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CAPE DORSET (May 2015) – On May 21, Cape Dorset will kick-off its fundraising for the Kenojuak Cultural Centre and Print Shop. They will have a giant community bingo, at Sam Pudlat School starting at 7:00 p.m. This will be the first of several events the community is planning over the next couple of years to raise money for the Centre, a multi-use community gathering space, exhibition hall, artist studios and teaching facility. It is to be built and opened by 2017. The Centre is being named in honour of one of Nunavut’s most famous residents – the world-renowned artist Kenojuak Ashevak. The bingo will help bring a Canada-wide $3 million private fundraising campaign for the Centre to the $1.5 million mark.

At the event will be Paul Desmarais III, Vice-President of the Montreal-based Power Corporation of Canada, and chair of the national fundraising campaign. “We are honoured to have Mr. Desmarais in Cape Dorset and to show him our land and who we are,” says Padlaya Qiatsuq, Mayor of Cape Dorset. “He is helping us realize our dream of having a modern place for our artists to work, a place for people to gather, learn and story tell, and a place where we can preserve our history, culture and heritage.”

“I am very proud of being part of this Centre and am really looking forward to meeting the people of Cape Dorset. I have visited many art galleries around the world, and it’s exciting to see how Cape Dorset artists are gaining more and more recognition nationally and internationally,” says Mr. Desmarais, a passionate collector of traditional and contemporary Inuit art. “I want to make sure the new Cultural Centre will be a wonderful place for the Cape Dorset community, for artists and future generations of artists, and for the growing numbers of visitors to the Arctic who want to connect with a fascinating land and culture.”

Mr. Desmarais will be in Cape Dorset from May 20 to 24th. Aside from taking part in the bingo fundraiser, he will be meeting with the Mayor and Council, visiting the current Kinngait Studios, the site of the new Centre, and going out on the land. He will also be in Iqaluit on May 19th and again on May 25th to meet with Nunavut Government officials to discuss the Kenojuak Centre campaign. This will be his first visit to both places. He has participated in several expeditions to the Arctic, including one to the North Pole for the True Patriot Love Foundation in 2014.

Mr. Desmarais began campaigning in January this year with a team of volunteers from Montreal, Toronto and Nunavut. Nunavut members of the campaign are: Senator Dennis Patterson, Senator for Nunavut; Pacome Lloyd, Assistant Director, Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. (NTI); Padlaya Qiatsuq; Jimmy Manning, President, Inuit Art Foundation; Ed Devereaux, Senior Administrative Officer, Municipality of Cape Dorset; Jason Paul, General Manager, West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative; and Joemie Takpaungi, Assistant Studio Manager, West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative.

The Municipality of Cape Dorset and the West Baffin Eskimo Co‐operative have partnered to develop and operate the new Centre. The Municipality will manage the cultural centre part of the new building – including documentation and archiving of Cape Dorset heritage and cultural programs for children, youth, adults and Elders. The Co-operative will manage and operate the artists’ studios, a retail shop, visitor tours in the Centre, and support artistic programs and exhibitions.

The total cost of building the centre is $10 million. To date, nearly $1.5 million has been raised in the $3 million private sector fundraising campaign. CanNor and NTI have already contributed $1.8 million to the project, and the Government of Nunavut’s (GN) Culture and Heritage has committed $500,000 towards programming for the Centre. The remaining funding is expected to come from both the federal and Nunavut governments. Applications are being submitted to Canadian Heritage (Canadian Cultural Spaces Fund) for $2 million, to the GN’s Community and Government Services for $2 million, and to the GN’s Economic Development & Transportation Strategic Initiatives Program for $1 million.

The Inuit Art Foundation, a registered charitable organization in Canada and the United States and an initiative partner, will accept and process donations and issue charitable tax receipts on behalf of the campaign.

For more information:

Kate Dillon, Kenojuak Cultural Centre and Print Shop Campaign and 416-986-9017

William Huffman, Inuit Art Foundation and 416-985-0452


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A History of the Dorset Studios

• The print shop of Cape Dorset, known as Kinngait Studios, was built in 1957 to encourage the development of arts and crafts in Cape Dorset
• Annual print collections began in 1959 (1957 and 1958 were experimental releases) making it the longest running original print shop in Canada
• The collections have been marketed by Dorset Fine Arts (originally by Canadian Art Producers) in partnership with a network of more than 20 galleries in Canada and Internationally
• The Cape Dorset art has become a source of some of the most iconic images of Canadian Art nationally and internationally (ex: Enchanted Owl by Kenojuak Ashevak)
• The Kinngait Studios have been a major success (artistic, social, and commercial)
• Studio is owned and managed by the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative (WEBC) for the benefit of its members

About the New Centre

• A modern print shop for the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative (WBEC), in order to maintain its world-class status and reputation as the key Canadian centre for Inuit art and a centre for excellence for print making in the Arctic
• A visitor centre, where cruise ship passengers, business travellers and other visitors can learn about the living heritage of Cape Dorset
• A community heritage centre for the Hamlet of Cape Dorset, to preserve and share the stories, traditions and culture of the community
• 10,440 sq. ft. multi-purpose facility
• Exhibition space for permanent and temporary exhibitions
• Meeting and activity spaces for program activities and use by Elders, other groups in the community
• Modern print shop facilities with studios for lithography, etching, stone cutting and drawing
• Project cost: $10.2 million (70% public funding)
• The Centre will be owned by the Hamlet of Cape Dorset
• West Baffin Eskimo Cooperative will have a long-term lease and will manage the whole facility (they have a long history of effective facilities management)
• There is a long history of successful management of the print facilities starting with James Houston followed by Terry Ryan, Jimmy Manning, and now with Bill Ritchie
• Panaq Design of Iqaluit is charged with designing the centre, managing the project start-up and supervising the construction project
• Construction drawings and documents have been completed
• May 2016 – Start of construction (starting with pile driving and continuing in July with the arrival of the first boatload of construction materials)
• March 2017 – End of construction
• April 2017 – Grand Opening
• Public Sector Goal: $7+ million from Inuit organizations, and the Canadian and Nunavut governments. $2.3 million confirmed to date
• Private Sector Goal: $3 million from corporations, foundations and individuals. $1.46 million confirmed to date

Importance and Impact

• Major example of successful economic development initiative in Canadian Aboriginal community
• 22 Inuit Artists are members of Royal Canadian Academy of Arts (most from Cape Dorset)
• Cape Dorset Art is often given as gifts to dignitaries and other international partners; it is seen as a truly Canadian Art form
• Growing international recognition by curators
• Present in many of the world’s leading museum permanent collections
• Inclusion in major art events such as Documenta XII, biennials including the Santa Fe Biennial and the Sydney Biennale, and the recent survey show of Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art’s collection Oh, Canada
• The new Centre will significantly improve working conditions for artists and printmakers
• Introduction of a drawing studio (no space currently available dedicated to drawing which is a very popular medium)
• The Centre will offer a true “teaching environment” where the next generation of artists and sculptors can learn
• Archival facilities in the new Centre will guarantee the safe and secure stewardship of priceless originals and proofs
• Centre will attract new artists from all over Nunavut, and “artists in residence” from around the world
• Art creation has been one of the only viable industries in Cape Dorset
• Prints and sculptures generate more than $3 million of annual inflows to the community
• The new Centre will strengthened brand identity of Cape Dorset as “the capital of Inuit Art”
• The Centre will help to increase positive interaction between with artists, Elders, youth, and visitors

Campaign Team

Paul Desmarais III, Vice‐President, Power Corporation of Canada, and Chair of the Private Sector Campaign
Ed Devereaux, Senior Administrative Officer, Cape Dorset
Patricia Feheley, Board Member, Inuit Art Foundation
Alain Fournier, Vice-Chair, Canadian Guild of Crafts and Founding Partner, Fournier Gersovitz Moss Drolet & associés, architectes
Pacome Lloyd, Assistant Director, Nunavut Tunngavik Inc.
Jimmy Manning, President, Inuit Art Foundation
David McGown, Financial Services executive
Sarah Milroy, Curator and Author
Scott Mullin, Vice President, TD Bank
Constance V. Pathy, O.C., C.Q., President, Canadian Guild of Crafts
Senator Dennis Patterson, Senator for Nunavut
Jason Paul, Manager, West Baffin Eskimo Co‐operative
Andrew Pringle, Chairman, RP Investment Advisors
Padlaya Qiatsuq, Mayor of Cape Dorset
Joemie Takpaungi, Buyer, West Baffin Eskimo Co‐operative

Campaign website:

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