Kenojuak Ashevak Memorial Award Grows in Big Ways
Exciting new initiatives supporting future of Inuit art
Canada, November 10, 2022: The Inuit Art Foundation (IAF) and Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG)-Qaumajuq are pleased to announce the expansion of their partnership to support the IAF’s Kenojuak Ashevak Memorial Award (KAMA), thanks to significant new support from RBC Emerging Artists.
KAMA is a biennial prize that supports the practice of an Inuk artist by facilitating opportunities for artistic development and career growth. Established in 2014 by generous members of the Inuit art community and organized by the IAF, this award honours the life and work of the late Kenojuak Ashevak for her unparalleled contributions to the cultural life and arts of Inuit Nunangat and beyond by awarding a contemporary Inuk artist with monetary support towards their practice, with WAG-Qaumajuq organizing a solo exhibition, producing an exhibition publication, and acquiring a work by the artist.
New and expanded benefits in 2023
Beginning in 2023, thanks to the generous support of RBC Emerging Artists, the award now supports opportunities for ten artists to expand their practice.
For the first time, a longlist of ten artists will receive:
- A cash prize of $2,500 each; and
- A feature in a dedicated publication to be distributed with the Inuit Art Quarterly
A shortlist of five artists will receive:
- An increased cash prize of $5,000 each; and
- A new group exhibition at WAG-Qaumajuq in 2023.
The award recipient will receive:
- An increased cash prize of $20,000
- A fully funded creative residency at WAG-Qaumajuq in 2024; and
- A solo exhibition with accompanying publication and acquisition in partnership with WAG-Qaumajuq in fall 2025
The longlist will be announced in March 2023 and the shortlist in May 2023. The 2023 recipient will be announced at the opening of the solo exhibition for 2021 recipient Tarralik Duffy at WAG-Qaumajuq in September 2023.
- The Kenojuak Ashevak Memorial Award was established by the IAF in 2014 to honour the legacy of the late Kenojuak Ashevak and celebrates contemporary Inuk artistic practice. The award’s inaugural recipient was Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory in 2018, followed by Tarralik Duffy in 2021.
- Thanks to RBC Emerging Artists, the award has expanded this year to include a longlist of 10 artists ($2,500 cash prize), shortlist ($5,000 cash prize), and award recipient ($20,000 cash prize).
- Longlisted artists will be featured in a publication created and distributed by the Inuit Art Quarterly, the world’s only magazine dedicated to circumpolar Indigenous artists.
- Shortlisted artists will be included in a group exhibition at WAG-Qaumajuq, who also provide a creative residency for the 2023 recipient along with a solo exhibition, accompanying publication, and acquisition.
“We have been thrilled to formally partner with the Inuit Art Foundation to cross-promote the work of Inuit artists, curators, and cultural workers. Through the expanded benefits made possible by RBC Emerging Artists, we can do more to support Inuit artists working across all media, and contribute to a strong future for Inuit art.”
— Stephen Borys, Director & CEO, WAG-Qaumajuq
“With the announcement of these new opportunities and benefits, I look forward to watching how the Kenojuak Ashevak Memorial Award will assist in the expansion of even more Inuit artist’s careers. This is a unique opportunity for artists to connect with international audiences and accelerate their careers, and we deeply appreciate RBC Emerging Artists for expanding these benefits and WAG-Qaumajuq for their partnership on this prestigious award.”
— Heather Campbell, Strategic Initiatives Director, Inuit Art Foundation
“When we have the opportunity to create space for those who make our communities more vibrant through their creative expression, we should shine all of our light on them. These awards that celebrate Inuk culture and artistry are a way for us at RBC to help craft that space and shine a bright light through the RBC Emerging Artists program.”
— Kim Ulmer, Regional President, RBC
For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact:
Public Relations Officer
Winnipeg Art Gallery
Inuit Art Foundation
(647) 498-7717 x 101
The Winnipeg Art Gallery (the WAG) is a cultural advocate using art to connect, inspire, and inform. Playing a dynamic role in the community, we are a place for learning, dialogue, and enjoyment through art. Opened in March 2021, Qaumajuq connects to the WAG on all levels, celebrating the largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art in the world. The new WAG-Qaumajuq cultural campus is now one of the largest art museums in Canada. To learn more visit wag.ca.
Established in 1987, the Inuit Art Foundation provides support to Canada’s Inuit arts communities and is the sole national body mandated to promote Inuit artists and art within Canada and internationally. The IAF is deeply invested in the rich history and tradition of Canada’s Inuit artistic expressions while actively contributing to the growth and development of these unique and diverse contemporary art practices. The IAF undertakes advocacy on behalf of Inuit artists and realizes a number of strategies aimed at enhancing the appreciation and interpretation of Inuit art. The Inuit Art Foundation is supported by the private sector along with contributions from Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada and other public agencies. A volunteer, Inuit artist majority Board of Directors oversees the IAF. To learn more, visit inuitartfoundation.org.