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Breathing life into art

Adam Johnson
Northern News Services
Wednesday, March 05, 2007

IQALUIT - For the last month, Nunavummiut artists have been putting their art into action.

Dozens of printmakers and sculptors have been hard at work learning animation, courtesy of a series of National Film Board (NFB) workshops that have been happening around the territory.

NNSL Photo/graphic

Alethea Arnaquq shows off one of her creations at the National Film Board animation workshop at IBC in Iqaluit. - NNSL file photo

Two weeks ago, the last of the workshops wrapped up in Pangnirtung, following week-long stints in Cape Dorset and Iqaluit.

"It's great to see it finally happening," said IBC executive director Debbie Brisebois. "It's great to see it met with such enthusiasm."

She said the Iqaluit workshops were well-attended by a variety of local artists, working in a number of disciplines.

"Some people are doing claymation, paper cut, other people are just doing drawings," she said. "It looks like a kindergarten craft room (in there)."

The $200,000 initiative was announced late last year in Iqaluit by Inuit Broadcasting Corporation (IBC) president Okalik Eegeesiak and NFB producer Derek Mazur.

"(This program will) have Inuit equipped to take on new roles," Eegeesiak said during the meeting.

This month, the select artists will submit film proposals, with the hopes of having their finished work broadcast on APTN.

"We're going to select four people to actually produce and direct a short animated film each," Mazur said in a previous interview.

Peter Wilson, general manager of the Uqqurmiut Centre for Arts and Crafts in Pangnirtung, said his organization helped out where they could, though they were not directly involved with the workshops.

"It was a classroom situation," he said. "We assisted people to apply to get into the program."

He said Pangnirtung artists Ame Papatsie and Andrew Qappik participated in the workshops, which ran until Feb. 16.