Since the opening of the Kenojuak Cultural Centre and Print Shop in September, there’s been a marked rise in the number of visitors to the community from southern Canada and around the world, said John Hussey, Cape Dorset’s senior administrative officer.
“It’s causing a lot of attraction to Cape Dorset that wasn’t there before,” Hussey said of the $10.2-million, 10,400-square-foot arts facility. “(The hamlet) is working quite well with the West Baffin Cooperative in that area. They run the print shop that makes the prints and the carvings and we run the cultural centre. We’re working in partnership agreement.”
William Huffman, marketing manager for Dorset Fine Arts in Toronto, which works in partnership with the Kenojuak Centre, said there are an estimated 125 visitors per month to the facility. Those visitors include art collectors, gallerists, museum officials and journalists, he said. The Sept. 8 grand opening for dignitaries attracted more than 75 officials from outside Cape Dorset, according to Huffman.
But he noted that local residents have been making good use of the new building through youth cultural experiences, elders’ gatherings and community services stockholder meetings.