Apply as an Artist or Performer
If you are a visual artist or craftsperson living and creating in the North (Yukon, NWT, or Nunavut) and are interested in taking part in the 2017 Great Northern Arts Festival please print and complete the following forms.
Your completed application and biography forms can be mailed to the Great Northern Arts Festival Office (P.O. Box 2921, Inuvik, NT, X0E 0T0).
We require 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).
Next year's festival dates are
July 13th-July 22nd, 2018.
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.
Leslie Cardinal Inuvik, NT – Carving
· Leslie has been creating art for over 25 years. He has spent most of his life living on the land, and learned the skills of how to make his traditional art by watching his family members. He gets his ideas from living on the land, observing his surroundings and listening to elders tell stories from the past. If you ask him what inspires him to create, he will simply tell you, "life itself". The thing he enjoys most about making his art is the peace and quiet of his cabin studio, as well as the satisfaction of finishing a project and seeing it come to life.
Catherine Cockney Inuvik, NT - Textiles
· Catherine loves to bead! Her mother Winnie Cockney, taught her how to bead and sew at a young age. An enduring image she has is of her mother beading, sitting at the kitchen table under a dim light to relax after work. While learning how to sew, Catherine only sewed for family. The most significant skill her mother Winnie taught her was making caribou-leg mukluks. Winnie taught her how to apply solutions to soften and scrape the skins, make a pattern, cut out using the pattern and to sew together.
During Catherine school years, her skills grew. She would sew with her mother to make items for sale by helping Winnie sew on appliqués on parkas, trim around the bottom and cuffs. With the left-over fur, Winnie taught Catherine how to make fur cushions that her home economics teacher would sell. Catherine enjoys making brooches/pins, experimenting with different colors. She’s currently learning how to do embroidery, enjoys making kaukkak (embroidered mukluks) and improving her skills on making parka covers and quilts.
Ron English Inuvik, NT – Contemporary Arts
· Ronald William English was born in Beaufort Delta and spent time living in Tuktoyaktuk and playing in the Richardson Mountains. Many wonderful memories and inspiration was created netting char and hunting beluga and admiring all wildlife in the Beaufort Sea and on the Delta land. Summers were spent with his grandmother who kept him busy drawing many different items that his she would place before him. By the time Ron was in school, his art instructors were constantly challenged with trying to quench the thirst of Ron’s creativity. While attending Red Deer College in 1995, Ron took up the process of sculpture, and Bronze Bear was born. Inspired by American controversy over polar bear hunts in the Arctic. Ron’s recent project, Bronze Eagle; inspired by the image of his daughter’s features on the back of the sculpture. Four years to complete, the series is comprised of 25 pieces and 7 artist’s proofs. Along with Bronze Bear, the Bronze Eagle is a modern series with traditional images from the Delta forever cast in bronze. Ron’s carvings and flat work can be found as far away as Japan and he is receiving much interest from collectors of aboriginal art in New York City.
Lesley Evans Yellowknife, NT – Jewelry Making
· Lesley Ann Evans a Dene woman and Traditional Northern Artist; specializing in clothing, beading and jewelry. Lesley Ann is a member of Yellowknives Dene First Nation raised in the communities of Dettah and N’Dilo. She has always been intrigued by northern arts watching her mother and aunts beading uppers for moccasins and mukluks. They had always encouraged Lesley Ann to bead and sew, showing her their art work and techniques from start to finish. Lesley transposed those teachings and enhanced her skill at the Academy of Fashion Design in Saskatoon, and gained her Diploma in Fashion Design. Clothing made from caribou and fur are a necessity for survival in the bush camps and she has loved to create contemporary and traditional items. From helping her mother with beading little moccasin key chains and beaded uppers, she now creates her signature style with unique bead work designs. Lesley Ann organizes and participates in craft sales around the Yellowknife area, selling her products, teaching others at drop-in sewing and beading classes. Lesley Ann is by no means a stranger to the land, culture and customs of the Weledeh people, having been raised with the uniqueness of having one foot planted in the traditional way of life. With thanks to her parent’s teachings and the advantages of modern living with the City of Yellowknife at her door step, Lesley is a well-rounded person and at the same time grounded to her roots.
· Brigitte is originally from Quebec City, where she earned a diploma in Textiles in 2001 from Maison des Métiers d’Art de Quebec. Since has taught weaving teacher and exploring her passion for Textile art. Her work demonstrates her openness and interest to explore new art forms. This broad perspective on the arts allows Brigitte to mix different art forms together to create new styles and unique works of art. “Art is my oxygen, it allows me to flourish, it really challenges me to think. Art brings me emotional and psychological balance, it’s my meditation, my therapy!”
April Glaicar Hay River, NT - Mixed Media
· April Glaicar is an emerging mixed media artist who was born and raised in Hay River, NWT. Always creative and attuned to nature as a child (often collecting a pocket full of rocks or flowers) she had begun exploring photography and design by the time she was in high school. It is her passion for photography combined with a love of nature and creative curiosity that have resulted in April’s “Inspired Surroundings” photography and jewelry collection; an eclectic mix of her original photographs, metal work and fused glass techniques (originating over 4000 years ago) as well as recycled and found materials such as whitefish vertebrae. Largely a self-taught artist, April experiments with different materials and techniques and eagerly participates in opportunities to learn from other artists in any discipline.
Elizabeth Gordon Iqaluit, NU - Mixed Media
· Elizabeth was born and raised in Iqaluit, Nunavut. She is a mixed media artist, originally having been taught sewing and beadwork by her family. Elizabeth makes works on gourds and produces dolls, sculpting detailed and expressive faces of Inuit elders in clay. She has been a member of the Canadian Gourd Society for four years and has won numerous ribbons every year in the annual Gourd fest competitions in Toronto and Buckhorn, as well as winning best of show in 2009. Elizabeth has been an invited artist at the Great Northern Arts Festival in Inuvik and the Nunavut Arts Festival. She recently had an exhibition of her work at Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum in Iqaluit.
Edith Haogak Sachs Harbour, NT – Traditional Arts
· Edith was born on Victoria Island and resides in Sachs Harbour, NT. Edith is a master seamstress, and traditional artist and her work is recognized by her distinct style and craftsmanship. 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!”
Jean Harry Sachs Harbour, NT – Traditional Arts
· Jean is the daughter of Edith Haogak and learned from the best. Jean now creates her own traditional clothing, and crafts carrying on the legacy of her family. She enjoys embroidery and working with natural materials to create her beautiful work.
Inuvik Drummers and Dancers Inuvik, NT – Performing Arts
· The Inuvik Drummers and Dancers was brought together in 1989 by a younger generation of adult Inuvialuit who wanted to bring drum dancing into their lives having been inspired by the elders of the original Mackenzie Delta Drummers and Dancers. From their guidance and instruction, the Group learned the stories of the songs, the drumming and the motions of the dances. They initially practiced beating time on a piece of cardboard until drums were made using antler, caribou skin, wood and sinew. Members of the Group are from the community of Inuvik and number between 30 to 40, ages 5 to 87. There are approximately 15 to 20 youth/children, 15 adults and 3 elders. Learning to sing the songs also instills another form of learning and practicing the Inuvialuktun language. The Group has performed at many special functions and events, regionally and nationally.
Whitney Horne Whitehorse, YT – Traditional Arts
· Whitney enjoys working with media such as sculpture, drawing, photography, performance, and graphic design. This Tlingit artist creates traditional regalia, contemporary fashion, and accessories from her home studio is based in Teslin, Yukon. Inland Tlingit from Teslin Yukon. Member of the Dakhlaweidi (Eagle) Clan, and descendant of Annie (Sidney) Geddes from Angoon, Alaska. Whitney weaves with porcupine quills and cedar, develop mixed media installations for exhibition, and offer commercial design services. She is an accomplished seamstress, tans leather and fur; a skilled taught by her Tlingit grandmother, Pansy Bailey. Her education started at age of three with patterns that have been in her family for several generations. Whitney is very skilled in traditional tanning, materials and tool making in her traditional territory. Innovative new textile artworks with hybrid forms between traditional and contemporary.
Piona Keyuakjuk Pangnirtung, NU - Carving
· Piona grew up at Nunatak, an island located in the north part of Cumberland Sound and now makes his home in Pangnirtung, NU. As a child, Piona spent many hours watching both of his parents carving and drum-making, learning these art forms through observation. Piona has created prints that are available at Uqqurmiut Centre for Arts & Crafts. His favourite carvings encompass traditional activities and animals: drum dancers, kayakers, narwhal, seals, and even Arctic hare. Following the example of his parents, Piona has a traditional carving style and uses solely hand tools to create images from his past.
Pituaq Maria Kleist Sisimuit, Greenland – Textiles
· Born in Nuuk, raised in Nuuk & Sisimuit. Eldest of four siblings. Maria shares a love for the outdoors, hunting & gathering, hiking, skiing, snowmobiling. Sewing fabric and skin, knitting, embroidering, beading, crocheting, musk ox wool work etc. Pituaq creates garments by hand using traditional methods of her home in Greenland.
Brian Kowikchuk Inuvik, NT - Painting
· Brian Kowikchuk was raised in the hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk, NT. During his youth found himself painting, writing, and travelling Canada. Having been raised in an Inuvialuit community, his yearning for something greater challenged him to expand his education, travel and adventure. Brian’s paintings reflect his homelands, light, nature and reflections of his travels.
Vera Lange-Larson Sisimuit, Greenland – Textiles
· Vera was born and raised in Sisimiut. Every year she enjoys fishing arctic char with her family, “We smoke, salt and freeze the fish for the winter. I like working with my hands like, knitting, sewing sealskin and fabric.” Vera creates many types of garments by hand using traditional methods of her home in Greenland.
Karin Lange Inuvik, NT - Painting
· Karin Lange is a Painter - Elder and an Inuvik transplant who is here to thrive and bloom in the midst of her family and grandchildren. She volunteers in the gardens at Aurora Research Institute, transplanting exquisite native plants for view in a public teaching garden. She sees that God is in the details. Karin passionatley passes on the glorious beauty she observes daily into her paintings for view at the 2017 Great Northern Arts Festival.
Erica Lugt Tuktoyaktuk, NT – Jewelry Making
· Erica Joan Lugt aka #shewasafreespirit. Is from the community of Tuktoyaktuk and now resides in Inuvik. She proudly attributes learning her skills at the GNAF and is thrilled to showcase her jewelry line at the festival. “Every year I try to attend one course of the festival. Last year I took one that taught brick stitching on a moose hide cardholder. I knew before entering that it would teach me the skills to further create earrings.” Since then, she has created her own designs and patterns. Her first design, is aptly named “Nanaks Quilt” in honour of her late Nanak Alice Gruben’s quilts. She embraces the sense of purse creating her art provides. Erica is most proud to see the smile on her customers faces. “If I can make someone so happy with something as simple as an earring is so worth it! I always say to those who seek my earrings, from my heart to yours.”
Nakannaguaq Mathiesen-Fontain Sisimiut, Greenland – Textiles
· Born and raised in Ilulissat, Greenland, she is the second youngest of five siblings. “Love to play soccer and draw. Love the outdoor hiking, hunting & gathering, dog sledding and sailing. Love sewing with fabric and with all kind of sealskin.” The Greenland group brings a circumpolar view of garment making to this year’s festival.
Carmen Miller Hinton, AB - Textiles
· Carmen Miller is a Metis artist who lives in Hinton, Alberta. She has always loved trying new forms of art and craftwork. Carmen started making simple beaded items at the age of eight and has been beading ever since. She learned the art of moose hair and caribou hair tufting 23 years ago and it quickly became one of her favorite art mediums. She usually puts her tufting on wearable items such as moccasins, mittens, brooches, and hair pieces. Carmen has a deep respect for the culture and traditions of all native people. Keeping the culture alive through her artwork and teaching is a goal of hers. Other traditional crafts she has tried are fish scale art, horsehair embroidery, and making birch bark baskets. This year Carmen is proud to be acknowledged and supported by the Canada Council for the Arts to make and promote Indigenous art.
Antoine Mountain Fort Good Hope, NT- Painting
· Antoine uses a colourful palette to create his impressionist style of painting. His work portrays the traditional Dene way of life and panoramic northern landscapes as well as stories and legends. Antoine hopes his work will ensure that Dene youth know their culture and history. ʺI try to capture the delicate variations of colour in the majestic sweep of the land, and to use lyrical line in my art. All native art is essentially spiritual. Our beliefs and values are firmly rooted here in this land.”
Crystal Navratil Inuvik, NT – Contemporary Arts
· Crystal's journey North began when she was seven years old. Born in Edmonton, her mother relocated to Inuvik in the early 1980's. Crystal began attending Sir Alexander Mackenzie School in grade 2 to grade 12. She always enjoyed being able to express her artistic side and enjoyed the challenge of taking art classes in high school under the direction of a talented art teacher. She obtained an Arts Degree and dove into her studies of Drama and Artistic Expression from Concordia University. She graduated in 2000 majoring in Sociology with a double minor in Drama and English. Today Crystal resides in Inuvik and works as the Inuvik Community Health Representative. She enjoys long nature walks with friends and her furry pal Murphy. Her spare time is spent drawing, painting, beading, making candles, and enjoying the outdoors. She has been adopted into many aboriginal families over the years and enjoys traveling out on the land and learning traditional skills.
Karen Nicloux Whitehorse, YT - Textiles/Embroidery
· Karen Nicloux is proficient in the art of embroidery, traditional sewing and beadwork. She was born in Mayo, Yukon. Her parents are Martha Buyck and George Nicloux. Karen belongs to Nacho Nyak Dun First Nation. She is Northern Tutchone and a member of the Wolf Clan, she is also part Cree on her father’s side. Growing up in Mayo, Karen learned to hunt, fish and trap from her father and learned to cook and sew from her mother. Karen said she never had much patience beading, but she was proficient in the art of embroidery, and sewing together mukluks, slippers, and mitts. Prior to her mother’s passing, Karen had been practicing sewing with her mother and will continue her mother’s legacy.
Louie Nigiyok Uluhaktok, NT - Print Maker
· Louie Nigiyok began working as a printmaker for the print shop in 1981, at the same time as his mother, Mabel Nigiyok. He continues today as one of the foremost interpreters of drawings by other artists. In the early 1980s, he learned the stone-cut technique from Harry Egotak and John Rose. He has been mentored by Elsie Klengenberg, Mary K. Okheena and Mabel Nigiyok were making stencils in the early 1980s as well. Nigiyok helped ink the prints, and after learning to cut the mylar stencils, undertook the entire process on his own. Since 1981, Nigiyok has translated 96 drawings into prints for the annual collections.
Mariyah Snowshoe Ft. McPherson, NT – Vocalist
· Mariyah Snowshoe has been lighting up the region with her vocal stylings and community events and has become a regional favorite. She is bubbling full of energy and that is easily felt every time she steps on stage. Mariyah is currently developing her song-writing and enjoys sharing favorite songs by artists she admires. We are excited to debut Mariyah at this year’s festival.
Fred Stick Jr. Haines Junction, YT – Carving/Painting
· Fred Stick Jr. is a Yukon carver, painter and wood-working artist of the Champagne, Aishihik and Kaska First Nations. Fred trained at the Sundog Carving studio in Whitehorse, and mentored by many master carvers honing his skills. Fred has been a part of historical cultural carving events such as the 30-foot dugout canoe, housed at the Kwanlin Dun Cultural Centre as well as the Totem pole which can be seen at the end of Main street in Whitehorse. Fred is an excellent drum-maker. He makes each part by hand from the frame to the stick and paints each one with a unique design.
Curtis Taylor Inuvik, NT - Carving
· Curtis Taylor was born in Inuvik, NT to William and Sheila Taylor and raised in Tuktoyaktuk, NT. He is first of three brothers and two sisters. He and his wife have four children, two girls and two boys. He enjoys going on the land, travelling and hunting. 1n 1993, under the guidance of his father, Curtis began carving caribou antler. After six years of experimentation, he moved on to soapstone and hasn’t looked back. He comes from a large family of carvers and is inspired by images of hunters on the land.
John Taylor Tuktoyaktuk, NT - Carving
· John took up the family tradition of carving at age 14 years. He was born in Inuvik, but most of his life raised in Tuktoyaktuk. John comes from a long line of carvers; William, Ronnie, Derrald, Ryan and many more. John now carves to honor the legacy of his grandfather Bobby (Pokiak) Taylor.
Marion Taylor Inuvik, NT - Carving
· A younger carver from the talented Taylor family legacy. Marion likes to make small, innovative carvings utilizing the skills learned through her families’ mentorship. She has been involved in the Great Northern Arts Festival every year from a very young age.
Blair Thorson Whitehorse, YT- Visual Arts
· Blair Thorson’s instantly recognizable watercolors painted on maps feature subjects that are indigenous to the area depicted, or objects of historical or cultural interest. His artwork reflects the Northern lands in which he lives and has travelled. Blair feels that painting on a map captures time, place, and space on a two-dimensional surface as well as keeping them out of the landfill. He has added the element of copper to his artwork to help to emphasize the story being told by the image in the painting. Every piece is an Original, he does not make prints.
Julia Pokiak Trennert Hay River, NT - Textiles
· While attending the Immaculate Conception Indian School in Aklavik, Julia learned the basics of moose hair tufting from Sister Beatrice Leduc. After getting married, Julia left the Delta region and moved to Fort Simpson, NT. She saw beautiful tufting by a renowned seamstress, Grandma Lafferty. She received her first bag of moose hair from Emily George and began to practice tufting. Julia then moved to Fort Providence, and was introduced to the women’s crafts, and when the demand for tufting exceeded the products, she began creating her own works. Gramma Lafferty and Mrs. Bella Bonnetrouge’s works of art inspired Julia to be creative and find her unique style. Julia first showcased her work in the 1980’s and has travelled to many festivals and events ever since. In recent years, she has concentrated on creating miniature tufting. Her creations a have been well received and hang in homes all over the world. To keep her creativity flowing, she has branched into beadwork and embroidery. Julia’s inspiration comes from traditional clothing and admiration of other artists. “I love experimenting with different styles and I never start a project until I have a mental image of it. I love the challenge of bringing my mental image to reality.”
Maidie-Anne Turner Inuvik, NT- Stained Glass/Painting
· Maidie-Anne creates stained glass art, paintings and carvings. From her beautiful home in Inuvik, Maidie-Anne forms her art from within all three mediums. Her private studio allows her the creativity to explore new mediums. She has been an artist at the Great Northern Arts festival for many years. Maidie-Anne enjoys meeting and learning from artists attending the festival. These exposures have inspired her to express her love for the North and Mackenzie Delta.
Franziska Ulbricht Hay River, NT – Textiles, NT
· A multimedia artist, craft maker, mother, gardener and cook residing in both Hay River and Yellowknife. She moved to the North from Germany in 2008, shortly after finishing a 5-year program in Fine Arts at the Brunswig School of Art. “In my creative work as well as in everyday life I draw my inspiration, logic and ability to focus from the physical and sensual realities of living in the north.” Her artwork includes public murals, drawings and jewelry made from a variety of local materials. In her current artwork, she weaves these realities into the tapestry of northern landscape. I take time to explore graphic qualities of lichen, rock and landscape with the subtle impact of color pencil and graphite, creating depth within the layers of applying single colors. It's a very meticulous process which has led her to the even more intricate and quiet process of beading. That pace, connection and implication of drawing and beading in an artist's everyday life, specifically in the northern environment, entertain and interest her. Whilst being exposed to a fair amount of beadwork circulating in the places she lives, she loves the prospect of encountering in more depth and breadth the artistic, cultural exchange at the festival in Inuvik.
Lavinia Van Heuvelen Iqaluit, NU – Jewelry/Metal Work
· Lavinia was born November 25, 1992 and raised in Bowmansville, Ontario. After completing high school Lavinia moved to Iqaluit where she completed the Jewelry and Metalwork program at Nunavut Arctic College. As a student, Lavinia received numerous awards including the BMO First Art Award in 2012, the Skills Canada Competition in 2012, Honorable Mention at the 9th Annual National Jewelry Student Competition and was awarded the Most Promising Emerging Artist Award and the Artist’s Choice Award in the jewelry category at the 2013 Great Northern Arts Festival. Since graduating Lavinia has worked out of a studio in Iqaluit that she shares with other well-known Jewelers. Lavinia’s passion for art stems from her mother Illisapi who is also an artist
Margaret Vittrekwa Fort McPherson, NT - Textiles
· Margaret, originally from Aklavik, NT and now resides in Fort McPherson. If Margaret is not sewing for her many children and grandchildren, she is welcoming travelers off the Dempster highway into her craft shop. She learned to sew Gwich’in clothing, and traditional items as a young girl by her family. She has been sewing parkas, mittens, mukluks, slippers, hats, and canvas bags for over 60 years. “My mother made all our clothes when we were growing up, that inspired me to do the same.” Margaret enjoys visiting and sharing stories with all who stop in and eager to with her cheerful and bright personality.
James Wedzin Behchokö, NT ̀- Painting
· James is a Tłl’cho artist, born and raised by his grandmother in the community of Behchokö, NT. James praises his grandmother for inspiring and encouraging his early interest in traditional art. He watched her intricate bead work endlessly and developed his own sense of style in his art.
Dieter Weise Dawson City, YT – Performing Artist
· Dieter Weise is a Yukon River based folk singer/song-writer and former novelist whose performed original music across the Yukon. A classically trained guitarist, arranger, and keyboardist, Dieter grew up by Sault Ste. Marie, studied poetry at Parsons School of Design, and moved to an isolated valley north of Dawson in 2008 where he composes new lyrical acoustic songs.
Lena White Whitehorse, YT - Textiles
· Born in Ville La Salle, Quebec, and raised in Ontario, and Northern B.C. Lena moved to the Yukon in 1995. It was then she took an immediate interest in the Traditional sewing and beadwork of the First Nation women. Taught by her Mother in Law, Annie Smith of the Kwanlin Dun First Nation, Lena can make almost anything. From create the pattern, and designs. In 2007 Lena moved to Inuvik, NWT and took the Traditional Arts Program to learn about Beaufort Delta sewing and beadwork, which she shared with her mother in law. Lena is always sewing something, and loves the challenge of a new creation, whether it be moccasins, fur caps, or kamiks.
James Wilson Ft. McPherson, NT – Carving
· James has the makings of a master carver from Ft. McPherson, NT. He’s been carving for about 14 yrs. As a child, he loved being on the land with his family which because the inspiration for his art. “I loved it (the land) so much I started drawing and sketching. I've been drawing up until I started carving. It helped me to create my unique and beautiful pieces.” James uses natural horn such as moose and caribou and is just hitting his stride.
Lena Wolki Sachs Harbour, NT - Textiles
· Lena’s is a master of Inuvialuit traditional artist. She makes scarves, parkas, purses, mitts and covers that are recognized world-wide. Lena’s work extends to natural skins such as sealskin, polar bear fur and of course Qiviut, which is the world's most luxurious natural fibers. Qiviut is the wool of the soft undercoat of the musk ox that is harvested in her backyard, Sachs Harbour, NT. She hand-spins the wool she collects and prepares for her creations. She is also well known for her embroidered kamiks and comfortable slippers.