867) 979-7808 or emailing

“The workshops bridge the traditional and modern worlds. Mould making, for example, could allow Nunavut artists to reproduce carvings or jewelry and compete with the Ontario-made merchandise sold at the Iqaluit airport,” NACA said in a news release.

One highlight will be the launch, on Sunday, of a Pangnirtung 2018 print collection, the first collection put out by the Uqqurmiut Centre of Arts and Crafts since 2011.

As always, the festival will wrap up with a Nunavut Day arts fair. If you haven’t by then, you’ll want to grab a T-shirt that day printed with this year’s festival logo.

The comical logo, by artist Babah Kalluk of Resolute Bay, features three mythological creatures referred to by different names like “Innulaaq” and “Katutajuk.”

“I wanted to draw comic books since I was five, when I got my first Incredible Hulk comic,” said Babah, who lives and works in Iqaluit.

The gnome-like characters on the T-shirts have big heads, legs and no body.

“It’s known to be feisty, mischievous, and strong enough to break through an igloo wall,” the release said.

You can find a detailed schedule from NACA attached below.