At Kivalliq Trade Show, artisans show their wares

by Darrell Greer- October 10, 2018

Hundreds of people passed through the arts market and took the time to attend the fashion show during the ninth annual Kivalliq Trade Show in Rankin Inlet on Sept. 25.

Rankin craftsperson Kyle Johnston, left, describes his various knives and ulus to a group of Agnico Eagle Mines representatives at the ninth annual Kivalliq Trade Show's Art Festival at Simon Alaittuq School in Rankin Inlet on Sept. 25, 2018. Darrell Greer/NNSL photo
Rankin craftsperson Kyle Johnston, left, describes his various knives and ulus to a group of Agnico Eagle Mines representatives at the ninth annual Kivalliq Trade Show’s Art Festival at Simon Alaittuq School in Rankin Inlet on Sept. 25, 2018.
Darrell Greer/NNSL photo

Putting a bright spotlight on regional artists and craftspeople to help generate sales and promote their work has been a staple of the Kivalliq Trade Show over the years, as have the unique workshops held each year for the artists themselves.
This year’s registered-artist workshop focused on photography.
The Government of Nunavut’s (GN) adviser for arts and the traditional economy, Theresie Tungilik, said the arts market held during the annual trade show in Rankin is very useful because many Kivalliq artists and craftspeople don’t have an effective means of promoting or advertising their work, if any at all.
Tungilik said in addition to the immediate sales they often generate, participating in the annual arts market provides an opportunity for regional artisans to network and meet people who, in many cases, will eventually become their clients.
She said it’s also an opportunity for them to see the artwork of others, which can often inspire their own creativity in different ways.
“The arts market allows people to see what each artist creates and what area they specialize in,” said Tungilik. “The workshops are also very important because they help our artists improve themselves in terms of their ability to promote and advertise their work, as well as in creating better marketing opportunities.
“We offer something different every year with the workshops and this year’s focus on photography went over very well with the artists who attended.
“Only registered artists can attend the workshops and they were very pleased with what they learned this year.”
Tungilik said one artist from each Kivalliq community outside of Rankin Inlet is brought into the Kivalliq Trade Show each year.
She said two artists from Naujaat were allowed to participate in this year’s event because the community of Chesterfield Inlet did not have an eligible artist able to attend.
“So, we ask for one representative from each of the other six Kivalliq communities each year to join the five registered artists we allow from Rankin Inlet.
“Other artists from Rankin Inlet are allowed sales opportunities at the arts market, but they cannot attend the workshop.”
Tungilik said she personally liked this year’s arts market at the Kivalliq Trade Show very much.
She said one thing she always looks forward to is seeing people enjoying a wide variety of artwork and products from each community.
“What we see is different each year and that’s, really, what we want to see.
“But, I must admit, there was one item at the arts market this year that I really missed seeing.
“There was not one person – not one single artist or seamstress – who had a single pair of kamiik for sale this year and that’s one thing that everyone looks for.
“But we certainly did see a wonderful variety of art and product at this year’s market and, should they be back, every pair of kamiik will be a hot-ticket item at next year’s market,” said Tungilik.

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