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Thank you to the community of Iqaluit


Once more the community of Iqaluit has responded wholeheartedly to an opportunity for two of its youth to travel in connection with their area of special interest.

Seepoola Inuaraq, 13, and Ooleepeeka Ipeelie, 13, have participated in the Arctic Youth Art Initiative for two years. Their proven talent in painting Arctic scenes in watercolour made them candidates for an invitation from the Glenbow Museum in Calgary to participate in its Discovery Room program in connection with a major Inuit art exhibition held over the Labour Day weekend.

They had the added pleasure of trying out new art forms at tables adjacent to the one where they were painting. Two large posters of their earlier paintings were prominently displayed and much admired by visitors.

Thanks to the generous support offered by First Air, the Legion Women’s Auxiliary, the Qikiqtani Inuit Association, the Marriot Hotel in downtown Calgary, along with several individuals in Iqaluit, the girls and their escort were able to accept the invitation and have an event-filled week in Calgary. The chairman of Glenbow’s board of directors came to witness the girls’ painting and escorted them with another friend to the Calgary Zoo to enjoy the tropical birds and exotic animals.

Earlier funding from the department of culture, language, elders and youth, as well as from the crime prevention department in Yellowknife, has permitted the Arctic Youth Art Initiative to expand rapidly, with painting workshops held during the past year in Clyde River and Pangnirtung, as well as Joamie School and Inuksuk High School in Iqaluit.

From June through late August, groups of children, five to 12 years of age, have enjoyed painting almost daily at House 112, the Baha’i Centre, where special materials, paint and snacks are always available.

The project will continue on an after-school basis, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings.

Again, my thanks to the community of Iqaluit for making the Calgary trip possible for Ooleepeeka and Seepoola.

Beth McKenty

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