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The WAG Celebrates One-Year Anniversary of the Opening of Qaumajuq 

The Gallery Marks the Celebration with a Weekend of Free Days for the Public 

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Treaty No. 1 Territory, March 24, 2022: The Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG) is celebrating the one-year anniversary of the opening of Qaumajuq, the Inuit art centre. Home to the largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art in the world, the 40,000-square-foot building connects to the WAG building on all levels, creating a 185,000-square-foot cultural campus. Designed by Michael Maltzan Architecture with Cibinel Architecture, the building’s design is inspired by the landscape of the North. Qaumajuq is now home to many Inuit artworks, whose spirits are cared for with the help of Indigenous Ceremonial leaders through prayer, as they are not on their homelands in Inuit Nunangat. There would not be a Qaumajuq without these artworks and the skilled and talented Inuit artists who created them. 

Qaumajuq has received amazing response from local and international audiences. The centre has been celebrated for its striking design and its ground-breaking programming. Piloted as a part of the first year of Qaumajuq, the WAG is excited to announce that free admission for youth 18 and under, and free Friend memberships for youth 25 and under living in Manitoba, has been extended an additional year until March 31, 2023. 

To commemorate the one-year anniversary of Qaumajuq, the WAG is inviting our community to celebrate with free admission April 8, 9, and 10. Visitors can explore the two buildings and the art on display, with special tours and programs for all ages!  

Quick Facts:  

  • Qaumajuq is an innovative museum dedicated to Inuit art and culture from Canada and beyond, the first art museum of its kind. 
  • Qaumajuq opened to the public in a two-day virtual opening March 25 and 26, 2021. 
  • The 40,000-square-foot building, designed by Michael Maltzan Architecture, with Cibinel Architecture, is inspired by the beauty of the North and celebrates historic and contemporary Inuit art and culture.  
  • The name Qaumajuq – which means “it is bright, it is lit” in Inuktitut – was gifted to the building by Indigenous Language Keepers. The name was inspired by the light that pours into the building on every level. 
  • Response to the opening of Qaumajuq has been amazing, with features in local, national, and international media celebrating the centre’s unique programming and distinct design. 
  • Welcoming visitors to Qaumajuq is the stunning Visible Vault, filled with almost 5000 Inuit carvings. Explore the collection virtually at 
  • Qaumajuq’s inaugural show INUA, presented by RBC, was curated by an all-Inuit team and features a selection of artwork that spans generations. The exhibition has been extended to February 2023. Visit the exhibition in person or virtually at 
  • Piloted as a part of the first year of Qaumajuq, the WAG is excited to announce that free admission for youth 18 and under, and free Friend memberships for youth 25 and under living in Manitoba, has been extended until March 31, 2023. 
  • Indigenous Peoples who belong to and are claimed by an Indigenous Nation can access free memberships and admission to WAG-Qaumajuq. This ongoing initiative is part of our commitment to reconciliation within the arts.  
  • The public is invited to experience WAG-Qaumajuq with FREE admission April 8, 9, and 10. Watch the special two-part virtual opening of Qaumajuq, screening in Muriel Richardson Auditorium and Illipvik, the Learning Steps. Grab a treat at Katita Café and visit the Gallery Shop featuring new artwork and handcrafted treasures or take a selfie in front of the WAG-Qaumajuq step-and-repeat. Take a self-guided tour and complete the new 2022 Qaumajuq activity booklet, including a vault scavenger hunt, and visit the inaugural exhibition INUA and explore the Visible Vault, plus current exhibitions Kwaata-nihtaawakihk: A Hard Birth; Cliff Eyland: Library of Babel – A Retrospective; Inuk Style; and your Permanent Collection! See FREE weekend details here.  
  • Celebrate with us with special programming on Sunday, April 10th for the regularly scheduled Canada Life Free Sunday at WAG-Qaumajuq!  


“One year ago, the bright light of Qaumajuq lit up the heart of downtown Winnipeg. We’ve been overwhelmed and humbled by the reception of Qaumajuq, and we are so grateful for the support that has brought this vision into stunning reality. A historic Inuit art centre, Qaumajuq tangibly links the North and the South, and provides a place for Inuit artists to share their voices and artwork with the world. I am thrilled to welcome our community into this incredible space!”

Dr. Stephen Borys, Director & CEO, WAG-Qaumajuq 


“Since Qaumajuq opened last March, the free Friend membership has opened our doors to more than 4,000 youth and Indigenous Peoples. In our changing world, removing financial barriers and creating opportunities to access art and arts education has never been more important. The extension of the free admission and memberships program for another year would not have been possible without the support of our visitors, members, and donors – thank you. I invite you to celebrate the anniversary of Qaumajuq with us.”

Taylor Goodson, Manager of Advancement, WAG-Qaumajuq 



The WAG thanks Canada Life for their ongoing support of Free Sundays at WAG-Qaumajuq, which has opened the gallery’s doors to more than 15,000 community members since its inception. 

Associated Links



Visible Vault 

Qaumajuq Opening Celebration 

Stay Connected

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram #atwag 


For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact:  

Hanna Waswa
Public Relations Officer
Winnipeg Art Gallery

Amy Rebecca Harrison
Engagement Supervisor
Winnipeg Art Gallery

The Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG)-Qaumajuq 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 



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WAG-Qaumajuq recognizes that land acknowledgements are part of an ongoing dialogue with Indigenous Nations, and we are grateful to live and work on these lands and waters. Institutionally, WAG-Qaumajuq is committed to acknowledging our colonial history and we are actively working to interrogate the Gallery’s colonial ways of being.

WAG-Qaumajuq is LEED certified.

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Winnipeg Art Gallery—Qaumajuq
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