The art and artists of Canada’s Arctic

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In the days before mass media reached the remote corners of Canada, before things like Twitter and Facebook, the art and artists of Canada’s Arctic were the main conduit for northerners to communicate their culture and communities to the rest of the world.

From the first generation of artists like Order of Canada recipient Kenojuak Ashevak (1927-2013) to contemporary iconoclasts like the late Jutai Toonoo (1959- 2015), these artists pushed boundaries, exploring everything from traditional culture and family life, to the climate and social change going on in their communities.

Since 2010, Eye on the Arctic’s Eilís Quinn has been travelling to these artists’ studios to talk to them about their techniques and their inspiration, their communities and their collaborations.

Here, you can find their conversations, all in one place, and learn more about the printmakers, graphic artists and carvers responsible for some of the most internationally recognized art out of Canada.

Eilís Quinn, Eye on the Arctic

Eilís Quinn is an award-winning 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 murder of Robert Adams, a 19-year-old Inuk man from Arctic Quebec, received the silver medal for “Best Investigative Article or Series” at the 2019 Canadian Online Publishing Awards. The project also received an honourable mention for excellence in reporting on trauma at the 2019 Dart Awards in New York City.

Her report “The Arctic Railway: Building a future or destroying a culture?” on the impact a multi-billion euro infrastructure project would have on Indigenous communities in Arctic Europe was a finalist at the 2019 Canadian Association of Journalists award in the online investigative category.

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

Her work on climate change in the Arctic has also been featured on the TV science program Découverte, as well as Le Téléjournal, the French-Language CBC’s flagship news cast.

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."

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