WAG and NFB announce new partnership in days leading up to Qaumajuq Opening
MOU to provide global platform for Inuit art and culture
March 22, 2021: The Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG) and the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) are pleased to announce a new partnership days before the March 27, 2021 opening of Qaumajuq, the new Inuit art centre at the WAG. WAG-Qaumajuq provides a home for largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art, while the NFB has a rich Indigenous Film collection that stretches back more than 70 years. Building on a long-history of collaboration, this expanded partnership will further WAG-Qaumajuq and the NFB’s joint mission to provide a platform for Inuit to share their art, culture, and knowledge with Canada and the world.
About WAG and NFB Partnership:
- The Partnership Agreement reflects a shared commitment to partner on a variety of programs and events in coming years, including: discussions with Inuit community on Inuit-content from the NFB’s Indigenous Film Collection; screenings geared for both kids and adults; integration of NFB Indigenous and Inuit Film Collection and NFB Archives into WAG-Qaumajuq online and in-gallery programming; and a diversity of audio-visual projects, such as developing and producing new original works created by Inuit artists to be presented at Qaumajuq and elsewhere.
- Reflective of the partnership and its first joint project is a new WAG-Qaumajuq commission by Geronimo Inutiq, an Inuk multimedia artist working in electronic music production, performance, film, video, and digital images. Inutiq created a new media work using Inuit footage and archival material from the NFB, resulting in an innovative “remix” of traditional and contemporary Inuit visuals and sounds. Adding futuristic layers of colored filters, and a fascinating digital soundscape, this new work by Inutiq honours Inuit ancestors and family members of artists and communities in the North.
- Inutiq’s commission was recently debuted in a larger outdoor projection show on the exterior walls of two connected WAG-Qaumajuq buildings, running every Friday and Saturday night until March 27, 2021, as part Qaumajuq’s inaugural year celebrations.
- WAG will also be featuring a variety of NFB films on Qaumajuq’s new Visible Vault digital platform launching in April 2021. The WAG-Qaumajuq is working with youth, artists, elders, and knowledge keepers throughout Inuit Nunangat, the Inuit homeland of Canada, and beyond to share the stories behind the art. The digital platform will promoteInuit Qaujimajatuqangit, Inuit traditional knowledge.
- Qaumajuq’s Learning Steps, named Ilipvik, Inuttitut for a place where you go to learn, provide an interactive theatre for screening and discussion programs with Inuit community members.
About the NFB:
- For over 70 years, the NFB has worked with Inuit communities and creators to document all facets of life in the North, producing the world’s largest collection of films for, by and about Inuit.
- Inspired by the initial mandate, “make Canada’s various regions known to Canadians in other areas of the country,” NFB filmmakers produced more than 200 films on the Inuit and the Arctic.
- In November 2011, the NFB and partners including the Inuit Relations Secretariat and the Government of Nunavut introduced a DVD and online collection entitled Unikkausivut: Sharing Our Stories, which makes over 100 NFB films by and about Inuit available in Inuktitut and other Inuit languages, as well as English and French.
- Qaumajuq, the Inuit art centre opens at the WAG on March 27, 2021 with a two-part virtual event on March 25 & 26, 2021. Everyone is invited to be part of the celebrations. Details can be found at wag.ca/opening
- Meaning “it is bright, it is lit” in Inuktitut, Qaumajuq provides a new home for the world’s largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art in the world.
- Qaumajuq is the first art museum of its kind, bringing Inuit voices to the forefront, and dedicated to the art and culture of Inuit from Canada and beyond.
- Qaumajuq will innovate the art museum, taking art from object to full sensory experience with Inuit-led programming, complementing and augmenting the cutting-edge art education that the WAG offers today.
- The new 40,000-square-foot-building designed by Michael Maltzan Architecture with Cibinel Architecture will connect to the WAG on all four levels, providing stunning exhibition, learning and event spaces; a revamped shop; plus a new café on the main level in partnership with Circa Catering.
- The central feature is a Visible Vault, showcasing thousands of carvings you can see even from the street.
“The opening of Qaumajuq is a wonderful opportunity to expand our partnership with the NFB and advance our collective journey of reconciliation. Qaumajuq will amplify the voices and stories of artists from across Inuit Nunangat, and joint programming with the NFB will take this even further, through increased public access to the NFB collections, and future Inuit-centered co-productions. We are grateful to the NFB and look forward to many meaningful projects with Inuit artists and filmmakers for everyone to enjoy.”
—Dr. Stephen D. Borys, Director & CEO, Winnipeg Art Gallery
“We’re honoured to be working with WAG-Qaumajuq to create a new destination for Inuit culture, audiovisual storytelling and creation. The NFB’s Inuit film collection represents an important cultural legacy, one that must continue to be expanded, explored and reinterpreted by contemporary Inuit artists, and seen and shared by Inuit and non-Inuit audiences alike. As the NFB works to bring new and immersive experiences to communities across Canada, WAG-Qaumajuq is a wonderful example of what can be accomplished with the support and vision of great partners.”
—Claude Joli-Coeur, Government Film Commissioner and NFB Chairperson
For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact:
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. The WAG holds in trust the largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art in the world. To celebrate the art and to honour the Inuit, the WAG is building Qaumajuq, the Inuit art centre. Opening on March 27 2021, the centre will bridge Canada’s North and South through exhibitions, research, education, and art making. To learn more visit wag.ca
The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) creates groundbreaking interactive works, social-issue documentaries and auteur animation. The NFB has produced over 13,000 productions and won over 5,000 awards, including 14 Canadian Screen Awards, 11 Webbys, 12 Oscars and more than 90 Genies. To access acclaimed NFB content, visit NFB.ca or download its apps for smartphones, tablets and connected TV.