2022 Arctic Arts Summit to be hosted in Canada’s Yukon territory

A file photo of Yukon’s capital city of Whitehorse. Yukon will host the Arctic Arts Summit for the first time in 2022. (Chuck Stoody/The Canadian Press)

Canada’s northwestern Yukon territory will host the 2022 Arctic Arts Summit, the territorial government announced this week.

It will be the first time a Canadian location puts on the event.

“The Yukon is immensely proud to co-host this international symposium of circumpolar arts and culture for the first time in Canada,” Ranj Pillai, Yukon’s tourism minister, said in a news release.

Four focuses of 2022 Arctic Arts Summit

More event details will be announced in the fall, but Yukon said the 2022 event will have four main focuses:

  • improving understanding, engagement and support for the arts community in the North
  • increasing artistic collaboration in the circumpolar Arctic
  • focusing on Indigenous self-determination, sovereignty, and cultural integrity, specifically as it relates to peoples of the Arctic
  • strengthening the relationships between the Canada Council, the Yukon, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and other Northern regions of Canada.

“We look forward to working together with the Canada Council for the Arts as well as our many community partners throughout the North to create a truly innovative event that will highlight and advance the vision, voices and shared experiences of this unique region,” Pillai said.

Third such event

The first Arctic Arts Summit was held in in Harstad, Norway in 2017. The goal of the event is to showcase Arctic art and artists and to create links between the northern arts communities of the eight circumpolar countries. 

The second event was held in 2019 in Rovaniemi, Finland.  The June 2021 event was cancelled because of the pandemic, but the 2022 edition is now on the calendar for June 27-29.

Yukon will jointly administer and host the event with the Canada Council for the Arts, Canada’s arts funding body.

“The Canada Council is deeply committed to strengthening existing synergies and expanding connections with organizations and leaders in the North,” Simon Brault, director and CEO of the Canada Council for the Arts, said.

“The priorities we identify and the actions we take today to express and showcase the realities of the art and culture of the peoples of the circumpolar North, and in particular with Indigenous communities, are necessary building blocks to a more inclusive and sustainable future.”

Write to Eilís Quinn at eilis.quinn(at)cbc.ca

Related stories from around the North: 

Canada: Iqaluit museum curator worries Inuit art gallery in southern Canada too far from home, CBC News

Finland: How not to promote Arctic tourism: Why Finland’s Sami say marketing their region needs to change, Eye on the Arctic

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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