Tag Archives: event

Culture Days Spotlight: Christa Ouimet

9 Sep

Founded in 2009, Culture Days is a non-profit organization dedicated to building a national network of cultural connections devoted to providing Canadians with opportunities to participate in, and appreciate, all forms of arts and culture. MIA joins this collaborative initiative with our 3rd annual Inuit Art Identification Clinic. Members of the public are invited to bring in a piece of Inuit art from their personal collection to have it verbally appraised by a panel of experts. 


This year we are pleased to have Christa Ouimet return to our all-star panel of Inuit art specialists. Christa has been a panelist every year since our inaugural event in 2013.  Christa is an integral part of Katilivik  –  an indispensable resource for staff at MIA.  Check it out next time you are looking to identify an artist – you can search by name, community, disc number, or even syllabics!

 

Christa Ouimet - updated photo

Christa’s Biography

As Managing Director of Waddington’s Inuit art Department and Fine Art Specialist, Christa’s extensive knowledge and experience has earned her reputation as one of the world’s leading experts in Inuit Art.  Her 15 years in the Canadian art auction industry has culminated in the handling of over $2 million of Inuit art a year.  In addition to auction sales and appraisal consultation, Christa provides an educational service through a free web based platform including identifying artists, dating sculptures, evaluating and providing biographical information.  2003 saw Christa’s first major contribution to Waddington’s when she added a spring auction in addition to the annual fall auction of Inuit Art, at the same time she was able to pursue her desire to promote Inuit works on paper as the sole focus of her inaugural spring catalogue.  Waddington’s spring Inuit Art auction continues to be an anticipated event and a fixture in the Waddington’s auction calendar.  In 2007 Christa spearheaded Waddington’s online auctions offering an additional selection of Inuit art every month.  Online auctions are now a successful addition to all of Waddington’s specialties.  Christa has developed partnerships for promotional events in correspondence with Waddington’s biannual Inuit art auctions with esteemed organizations such as, Adventure Canada, McMichael Canadian Art Collection and BirdLife International.  Christa enjoys being a regular panelist in the Museum of Inuit art’s (MIA) annual appraisal clinic.

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Planet IndigenUS at MIA

28 Jul

Planet-IndigenUS-posterAfter a blur of summer events at the museum, and the extravaganza that was the Pan Am games, it’s hard to believe that August is already on its way.

Over the last two months I’ve been lucky enough to participate in outreach events at the Toronto Public Library, Party on the Promenade and most recently, the Aboriginal Pavilion at Fort York; and yet, we still have more events planned for the rest of the summer at MIA!

Planet IndigenUS is a 10-day festival promoting aboriginal arts and culture, and MIA will be celebrating alongside (literally – their building is next door) the Harbourfront Centre! From July 31 to August 9, events will take place at locations such as museums, libraries and art centres both in and around the GTA. As part of Planet IndigenUS the museum will be offering three types of programming focusing on the theme of “Seven Generations” – how the actions we make in the present affect future generations.

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better: both tour options are free with admission!

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better: both tour options are free with admission!

Guided Tours
Join me and other docents from the MIA Volunteer Team  for a guided tour of the museum’s permanent collection. Between August 4th and 9th we arehosting two tours a day, one beginning at at 11 AM and the second starting at 1PM. We love showing visitors around and sharing the stories behind some of our most popular pieces.

Self Guided Tours
Alternatively, if you prefer wandering at your own pace, we’ll also be offering a special self-guided tour for the duration of Planet IndigenUS. Simply follow the Planet IndigenUS feather icon found in our display cases to learn more about the pieces we have on view.

Throat Singing with Sylvia Cloutier
But that’s not all we’re doing for Planet IndigenUS this summer. If you’ve never had the chance to check out Inuit throat singing before, now’s your chance! MIA is thrilled to be hosting Sylvia Cloutier, a well-known Inuk throat singer from the Nunavik region, on August 8th at 6PM. Sylvia’s live performance will take place in the museum and will be followed by a Q&A session where guests can find out more about Sylvia and her work. Tickets can be purchased online, in person at the museum, or by calling (416) 640-1571.

I feel so fortunate to be involved in so many different events promoting aboriginal art and culture, and I’m excited for these upcoming activities. Planet IndigenUS is another great opportunity to celebrate the diversity and unique talent of aboriginal artists.

Planet IndigenUS is sure to be an amazing 10 days – come celebrate with us!

 

– Posted by Serena Y., MIA’s Community Engagement Officer

Something Different, Something New: The Making of ‘Unikkaaqtuat’

23 Jul

It’s hard to believe I only arrived at the museum two months ago, and that my internship is almost over. Everyone here has made me feel so welcome; it’s made my internship just fly by. So much has happened in that short period of time that it’s hard to fit everything into just a few paragraphs. To cover some of the main points, while I’ve been here I’ve gotten to apply everything I learnt in school to actual situations. I’ve had the opportunity to catalogue and condition report objects, to transport object, and to pack and store objects – all things I’ve learnt theoretically but seldom in practice. I have gotten to grow, to learn, and to be confident in my opinions and ideas.

rolling up works on paper for return

Myself and the MIA Collections Manager preparing some works on paper to be returned.

Being able to state my opinions and ideas with confidence is the most important part of this internship for me, and it is what helped make our newest exhibition Unikkaaqtuat: Inuit Creation Stories a reality. When I first started I was asked, somewhat in passing, to think about what a new exhibition could be. There were a few options, but nothing stood out to me except finding a way to explore Inuit myths and legends. I did not know much, but I was eager to learn more.  That’s how I began the research for this exhibition – by reading a wide variety of myths and legends, and I started with Inhabit Media’s “Unikkaaqtuat: An Introduction to Inuit Myths and Legends.” As soon as the idea solidified I emailed Inhabit Media, and got great feedback from their organization. I got to choose some of my favourite stories, and with MIA’s Collections Manager I got to look through the museum collection to find objects to accompany those stories. Together Lauren and I narrowed down our list, and chose objects to best reflect the stories. From that point on it became a matter of organization. Which stories would go beside each other? Which objects look best when paired together? What can we do to create the best impact?

We planned this exhibition to be as family-friendly as possible, to add colour, lower plinths, and create interactive components to help entice parents to bring their children to the museum. Objects and text panels were placed lower on the wall to help children interact with the objects. We’ve even added a LEGENDary Theatre so visitors can use puppets to act out the stories they’ve read in the exhibit or share their own stories.

There are five different stories represented in the case, each accompanied by art from the MIA permanent collection.

There are five different stories represented in the case, each accompanied by art from the MIA permanent collection.

As the exhibition planning and execution continued to progressed, it became obvious to me that this would become an exhibition with a selection of some of my favourite stories, and objects. From light and humorous to dark and frightening, this exhibition explores different stories of how things came into existence.

Following the opening more programming, tours, and art activities will connect with the show and I hope you have a chance to see it this summer.

– Posted by Taylor M., MIA’s Collections Intern

ᓇᑯᕐᒦᒻᒪᕆᐊᓗᒃ! NAH Month in Review

30 Jun

Wow, I can’t believe it’s already June 3oth! Where has this month gone?! Time really does fly by when you’re having fun, and there were lots of games and activities  happening here at the MIA.

To celebrate National Aboriginal History Month and National Aboriginal Day, we gave out freebies like puzzles, temporary tattoos, “crunchers” (or “cootie catchers”), colouring pages, and build-an-inuksuk crafts. They were supposed to be for visitors, but once our staff unpacked them we just had to test them ourselves. You know, just to make sure they all worked properly…

Our celebrations also went digital. All month we had been posting Tweets and Facebook updates where one word or phrase was selected in the various dialects of Inuit language. Some of these words related to family members like ᐊᑖᑕ or ataata for “father” and Arctic animals like ᓇᓄᖅ or nanuq for “polar bear” but we also posted some less obvious words like “coffee” and “cabin” to poke fun at some of my intern-antics.

We also created some challenges on SCVNGR for visitors to play and earn points. After completing a few activities and answering some trivia questions, museum visitors can redeem points for a free membership!

And as of a few moments ago, MIA launched our official Instagram account! Now visitors can connect with us through the photos they’ve taken themselves. We’re really curious to see some of the great artsy shots people take our of collection. Find us on there – our username is “miamuseum.”

Sneaky side note: These two new smart phone additions may or may not be good practice for another awesome tech addition MIA will be rolling out next month. But more on that later…

Now that National Aboriginal History Month is drawing to a close, and people are gearing up for the Canada Day long weekend, everyone at MIA wanted to say a giant ᓇᑯᕐᒦᒻᒪᕆᐊᓗᒃ (nakurmiimmarialuk /thank you very much) for celebrating with us. We hope you had a great month, and we’ll see you again in a year!

– Posted by: Brittany Holliss, MIA’s Educational Assistant

Happy National Aboriginal Day!

21 Jun

Woot, woot!
Today is National Aboriginal Day!

This event is all about celebrating the cultures and contributions of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples of Canada. While there had been similar calls for this kind of recognition earlier, the official launch of NAD happened in 1996 – and is now part of a series of “Celebrate Canada” days, beginning with National Aboriginal Day and followed by the National Holiday of Quebec (June 24), Canadian Multiculturalism Day (June 27), and concluding with Canada Day (July 1).

All month we have been gearing up for this celebration.
We started a new Twitter series where we gave followers a word or phrase each day to illustrate the different dialects of Inuktitut, we shared some events details on Facebook about what is (and would be going on) around our city of Toronto and across Canada, and today we’re handing out a bunch of free stuff!

Visitors who stop by the museum today get a real treat! We have temporary tattoos, mini-puzzels, colouring pages, “crunchers” (or “cootie catchers” if you’re fancy), build-an-inuksuk, and more! All for free! We are even giving visitors the extra special, behind the scenes style chance to hold and feel some of our objects. Bye-Bye surly security guards telling people to stand back and look but don’t touch.

And don’t think that when the day is over, the event is as well. While this is the designated DAY, National Aboriginal stuff will continue on for the rest of the month. Better come over quickly though, before our staff starts picking through all these free goodies 🙂

– Posted by: Brittany Holliss, MIA’s Educational Assistant