On Thursday March 25, I spoke in the Legislature on the opening of the Quamajuq Inuit Art Centre. Quamajug, which means "it is bright, it is lit" in Inuktitut, is an amazing cultural achievement located near the Manitoba Legislature. Opening ceremonies were March 24 and 25. My comments (from Hansard) are below.
Mr. Gerrard: Madam Speaker, I'm pleased to speak today of the opening of Qaumajuq, the world's largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art in the world.
We thank the government of Nunavut, who have loaned to Qaumajuq 7,400 artworks which complement the 14,000 pieces in the Winnipeg Art Gallery collection.
It is exciting to see how Inuit culture is flourishing. The art commissioned by the Winnipeg Art Gallery for Qaumajuq includes recent pieces like sealskin space suit, demonstrating the mix of tradition and modern Inuit art.
The centre, with its focus on light, is a welcoming space and an important step toward reconciliation, featuring the participation of language and knowledge keepers.
I was pleased to hear that the museum has big plans to bring its exhibition to Inuit communities across Inuit Nunangat.
This is an important step and means we are sharing this collection and the exhibitions across the North.
Congratulations to architect Michael Maltzan; to Stephen Borys; to Heather Igloliorte, co-chair of the art gallery's Indigenous advisory circle and the lead curator of the INUA exhibition.
This is a soapstone milestone, a cultural centre in the heart of Winnipeg. A big thank-you to all who made this possible.