Nunavut’s 50-metre tall ‘pants’ rock formation honoured with stamp

New image by Arctic Bay photographer Clare Kines features Qarlinngua sea arch formation

The Qarlinngua sea arch formation — its name means “like pants” in Inuktitut — is seen on the right of this image shot by Clare Kines, adjacent to a larger rock formation. (Photo courtesy of Canada Post)

By Jorge Antunes

One photographer snapped a shot of sunflowers. Another captured the image of a lighthouse.

Clare Kines got a photo of the Pants.

The Nunavut photographer’s shot of the towering rock formation located 60 kilometres south of Arctic Bay is featured on one of nine stamps released for Canada Post’s “Far and Wide” series, which highlights unique and scenic locations across the country.

It’s known locally as the Qarlinngua sea arch formation, which means “like pants” in Inuktitut.

A photo of the formation shot by a local hunter went viral in 2018 when CBC North posted the picture to its Facebook page.

The 50-metre rock appeared to stand on its own, without the perspective of the larger rock formation that’s behind it.

Online commenters thought the image was faked or Photoshopped, so CBC North published a story about the arch, where it’s located, and how it came to be.

Soon after, in April 2018, Kines drove out by snowmobile to get a better shot of the formation. The photo he took is the one that will be used on the stamp.

Clare Kines says he loves taking photos near his home in Arctic Bay so that he can showcase its beauty to the rest of Canada and the world. (Photo courtesy of Clare Kines)

“People have lived here for hundreds of years” and have known about it for a long time, Kines said, noting its more recent fame.

“This is my home and I’m very proud of my home; it’s a magical place, and I don’t mind sharing it at all with the world. It’s a community with wonderful people,” Kines said in an interview Tuesday.

While “the pants” gets the most attention, Kines said, the “entire stretch of coastline is pretty magical.”

He compared it to Antelope Canyon in Utah, known for the wave-like structure of its rocks and the light beams that shine through in places.

Other photos selected for Canada Post’s collection include sunflowers, shot in Manitoba; Ontario’s Thousand Islands; and the Point Prim lighthouse on Prince Edward Island.

Kines said having his work featured on a Canada Post stamp is very personal to him.

“My grandfather, father and brother were all postmasters,” he said, and the family has worked with the post office for 101 years.

In 2017 another photo by Kines, this one depicting the face of his wife Leah Ejangiaq Kines with her face haloed by a parka and framed by a maple leaf, was chosen as one of 10 stamps to commemorate Canada’s 150th anniversary.

“I often joked, when he was alive, that Prince Philip (the deceased husband of the late Queen Elizabeth II) and I were probably the only two people in the Commonwealth that were getting mail with pictures of our wives on it,” Kines said.

In 2018, another one of his photos was featured in the first iteration of Canada Post’s “Far and Wide” series. The Qarlinngua photo is the third time one of his images has appeared on a Canadian stamp.

In the Qarlinngua photo, a small figure can be seen standing in the right-hand corner. It is his son Travis.

“So I need another stamp with my daughter to complete the package,” Kines said.

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(1) Comment:

  1. Posted by JOHANNE COUTU-AUTUT on

    Well done Clare, brings back good memories.

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