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Sivuniksattinu Qajaq Project Unveiled at the Ottawa Hospital

Press Release

January 23, 2020

Tungasuvvingat Inuit (TI), in partnership with the Neighbourhood Arts Ottawa program by Arts Network Ottawa, is excited to announce the unveiling of the SIVUNIKSATTINU (“For Our Future”) Qajaq Project at The Ottawa Hospital, General Campus.

SIVUNIKSATTINU is an impressive, 17-foot long, full-sized Qajaq fitted with intricately-designed, kiln-formed glass panels. Each panel represents a unique story of Inuit. This project has been a journey of collaboration, democracy, knowledge and skill-sharing while demonstrating excellence in glass-work and traditional Inuk craftsmanship and culture. With this unveiling, The SIVUNIKSATTINU Qajaq is proudly exhibited at The Ottawa Hospital General Campus.

This breathtaking Qajaq project is a cultural passion and education project born in the spirit of reconciliation and spearheaded by well-known Ottawa artist Jennifer Anne Kelly. The Qajaq project artwork was created by Inuk artists Kaajuk Kablalik, Melissa Attagutsiak and Alexander Angnaluak.

“A variety of techniques were used and the narrative is conveyed through each colourful glass panel with a message that is optimistic as we move forward with greater knowledge of our shared history,” said Kelly.

Thanks and acknowledgment are offered for the wisdom and leadership of Elder David Erkloo, who provided the opportunity to embark on this journey of creation and reconciliation.

Contributing Inuk artist and President of Tungasuvvingat Inuit, Kaajuk Kablalik added, “This project is a chance for Inuk artists to contribute an art piece in light of reconciliation for Inuit. I feel this will be an on-going effort to educate about some of the occurrences of our rich history. I am very proud to be a part of this project because my people are one of my great passions.”

“In the tradition of Inuit, this art installation brings the horizon into view and represents the health-care journey that so many take from near and far,” said Katherine Cotton, Chair of the Board of Governors of The Ottawa Hospital. “The hospital is guided by the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and our vision of treating each patient as we would a loved one. Our sincere thanks to the artists for this creation and to Inuk Elder Erkloo for his leadership.”

Karine Lévesque, Project and Community Outreach Coordinator at Arts Network Ottawa stated, “The Qajaq tells an important story of reconciliation. It was brought to life through meaningful dialogue, shared knowledge and creative collaboration.”

The project was made possible through the Neighbourhood Arts Ottawa program by Arts Network Ottawa, in partnership with Tungasuvvingat Inuit. Neighbourhood Arts Ottawa is funded with the financial support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation and Ottawa Community Foundation.

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For more information, contact Joël Lamoureux, Communications Manager, 613.299.4684 – [email protected]

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