The Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec is pleased to award the Prix du CALQ – Artiste de l’année au Nord-du-Québec to Inuit singer Akinisie Sivuarapik. This award, with a prize of $10,000, was presented by the CALQ’s Céline Lavallée, in cooperation with the Avataq Cultural Institute. The partners announced the award during a throat singing demonstration for visitors to the exhibition Revival: Printmaking in Nunavik (2014-2019) at the Musée d’Art de Joliette.
“Akinisie Sivuarapik is a beloved, relevant, and important artist. Her contribution is essential to the preservation, transmission, and revitalization of katajjaniq (throat singing), an Inuit cultural treasure. She has had an enormous impact, not only on her community, but also on all of Québec.” – CALQ jury statement.
About Akinisie Sivuarapik
Akinisie Sivuarapik is a throat-singing (katajjaniq) artist from Puvirnituq, Nunavik. Growing up in her community, she was always drawn to this art, which she learned from her grandmother Mary Sivuarapik. “There are more girls than boys in my family, so throat singing was how we came together and had fun with my grandmother. I love throat singing, because my grandmother taught me it was something to cherish.” Her mastery of the ancestral art has led to performances around the world, including in Corsica, Germany, Norway, France, Greenland, Belgium, and Austria. In 2018, she was part of the show Chaakapesh, the Trickster’s Quest with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, performed in Montréal, before heading north to six Indigenous communities. In addition to her stage career, Akinisie Sivuarapik teaches throat singing to youth in Nunavik and Nunavut.
A video about the honoured artist will be shown this year on La Fabrique culturelle, Télé-Québec’s digital cultural platform.
The Prix du CALQ – Artiste de l’année au Nord-du-Québec (Nord-du-Quebec Artist of the Year)
Accompanied by a cash award of $10,000, this prize recognizes artists or writers who have distinguished themselves for the vibrancy of their career and the excellence of their recent work. This prize is the result of a partnership between the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, which is responsible for managing the program, and the Administration régionale Baie-James and the Avataq Cultural Institute, who promote the call for applications and award the prize.
The Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec
The Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (CALQ) invests in the imagination and celebrates the successes of those who create memorable works, shape Québec’s cultural identity, and make it shine. With a view to equitable, sustainable artistic development, the CALQ supports creation, experimentation, and production in the arts and literature in all regions of Québec and promotes dissemination in Québec, Canada, and abroad.
In awarding this prize, the CALQ pursues its objective of public recognition by showing support to creators who have distinguished themselves for the excellence of their work and their outstanding contribution to the vitality of Québec culture.
Created in 1980, the Avataq Cultural Institute is dedicated to protecting and promoting the language and culture of Nunavimmiut (Inuit in Nunavik). In the spring of 2009, Avataq set up a department called Aumaaggiivik, the Nunavik Arts Secretariat, with the financial assistance of the Kativik Regional Government and Makivik Corporation. Taking its name from the Inuktitut word meaning “the place where sparks are born,” Aumaaggiivik was created with the goal of promoting the arts in Nunavik, as well as encouraging economic development and the creation of long-term employment in the region’s arts and culture sector. To this end, it supports artists in all disciplines (visual arts, music, media arts, literature, story-telling, etc.) by advancing their careers through a program of grants and specialized training. Aumaaggiivik also provides artistic residencies, and supports the creation of local infrastructures to provide workspaces for artists and promote the arts both within and outside the region.
La Fabrique culturelle
La Fabrique culturelle is Télé-Québec’s digital cultural platform. It draws content from Télé-Québec’s ten regional bureaus and some 100 cultural partners and community members. Its mission is to offer visibility to arts and culture by promoting Québec’s cultural identity throughout the province, mainly through the creative efforts of artists and artisans.