Qaggiavuut kick-starts feasibility study for new arts centre

Performing arts group hopes to see qaggiq construction start next year

This is one artist’s rendering of the proposed Inuit performing arts and cultural learning hub in Iqaluit. (Image courtesy of Diamond Schmitt Architects)

By Nunatsiaq News

Qaggiavuut! says it will launch a feasibility study in August to determine what’s needed to build an arts centre in Nunavut.

The performing arts society was working to secure a $125,000 private-public funding partnership to finance the study, before it could launch the process.

Now, a Toronto firm called Savira Cultural Capital will work alongside the Inuk project manager, Kathleen Merritt, to prepare the study over the next six-month period, Qaggiavuut said in a July 29 release.

The centre, or qaggiq, would serve as a venue to take in performance, film and visual arts “with a focus on Inuit culture and language,” Qaggiavuut has said.

The Iqaluit-based facility would also offer space for training sessions and a market space for artists.

“The most important objective is the space to train and build performance skills,” said Qaggiavuut chairperson Rhoda Ungalaq in the release.

“Our youth need a beacon of hope.”

Nunavut is the only territory or province in Canada without a performing arts space, prompting Qaggiavuut to spearhead its Let’s Build a Qaggiq campaign.

To fund the construction of the centre, the organization has approached the federal government to contribute about $30 million—roughly half of its estimated cost.

The feasibility study should be completed by the end of the year, and would offer recommendations on a potential location and governance model for the centre.

If Qaggiavuut is successful getting the financing it needs, the organization hopes to see construction begin on the new centre in 2020.

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(6) Comments:

  1. Posted by General Mills on

    Considering all the millions spent to date and the gushing media hype, I’m not sure why this wasn’t in place over two years ago.

  2. Posted by Takes Longer on

    If you’re at a feasibility stage this summer, lasting 6 months, then design will start in 2020. Finish in maybe a year, with tendering and construction earliest in 2021. If they have the money.

    Design and Construction of this type of facility doesn’t happen overnight.

    • Posted by Public Servant Much? on

      You’re following public service capital planning. Although I agree it’s unlikely they’ll have shovels in the ground in 2020, Qaggiavuut doesn’t have to follow the same rules you seem to be familiar with. They don’t have to tender, they could just go sole-source a company to do the design and construction all in one.

      • Posted by Takes Longer on

        Even a private facility and private procurement, for a $60 million facility, will take a year to design properly. Unless you’re skipping design steps. Even as a design-build you still need to actually complete most of a design before you begin construction, and you have to time that with sealifts.

        But sure, maybe they’ll surprise me and be shoves in the ground next year. But I’m not gonna hold my breath on that. And I certainly would be wondering what they skipped if I were a society member.

  3. Posted by Sled dog on

    Does the society not publish financial statements? I’m curious how some non- arms length performers seem to get funding to perform on a regular basis.

    • Posted by Dog Trainer on

      Perhaps you could contact them and request them? The society is not an arms length NGO, as far as I know. Financial statements may be public but there is no requirement for organizations to publish them.

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