I am the light of happiness
And I am a dancing, happy, owl
We are super proud to announce that the latest Heritage Minute on the incredible Inuit artist Kenojuak Ashevak was produced and directed by Tess Girard and Ryan J. Noth for Fifth Town Films, on behalf of the amazing folks at Historica Canada. The production travelled to Cape Dorset, Nunavut, to work with family members of Kenojuak, including her sister, to portray her in the film. Miali Buscemi plays the younger Ashevak, and provides voiceover to the story. The images were crafted in collaboration with John Price, and sound with Paul Aucoin. Post-production was provided by Studio VSC in Toronto, Daniel Pellerin at the Royal Theatre, and the incredible animation was completed by e.d. films based out of Montreal. We are incredibly humbled and grateful to have had the honour of collaborating with the Cape Dorset community to bring Kenojuak's amazing work and legacy into the ranks of Canada's Heritage Minutes.
Ashevak is perhaps the best-known Inuit artist because of her famous print The Enchanted Owl (1960), which was featured on a Canada Post stamp. She was also the first woman to become involved with the newly established printmaking shop at Cape Dorset.
Kenojuak Ashevak, C.C., O.N., artist (born 3 October 1927 in Ikerrasak camp, South Baffin Island, NWT; died 8 January 2013, Cape Dorset, NU). A Companion of the Order of Canada and winner of the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts, Ashevak is perhaps the best-known Inuit artist because of her famous print The Enchanted Owl (1960), which was featured on a Canada Post stamp. She was also the first woman to become involved with the newly established printmaking shop at Cape Dorset.
Awards, Exhibits and Other Work
Although best known as a graphic artist, she also carved, designed blankets and (with her late husband Johnniebo Ashevak) created a mural for the 1970 World's Fair in Osaka, Japan. In 2004, Ashevak designed a stained glass window for the chapel of Appleby College in Oakville, Ontario. The window has an owl gazing out at viewers, feathers fanning out beside it, and an Arctic char swimming beneath, all of it suffused in a deep blue. The window was dedicated to Rt. Rev. Andrew Atagotaaluk, Bishop of the Arctic.
The recipient of numerous awards, including the Order of Canada (Companion in 1982) and participant in many exhibitions, Ashevak travelled to southern Canada and Europe. She was featured in a National Film Board film in 1963 and in a limited-edition book published in 1981. She became a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 1974 and was given a 30-year retrospective of her work at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection Gallery (Kleinburg, Ontario) in 1986. In 2002, her work was featured in the exhibition Kenojuak Ashevak: To Make Something Beautiful at the National Gallery of Canada. She was awarded a Governor General's Award in Visual and Media Arts in 2008 and in 2012 was appointed to the Order of Nunavut.