Artist Biographies

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Lyle Trimble - Carving and Painting - Nanaimo, BC

Lyle preserves his memories and experiences from over thirty years of Arctic living in stone and canvas. The people, wildlife and scenery inspire him to create stone carvings and oil, acrylic, water color and pastel paintings that he shares with the world.  He is an established artist who now resides on Vancouver Island in a log home with his wife Mary. 


Bambi Amos - Traditional Arts - Sachs Harbour, NT

Bambi has been working at her art for the past six years. Her mother, Bev, is also a Traditional Artist and has been a big influence on Bambi. Attending sewing classes facilitated by master crafts person Sachs Harbour Lena Wolki, Bambi has developed a deeper appreciation for her culture and family traditions.


Shona Barbour - Textiles - Inuvik, NT

Shona Barbour is a quilter and textile artist originally from Yellowknife and currently living and sewing in Inuvik. It was during her time at the University of Alberta, studying Native Studies enrolled in many art history classes, that she began quilting and working with fabrics. Shona is attracted to quilting through its fabrics, color, graphic patterns, and necessity for patience.  Her fabric basket making, felting, art quilting, and embellishment work is an extension of her love for traditional quilting. For Shona traditional quilting and textile arts provides an avenue for her to share and include art within everyday living such as bedding, decorating, gathering, storage, organization, and warmth.


Robert Buckle - Jewellery - Aklavik, NT

Robert makes handcrafted jewellery from a variety of metals, stones and natural materials.  He enjoys working with natural materials found in and around the Mackenzie Delta. Originally from Aklavik, Robert seeks out natural materials like ivory, mammoth, and baleen.  Robert has been attending the festival for many years.  Robert has exhibited works at the Museum of Civilization in Ottawa, Ontario, Spirit Wrestler Gallery in Vancouver, British Columbia, and at the Houston North Gallery in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. Robert loves being out on the land, where he finds plenty of ideas for his work in the appreciation of the landscape, colours, natural shapes and wildlife.


Amber Church - Painter - Whitehorse, YT

A mixed media artist, painter, and designer, Amber has called Yukon ‘home’ for most of her life. She draws inspiration for her work from the natural world, history, mythology and fairy tales, as well as her imagination. She has exhibited at Arts Underground, Yukon Artists@Work, Rah Rah Gallery, Baked Café, The Guild Hall, and the Brooklyn Art Library. Her mixed media piece, Forge Your Own Path, is featured on the cover of the 2012 Northwestel phone directory



Lyn Fabio - Mixed Media - Whitehorse, YT

Lyn Fabio is a mixed media artist living in Whitehorse, YT. Inspired by traditional garments fashioned from the intestines of sea mammals by the indigenous peoples of the far north, Lyn uses the unusal material of hog gut as an art medium to create molded vessels, miniature garments and sculptural pieces. Her work with this medium has brought her some exciting travel experiences: Siberia, Korea, Japan as well as festivals across Canada's north, and most recently, the "Northern Scene Festival" at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. Lyn is also the GNAF staff member, often at work in the office behind the sales desk - so please ask for her if you have any questions about herr work.



Elizabeth Gordon - Sculpture/Painter - Bowman, ON

Elizabeth Gordon was born and raised in Iqaluit, Nunavut. She was taught to create with her hands, the earliest memory being when her great aunt taught her to sew seal skin ukpiit (ookpiks). She watched and learned the resourceful inclinations of her people and naturally carried that forward into her own family. She now lives in Ontario, raising her four children and making gourd art. She was attracted to gourds because of their natural beauty, their history of uses all over the world by Aboriginal peoples, and the many ways that it is used to create art. Elizabeth incorporates northern images into her gourd artwork by either painting with acrylic paints or inks and dyes, wood burning, sculpting, or carving. She has been a member of the Canadian Gourd Society for 6 years and has won numerous ribbons every year in the annual Gourdfest competitions in Toronto and Buckhorn, Ontario as well as winning best of show in 2009 and in 2013.  Elizabeth also has many other artistic interests, including doll making, sewing, sculpting polymer clay faces of Inuit elders, making wooden wall hangings, and folk art paintings.


Edith Haogak - Traditional Arts - Sachs Harbour, NT

Edith was born on Victoria Island and now lives in Sachs Harbour, NT. She began sewing as a young girl learning to make clothing for her family. Edith is an accomplished traditional seamstress and makes caribou mukluks, parkas and muffs. She enjoys making nice clothing and crafts and is inspired by “animals, life and happy people!”


Cathie Harper - Weaving/Basket Art - Yellowknife, NT

As a forester, it is not surprising that Cathie creates using natural materials. After moving to Yellowknife she learned to use wild willow to create functional baskets.  To keep her work outside the box, she started making sculptural baskets and has experimented with different techniques and varieties of wild and cultivated natural and man-made materials.  So far she has not found anything she can’t weave. Her personality makes it very difficult to follow a pre-defined pattern. When a project started, there may be a general concept of the shape, materials and weaving techniques but who knows what the result will look like. She prefers not to force materials into precise shapes, chooses to let the material tell her how it wants to go.  Cathie has opened Northern Willow Studio where she creates and offers workshops. She has taught basketry throughout the NWT and finds that teaching gives back what she has learned.  


Helen Iguptak - Traditional Arts - Rankin Inlet, NU

Helen was born in Perry River, NT and has been creating art since she was seven years old. She specializes in wallhangings and doll-making; she started making dolls for playing and fun and is now an established artist. Helen was part of the 2010 Olympic exhibition and has had exhibited in the Burnaby Art Gallery, Winnipeg Art Gallery and the Inuit Art Museum in Toronto, ON.


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Artist Information

Hi everyone!  We are in the midst of posting all our artist biographies and workshops for this year.  Check back often for updates!

Apply as an Artist or Entertainer

If you are a visual artist or craftsperson living and creating art in the North (Yukon, NWT, or Nunavut) and are interested in taking part in the GNAF please print and complete the following forms.

Your completed application and biography forms can be faxed (867-777-2017) to the Great Northern Arts Festival Office or sent by mail (P.O. Box 2921, Inuvik, NT, X0E 0T0).

We strongly encourage you to include slides or photographs of your work, as we need to see what you do. If you have digital photographs, you can e-mail them to us at (please remember to include who you are in the e-mail message).

Non-Northern Artists:

Please remember that it is our mandate to serve the community of Northern artists and craftspeople. Each year, though, we do try to bring several non-Northern artists to share their work and ideas. If you feel you have something particularly special to share, please contact us directly. Our budgets are limited, and we ask you to remember that most of our resources are dedicated to our mandated goals.

For non-northern artists, we will ask you for an application with the following additional information:

  • How you feel you can contribute to the festival.
  • How you feel the festival will benefit you.
  • To what degree will you require assistance with travel and accommodations.

Please keep in mind that we generally bring no more than five artists from outside the north - and those artists selected must fall within the boundaries of our theme for the season.


Interested in our line-up of artists at the Great Northern Arts Festival? Find our more about them here.

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