OPENING TOMORROW NIGHT! Arnait Ikajurtigiit: Women helping each other

This spring AGYU opens with a program that ponders: what kinds of creative and political gestures might constitute new kinds of alliances? How might these gestures move us into trans-historical, intra-local, and inter-traditional spaces of hybrid potential?

The Art Gallery of York University’s (AGYU) spring 2019 exhibition includes film, objects, and photography made over three decades by internationally celebrated Arnait Video Productions, the dynamic collective of Inuit and non-Inuit women artists from the North who put Inuit innovation and tradition first. Arnait Video Productions (Igloolik, NU/Montreal, PQ) gives voice to several generations of Inuit who articulate the challenges and opportunities that arise when living and working between Inuit and non-Inuit world views. Arnait Video Productions was founded in 1991 by Atuat Akkitirq, Susan Avingaq, Marie-Hélène Cousineau, Madeline Ivalu, and Carol Kunnuk. Uyarak (Lucy Tulugarjuk) is the newest member of the team.

Arnait Ikajurtigiit is curated by AGYU’s Interim Assistant Director/Curator Alissa Firth-Eagland and is a Primary Exhibition of Toronto’s Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival, presented in conjunction with the 2019 Images Festival Off-Screen program. Arnait Video Productions is distributed in Canada and internationally by Vtape.


Artist Tour | Wednesday April 17, 2019 @ 6:30 PM | AGYU

Join us at Toronto’s Igloolik outpost (aka AGYU) for a rare opportunity to hear Arnait discuss the development of their practice over three decades and the importance of women making art in the north. Members of Arnait will share their work in English and Inuktitut with translation. Coincides with our opening reception.

Igalaaq (Seeing Through) | April 17 and May 4, 2019 | AGYU

Step into the portal! Igalaaq promotes new configurations of Inuit/non-Inuit relations through video chat technology. On April 17 at 7:30 pm we open the portal between North and South for a conversation between installation artist, curator, writer, and educator Bonnie Devine (Serpent River First Nation, Anishinaabe/Ojibwa) and Arnait members Susan Avingaq, Marie-Hélène Cousineau, Madeline Ivalu, and Uyarak (Lucy Tulugarjuk).

On May 4 from 10 am to noon we host a special three-way transcontinental portal between Igloolik, AGYU, and Venice, where Isuma, the celebrated film collective from the North, is representing the Canadian Pavilion at the Biennale. This conversation is hosted by artist, educator, curator, and Vtape co-founder Lisa Steele, in conversation with Marie-Hélène Cousineau, Madeline Ivalu, and Uyarak (Lucy Tulugarjuk). Keep an eye on our website and socials for the time when the portal will open!

Public Talk | Thursday April 18, 2019 @ 12 pm | The Commons, 401 Richmond Street West, Suite 440

Members of Arnait from three generations—Marie-Hélène Cousineau, Susan Avingaq, and Uyarak (Lucy Tulugarjuk)—dialogue about their collective filmmaking practice with writer and curator Candice Hopkins(Carcross/Tagish First Nation). This talk will be in English and Inuktitut with translation. Presented in partnership with Images Festival.

Contemporary Art Bus Tour | Sunday May 26, 2019, 12 – 5 pm

The bus departs from OCADU (100 McCaul Street) at noon and travels to AGYU for a Curator’s Tour of Arnait Ikajurtigiit at 1 pm and continues with stops at the Doris McCarthy Gallery and the Robert McLaughlin Gallery where other CONTACT exhibitions are on view. To reserve a seat, please email Alissa Firth-Eagland, Co-presented with Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival.

Student Tour Series | Wednesday May 15, 2019 @ 5:30 pm | AGYU

As Indigenous communities come to adopt new digital technologies in the North, what are the potential effects on Indigenous sovereignty of exploring their identities online? Join PhD candidate in Communication Studies at York University Ali Hirji for a tour of Arnait’s exhibition. Ali discusses the artists’ broad creative practice through his experience and research in artificial intelligence, broadband, cyber security, and Indigenous populations in remote communities like those in Nunavut. Courtesy of York U’s Mobilizing Inuit Cultural Heritage.

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The AGYU is located in the Accolade East Building, 4700 Keele Street, Toronto.
Gallery hours: Monday to Friday, 10 am – 4 pm; Wednesday, 10 am – 8 pm; Sunday, noon – 5 pm; and Saturday, closed.

TTC: Ride Line 1 to York University Station: the gallery entrance faces the south exit.
Driving: Enter YorkU Keele Campus via The Pond Road. Park in the Student Services garage.
WheelTrans: The closest WheelTrans stop is York University Station, north exit.

AGYU is a public, university-affiliated, non-profit contemporary art gallery supported by York University, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Province of Ontario through the Ontario Arts Council, the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council, and by its membership.

AGYU promotes 2SLGBTQIAP positive spaces and experiences and is barrier-free.

Everything is FREE

To request images or interviews with the artists, please contact Emelie Chhangur, Interim Director/Curator at

Images: Film stills from Tia and Piujuq copyright Arnait Video Productions 2018. Courtesy of Arnait Video Productions.