2022 Inuit Art Society Meeting: Sept 29 – Oct 2 in Vancouver, British Columbia

The Inuit Art Society is teaming up with the Arctic Arts and Culture Society (AACS) for this year’s Annual Meeting. We’ll be meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, beginning on Thursday evening, September 29th and ending at noon on Sunday, October 2nd.

The home base for our meeting will be Vancouver’s “West End.” The West End is within walking distance to beaches, parks, scenic views, and diverse restaurants and shops. Public transportation in this area is easily accessible from and to the airport, downtown Vancouver, North Vancouver, and other places of interest.

We have reserved a block of rooms at the classic Sylvia Hotel on English Bay. Built in 1912, “The Sylvia” as locals call it, is a historic treasure that is well known and well loved by Vancouverites. It is on English Bay and is just a few blocks from another Vancouver treasure, Stanley Park.

We have an exciting agenda planned for this meeting and look forward to your joining us!

Use this form to register for the 2022 Meeting of the Inuit Art Society in Vancouver

Schedule of events

Our meeting takes place on the unceded lands of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations and we thank them for welcoming us to their territories.

Download the Schedule of Events

Thursday, September 29 (all events at the Sylvia Hotel)

2:30 – 5:00 Event registration and check-in

5:30 – 7:30 Welcome reception

Introductions – Michael Foor-Pessin, IAS Board President

Welcome – Susan Rowley, AACS Board President and Director, UBC Museum of Anthropology

Keynote SpeakerSophia Tasseor Lebessis: “Chasing the Inuk Imagination: The Co-Existence of Tradition and Change and its Evolutionary Effect on Inuit Art”

The pursuit of the Inuk imagination has long been a solo journey to connect. The co-existence of tradition and change and its evolutionary effect on Inuit art is our next frontier. Are you ready?

photo of Sophia LebessisLebessis, an Inuk scholar and the owner of Transformation Fine Art gallery in Calgary.

Inuit on her mother’s side and Greek on her father’s side, Sophia’s unique cultural background influenced a keen perspective of culture and art. Growing up among master artists of the Kivaliq region in her family-run art cooperative, Sophia was immersed in the procurement of Inuit art, from creation to distribution. Sophia’s gallery is Canada’s first Inuk-owned Inuit art Gallery, and Sophia believes the industry is going through a radical shift in Inuit art appreciation, a shift rooted in reconciling Canadian education of Indigenous peoples.

Sophia Tasseor Lebessis Inuit art tag

Friday, September 30 (Best Western Sands Hotel – Pacific Ballroom)

Presentations all day at the Best Western Sands Hotel.

8:00 – 9:00 Registration, Breakfast and Marketplace (Continental breakfast provided)

Visit with other Inuit art collectors over breakfast and see what’s available for purchase in the IAS Marketplace.

9:00 -10:00 Dr. Norma Dunning: “Inuit: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow”

photo of Dr Norma DunningDr. Dunning is a Padlei Inuk author and educator whose book Tainna: The Unseen Ones won the Governor General’s Literary Award. Her latest book, Kinauvit? (what’s your name?), takes a deep look the Canadian Eskimo disc identification system. It will be released in October of 2022.

For her presentation, she will read passages from her books that present Inuit life during different time periods in Canada.

After her presentation, she will sign books for anyone who brings copies with them. (Books will not be available for purchase at the meeting.)

10:00 -10:15 Coffee Break and Marketplace

Visit with other Inuit art collectors and take a quick look at what’s available for purchase in the IAS Marketplace.

10:15 -11:15 Drew Ann Wake: “Voices of the Elders”

photo of John T'seleie, Drew Ann Wake, and professor Michael Jackson

In the 1970s, Drew Ann Wake was a young reporter for the CBC, working in the Western Arctic. Over several years she recorded stories with dozens of Elders. She is now engaged in a project that takes the voices of those Elders – and the sculptures and prints they created – back to schools in Western Arctic communities. There, we hope that the stories and art works will inspire young people to begin their own artistic careers.

Wake is an anthropologist and media producer who has spent forty-five years working with Indigenous organizations in the Northwest Territories. She is currently working on an exhibition, River Journeys, under the leadership of the Gwich’in Tribal Council.

Her presentation will feature artwork she has collected over the last fifty years that match those old stories, including prints from Ulukhaktok artists like Helen Kalvak, Agnes Nanogak, and Mark Emerak, as well as sculptures by David Ruben Piqtoukun of the Inuvialuit Settlement Region, NT.

(She’s pictured here with Dene leader John T’seleie and law professor Michael Jackson.)

photo of film artist Lindsay McIntyre11:15 -12:15 Lindsay McIntyre: “Changing Glances: Nanook of the North and 100 Years Later” 

2022 is the 100th anniversary of Robert Flaherty’s Nanook of the North, and in light of this Lindsay McIntyre will explore how far Inuit have come in 100 years, exploring and sharing pieces from her own practice alongside other contemporary Inuit filmmakers and artists who are changing the way we look to the North.

McIntyre is a film artist from Edmonton of Inuk/European descent. She holds an MFA in Film and a BFA in Painting and Drawing. Most of her work uses 16mm film to explore portraiture, place, form, and personal histories.

Besides pursuing her own work, she is an Assistant Professor of Film and Screen Art a Emily Carr University.

12:15 – 2:00 Lunch (provided) and Marketplace

Visit with other Inuit art collectors over lunch and see what’s available for purchase in the IAS Marketplace.

2:00 – 3:00 Abraham Anghik Ruben: “The Origins of The Inuit: An Overview from the 17th Century to the Present”

A well-known master sculptor, Abraham Anghik Ruben’s work explores the ancient stories, myths, and legends of northern cultures. Ruben’s work can be found in major private and public collections around the world. His 5-ton limestone carving titled “Time to Play” is featured in the courtyard in front of the new Winnipeg Art Gallery – Qaumajuq.

He was born in Paulatuk, Inuvialuit Settlement Region, Northwest Territories.

3:00 – 3:15 Coffee Break and Marketplace

Visit with other Inuit art collectors and take a quick look at what’s available for purchase in the IAS Marketplace.

3:15 – 4:15 Jamie Cameron: “A collector, the collection, and reflections on collecting over the years”

photo of Jamie Cameron

To some extent a collecting memoir, the presentation will provide a sketch of some key milestones in my evolution as a collector of Inuit art. This will include images from the collection and some pictures from the north. On a more reflective note, I will share some thoughts about the pathway of Inuit art – where it began, where it has been, and where its future may lead.

Jamie Cameron and her husband, Chris Bredt, are long-time collectors of Inuit art, as well as of aboriginal art from other communities. They have supported the arts over the years, including by donating parts of their collection to public institutions, and are frequent travelers to Canada’s north.

Ms Cameron is a member of IAS and serves on the Inuit Art Foundation board.

4:15 – 6:00 Marketplace

Visit the IAS Marketplace to find the perfect piece of Inuit art to add to your own collection.

Dinner is on your own.

Saturday, October 1 (Bus Excursion )

Breakfast on your own.

9:00 Vancouver Inuit art tour: 

Please be ready to board the bus in front of the Sylvia Hotel at 8:45 AM.

  • Bus takes us to North Vancouver where we will visit the Inuit Gallery. If there is time, people can explore North Vancouver. 
  • Bus then takes the group to the UBC Museum of Anthropology where we will have lunch in the Haida House and then tour the museum.
  • Bus takes us to Marion Scott Gallery for a visit and then back to the Sylvia around 5 pm.
photo of Inuit art at the UBC Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver

Inuit art at the UBC Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver

Dinner on your own.

Sunday, October 2 (Best Western Sands Hotel)

Best Western Sands Hotel

8:00 – 9:00 Breakfast and Marketplace (breakfast provided)

Visit with other Inuit art collectors over breakfast and see what’s available for purchase in the IAS Marketplace.

9:00 -10:00 Amanda Davison: “Capturing the Beauty of My Home”

Amanda Davison is a young Inupiak artist from Nome, Alaska. Her art is inspired by her traditional lifestyle and the scenery that surrounds her.

She presented her lovely paintings to IAS/AACS members during a virtual event in 2021 and we are pleased she will be joining us again.

10:00 – 10:30 Coffee Break/Marketplace

10:00 -11:15 Panel Discussion: “Through the Dealers Eyes: A Conversation on the Inner Workings of the Inuit Art Market”

Panel Discussion moderated by Michael Warren of the Madrona Gallery. Panelists: Charles Bateman (Marion Scott Gallery), Sophia Lebessis (Transformation Fine Art), Melanie Zavediuk (Inuit Gallery of Vancouver)

11:30 – 12:00 Final announcements and closing remarks

12:00 – 1:00  IAS Board meeting

***Marketplace will be set up at the Sands Best Western Hotel on Friday and Sunday.

Download the Schedule of Events

Register for the 2022 Meeting of the Inuit Art Society in Vancouver


We recommend you make hotel reservations as soon as possible as September and October are still considered tourist season in Vancouver.

The Sylvia Hotel: The Sylvia Hotel – On Vancouver’s English Bay(1-877-681-9321) will hold a block of rooms until August 28th. Rooms not reserved by group members by that date will be released to the general public. The special room rate is guaranteed at $239 CAD per night.

You may wish to extend your visit as the city of Vancouver and its surrounding areas has lots to offer!

There are other hotels in the area within walking distance from our meeting place, including the following:

Passports and border documents

If you are traveling from the USA, you will need a current passport or passport card with at least 6 months remaining on it to enter Canada. Do NOT wait until the last minute to check on this, as it can take several months to get or renew a passport.

Although this could change, there are currently no restrictions for vaccinated Americans entering Canada. However, American visitors are required to submit vaccination information to Canadian authorities before arrival. You are required to do this using the ArriveCAN website or phone app.