New podcast series spotlighting Inuit artists to launch in January

“The mediums we’re looking for artists in are so varied,” says ICC-Canada President Lisa Koperqualuk. “We don’t want to limit ourselves.”(Courtesy ICC-Canada)

A new podcast series will hit the internet in January to highlight Inuit artists across Canada, no matter what medium they’re creating in.

The Inuit Artist of the Month Series will be launched by Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC)-Canada as part of their Unikkaat / Circumpolar Waves podcast.

Lisa Koperqualuk, the president of ICC-Canada, says the series is looking to showcase the full range of artistic expression being practiced by Inuit across Canada, from traditional food production and drawing, to performance art and beading, and everything in between. 

“Art can be about so many things: humour, cultural resistance, sadness, happiness,” Lisa Koperqualuk, the president of ICC-Canada, said in a phone interview.

“It can allow us to express things that we’re not easily able to talk about. It’s also a pleasurable way of showcasing all the things that we as Inuit share. That’s why the mediums we’re looking for artists in are so varied. We don’t want to limit ourselves.”

ICC-Canada has launched a call for artists to apply to be featured on the show and talk about their work, life and artistic journey, as well as receive a $5,000 bursary.

Applicants are eligible to apply whether they live in the North or South of the country as long as they are registered with an Inuit Land Claims Organization in Canada and haven’t received any art grants, bursaries or scholarships for their art within the last 12 months.

The podcast interviews will take place in either Inuktitut or English, whichever the artist perfers.

Submissions from urban Inuit also encouraged

Koperqualuk said making the call open to urban Inuit and those living outside Inuit Nunangat (the traditional Inuit homeland in the North of Canada) was also an important part of the project.

“We wanted to be as inclusive as possible,” she said. “There’s a large urban Inuit population in many cities across Canada. For those who’ve grown up there, they might feel disconnected from Inuit Nunangat and not speak their own language. But art can be a way to express their Inuit-ness, it’s a way of expressing oneness with one’s own culture.”

The call for artists for the new podcast series. (Courtesy ICC-Canada)

“Inuit living in urban areas are part of the Inuit community,” Koperqualuk said. “They hold Inuit identity and they live common experiences, so I think they also have their own specific art which would be nice to showcase on the podcast as well.”

Once all the applications are in, an all-Inuit curatorial team, still to be established, will choose the artists to be featured.

Submissions are encouraged from artists working in any medium: visual art, music, dance, photography, amautik design, carving, jewellery making, throat singing, clothing design, traditional food production or recipes, basket weaving, Inuit athletics, performance, video art or any combination of the above.

The host or hosts of the artist series are yet to be announced.

The Unikkaat / Circumpolar Waves podcast usually puts out one episode a month. The Inuit Artist of the Month Series is planned as an extra, separate episode that would come out each month, in addition to the regular programming.

The application deadline for artists is December 16.

The application can be found on the ICC website.

Write to Eilís Quinn at eilis.quinn(at)

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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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