Government of Nunavut and WAG promoting Inuit art in Winnipeg

Winnipeg, Manitoba, (May 25, 2016) – The Government of Nunavut (GN), through the Nunavut Development Corporation (NDC), is supporting a new retail space in collaboration with the Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG) to promote and sell Inuit art. Opening on June 25, WAG@The Forks will be located in the Johnston Terminal at The Forks in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

“The Government of Nunavut is proud to partner with the Winnipeg Art Gallery,” said Nunavut’s Minister of Economic Development and Transportation Monica Ell-Kanayuk. “This retail gallery provides another venue for our talented artists to sell their amazing works. This further encourages Nunavut artists to produce high quality work and market their art across Canada, which allows for greater engagement with Inuit art and culture.”

The GN will provide the NDC with $75,000 a year for three years to promote Nunavut artists. NDC’s investment will raise awareness of artists, increase art sales, and create more opportunities for Northern artists, further expanding the economic impact of this incredible art form.

“This three-year initiative will support additional income-earning opportunities for Nunavut artists and business enterprises,” said NDC President Darrin Nichol.

WAG@The Forks will feature a mix of shopping and art creation. The new retail space will carry the much-loved collection of one-of-a-kind, handmade goods found at the WAG Gallery Shop. Inuit art, as well as First Nations and Métis art, will be presented alongside jewelry, contemporary Canadian crafts and more.

“Today’s announcement is just one more example of how art and culture are key components of economic development,” states Dr. Stephen Borys, WAG Director & CEO. “By extending the WAG brand to one of Manitoba’s most popular attractions, WAG@The Forks will build new audiences for Inuit art and drive tourism to the North. We are excited to partner with the Government of Nunavut to promote Inuit art and ensure Winnipeg is a gateway to the North.”

The GN and NDC’s support for WAG@The Forks grew out of consultations regarding the Inuit Art Centre and the role the WAG plays in promoting Inuit art and economic development.

The WAG holds in trust the world’s largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art. With more than 13,000 pieces, the collection represents half of the gallery’s total permanent art collection. The Inuit Art Centre will allow this extensive cultural resource to be shared with people of all ages and backgrounds.

Visit wag.ca for the latest updates, follow us on Twitter (@wag_ca), Facebook (wag.ca) and Instagram (@wag_ca). Follow the Government of Nunavut on Twitter (@GovofNunavut), Facebook (GovofNunavut) or visit gov.nu.ca. You can check out the Nunavut Development Corporation at ndcorp.nu.ca.

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Media Contact:
Matthew Illaszewicz
Manager, Communications
Economic Development and Transportation
Government of Nunavut
867-975-7818
millaszewicz@gov.nu.ca

Darrin Nichol
President
Nunavut Development Corporation
(867) 645-3170
darrin@ndcorp.nu.ca

Catherine Maksymiuk
Manager, Media and Marketing
Winnipeg Art Gallery
204-789-1767
Media-Manager@wag.ca

The Winnipeg Art Gallery is a cultural advocate – a lens and forum – helping people see and experience more through art. Playing a vital role in the community, engaging and enriching people of all ages and backgrounds through art and culture, the Winnipeg Art Gallery thrives as a creative, innovative, and accessible place for learning, discovery, and inspiration.

The Nunavut Development Corporation, based in Rankin Inlet, is an independent crown corporation of the Government of Nunavut. The Nunavut Development Corporation directly invests in or operates business enterprises in accordance with the economic objectives of the government through equity investments, loans and subsidies to create employment and income opportunities for Nunavummiut, primarily in small communities.

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