Uqqurmiut: Filming Canada’s Famous Arctic Weavers

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Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

Pangnirtung, Nunavut

Bridge in Pangnirtung. Artist: Elisapee Ishulutaq, Printmaker: Josea Maniapik. Image courtesy of Uqqurmiut.Spent the day today filming in the Uqqurmiut Centre for Arts and Crafts. Never heard of it? Well, you’re probably not alone.

Most attention on Northern art in Canada focuses on work produced out of Kinngait Studios in Cape Dorset, Nunavut. Uqqurmiut isn’t on the radar in the same way but contemporary art lovers would do well to give it a closer look.

The studio is home to renowned artists like Elisapee Ishulutaq and Andrew Qappik. Qappik was a lead artist on projects like Nunavut’s flag and coat of arms. But Uqqurmiut is also home to the Pangnirtung Tapestry Studio, one of only four commercial weaving studios in the world working in collaboration with artists. (The others are in West Dean, England; Edinburgh, Scotland and Melbourne, Australia.)

I don’t know if it was because we had just come inside from the dreary grey weather. But walking into the studio was a feast for the senses. Stacks of coloured yarn were everywhere. The clickety-clack of a half-dozen looms filled the room. One of the weavers like to sing in Inuktitut while she worked.

Truly one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever filmed.

To see their 2010 print collection, click here.

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Eilís Quinn, Eye on the Arctic

Eilís Quinn, Eye on the Arctic

Eilís Quinn is a journalist and manages Radio Canada International’s Eye on the Arctic news cooperation project.

Eilís has reported from the Arctic regions of all eight circumpolar countries and has produced numerous documentary and multimedia series about climate change and the issues facing Indigenous peoples in the North.

Her investigative report "Death in the Arctic: A community grieves, a father fights for change," about the violent death of Robert Adams, a 19-year-old Inuk man from Arctic Quebec, received an honourable mention for excellence in reporting on violence and trauma at the 2019 Dart Awards in New York City.

Her multimedia project on the health challenges in the Canadian Arctic, "Bridging the Divide," was a finalist at the 2012 Webby Awards.

Eilís has worked for media organizations in Canada and the United States and as a TV host for the Discovery/BBC Worldwide series "Best in China."

Twitter: @Arctic_EQ

Email: eilis.quinn(at)cbc.ca

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