20 million dollars of arts and crafts produced annually
Nunavut is an Arctic territory whose predominantly Inuit population makes it rich with aboriginal art and culture. On a warm summer day in most communities carvers sit outside unleashing polar bears and dancing walruses from chunks of stone, antler, marble or bone: make an offer and buy creations warm from the sculptor’s hands. Stone carvings from Cape Dorset – with the highest per capita number of artists in Canada – have been gifted to presidents, kings and popes. World famous Inuit prints are made in Cape Dorset as well as in the scenic community of Pangnirtung where you can also watch weavers at work in a unique tapestry studio. Iqaluit, the territorial capital, is a creative hub with several art boutiques including the well-stocked Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum gift shop. Head to the Legislative Assembly, designed along the sleek lines of a traditional Inuit sled, and see masterpieces like a scepter carved from narwhal tusk ivory. Visit Iqaluit during Toonik Tyme in spring to hear elders’ stories, traditional throat-singing and drum dancing. Learn Inuit games and dine on caribou stew. Or experience the Alianait! Arts Festival in July, a Northern theatre, film, music and dance extravaganza playing out beneath the Midnight Sun.