Introducing Co-Delivery Pilot Initiative to Support Inuit Artists

Project Spotlight: A new national funding initiative in the spirit of self-determination.

ch’i cha jų̃ kwa’ch’e Dän däw Kwenjè uts’an kwäts’eden-ji
A stonecut and stencil print shows an Inuk carrying an oversized stack of $100 bills on their back.

The Inuit Art Foundation and the Canada Council for the Arts are thrilled to announce the development of a new national Inuit-specific funding pilot initiative in the spirit of self-determination. The Council is supporting the IAF to work with Inuit communities throughout Inuit Nunangat and the South to co-develop a multidisciplinary granting pilot program that will launch this coming winter and distribute over $100,000 in its first year.

A stonecut and stencil print shows an Inuk carrying an oversized stack of $100 bills on their back.

This partnership builds on both organizations’ mutual commitments to supporting Inuit artists in all aspects of their careers. The Canada Council for the Arts is Canada’s public arts funder, with a mandate to foster and promote the study and enjoyment of, and the production of works in, the arts. The Inuit Art Foundation seeks to empower Inuit artists’ self-expression and self-determination across disciplines, while increasing access to and awareness of artists’ work.

Grounded in Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit, this pilot program will be shaped by community feedback across Inuit Nunangat and Southern Canada to ensure it meets the needs of artists working today. To support Inuit leadership in all aspects of the arts, the pilot program will also offer capacity-building opportunities for Inuit as program officers and on assessment juries.

Access to Inuit-specific grants at this level will create opportunities for Inuit artists to be part of both private and public art opportunities. Without the necessity of frequent sales, an artist is free to explore art creation outside the confines of the commercial art market.

To learn more about the program and help shape its future, please sign up for the IAF’s newsletter. Information will also be available to artists directly through the IAF’s Developing Qanuqtuurniq: Inuit Artist Portal, launching this fall.

A photograph of Heather Campbell from the shoulders up.

“Over the past few years we have made great strides in representation for Inuit within arts administration, but for the Inuit Art Foundation to be a part of this funding model is a huge leap towards Inuit self-determination. Artists will be free to express themselves with less market pressures and I am excited to see how this further shapes the evolution of Inuit art.”

Heather Campbell
Strategic Initiatives Director, Inuit Art Foundation

A photograph of Simon Brault from the shoulders up.

“I am thrilled that the synergies and connections we are forging, through the 2022 Arctic Arts Summit, have led us to launch this groundbreaking national pilot program dedicated to Inuit funding. By working in partnership and collaboration with the Inuit Art Foundation to establish a system of support for Inuit artists, we intend to enable the pursuit of sustainable careers in arts and culture, and to contribute to capacity building within communities across Canada.”

Simon Brault
Director and CEO, Canada Council for the Arts

A photograph of Michael Massie from the shoulders up.

“Being awarded a grant as an artist is a big encouragement. The money does come in handy, especially when you’re starting out. When I first graduated I received a grant from Canada Council not long after and that allowed me to buy just about all my jewellery and silversmithing tools. It helped me get a really good start in setting up my own practice and business when it came time to do that.”

Michael Massie, CM, RCA
Inuk artist, Previous Canada Council Grant Recipient and IAF Board Member

Credit: This article was originally published by the Inuit Art Foundation. COURTESY INUIT ART FOUNDATION.