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Federal government renews funding for Cape Dorset Legacy Project

The Cape Dorset Legacy Project: Digital History Initiative has received another $50,000 grant from the Government of Canada.

The latest funding announcement will support human resources and systems upgrades. It follows an earlier $50,000 allocated for the acquisition of digital equipment.

An initiative of the Kinngait Arts Foundation, the project focuses on the “digital documentation of both two- and three-dimensional works residing in the West Baffin Eskimo Cooperative permanent collection,” according to the Foundation.

Digital archive associate Marisha Pula documents a sculpture by Abraham Etungat.
photo courtesy of the Kinngait Arts Foundation

“The art of Kinngait is core to the identity of the Inuit people
from our region, and is an important part of the Canadian creative personality,” said West Baffin Eskimo Cooperative president Pauloosie Kowmageak.
“My organization has always taken very seriously the maintenance and promotion of that history. Our partnership with Kinngait Arts Foundation and this renewed support from Canadian Heritage will allow us to continue that vital mission.”

The collection, housed in three locations and spanning early Inuit art to contemporary pieces, comprises more than 155,000 works on paper and sculptures. That makes it the world’s largest active archive of Inuit art, according to the Kinngait Arts Foundation.

“Widely considered the capital of Inuit art, Kinngait (Cape Dorset) has been home to generations of artists who have defined the revered art of the North. This unique and vital visual history will soon be housed and presented virtually making it accessible to a limitless global audience,” states a news release from the Foundation.

The federal funding comes from the Department of Canadian Heritage’s Museums Assistance Program, which “fosters the preservation of Indigenous culture and facilitates access to heritage collections for all Canadians.”

“This funding will support The Kinngait Arts Foundation’s work to promote, protect and preserve Inuit art. It will help to strengthen Inuit identity and safe-keep traditional and cultural knowledge by upgrading their collections management systems to maintain digital historic records,” said Northern Affairs Minister Dan Vandal. “By making this investment we can ensure future generations can continue to celebrate the unique heritage, diversity and contributions Inuit artists make to this country.”