The Arctic Arts Summit brings together representatives of Arctic countries and the Indigenous Nations of the Circumpolar region. The Summits serve to strengthen arts and culture in the North and develop circumpolar cooperation to stimulate collaboration in arts and creative industries.
The first Arctic Arts Summit was held in Norway, initiated by the Arctic Arts Festival and hosted in 2017 by the Norwegian Ministry of Culture and Arts Council Norway. The second Summit was in Finland, hosted in 2019 by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture, the Arts Promotion Centre Finland (Taike), and the University of Lapland. The Canada Council for the Arts and the Government of Yukon will co-host the third Arctic Arts Summit in Whitehorse, Yukon.
The 2022 Arctic Arts Summit will connect participants across the North with a program focused on artist-driven exchanges and Indigenous voices. A digital program will invite broader audiences to participate in conversations and exchanges leading up to the in-person event.
Themes of the 2022 Summit
The 2022 Arctic Arts Summit will focus on Connection to the Land, exploring northern arts and culture in relation to:
- Land: Language, Community, Heritage, Identity
- Indigenous Sovereignty: Self-determination, Indigenization and Decolonization
- Climate: Environmental Sustainability, Crisis and Action
- Creating: Makers, Making, and Sharing Artistic Production
- Representation: Institutions & Ethics, Engagements, Education, Policy, Protocol, Repatriation
- Circumpolar Collaboration: Cooperation and Mobility
- Technology: Digital Arts, Data, Access, New Media
- Activism: Artists, Movements and Social Change
- Possible Futures: New Directions, Youth Voices, Imaginings
” The idea of creating a circumpolar summit for arts and culture started in 2015. At the time, the political discussions on the future development of the Arctic were led from the south and the northern perspectives was rarely taken into consideration. As the director of Festspillene I Nord-Norge—the biggest art festival in the circumpolar north—I was struck by how the international reports and official documents on the Arctic was limited to resource management and global environmental issues, and totally lacked the perspectives of the humans living in the High North. Arts and culture were not even mentioned as areas of political interest. Yet, from our northern perspective, culture was and remains an imperative driving force for sustainable growth and development in the North.
The cultural sector is not only a crucial industry, more importantly it represents and reflects the human reality and livelihood in the North. As festival organizers and art professionals, we felt a responsibility to use our resources to create a transnational platform that could catapult perspectives of arts and culture into the political discourse on Arctic development. Before launching the Arctic Art Summit in 2017, we travelled around the circumpolar north for 18 months to meet with artists, art organizations, culture institutions, ministries and embassies. Brick by brick we managed to build a common understanding for the need of an international summit and, together with the Norwegian Ministry of Culture the Arctic Arts Festival, managed to gather support and interest across the circumpolar region.
Canada was from the start a crucial collaborative partner, and aided by the support of the Canadian mission in Norway and Canada Council for the Arts, the first Arctic Arts Summit became a reality in June 2017, with official representation from all eight Arctic countries, including Nordic Council of Ministers, the Arctic Council secretariat, the European Union, and a broad spectrum of arts institutions, art organizations and artists.”
– Maria Utsi
Summit Founder and 2022 International Liaison
About the Digital Program
Leading up to the in-person Summit, online participants are invited to explore and interact on the Arctic Arts Summit website. The website shines a spotlight on arts and culture across the North, with media, live-streamed events, online galleries, film series, artist profiles, and more. Enjoy creations, exchanges and conversations from across the circumpolar arts and culture sector.
Engage with 2022 Arctic Arts Summit themes, connect with Northern arts and culture, and discover more with guest curator Spotlights. New content will be added weekly.
About the In-Person Summit
The in-person Summit will be held on the traditional territories of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and the Ta’an Kwäch’än Council in Whitehorse, Yukon June 27 to 29, 2022. The Summit will feature keynotes, panel discussions, networking opportunities, workshops and performances.
Participating countries and Indigenous nations will send official delegations to the Summit, each setting their own guidelines for participation. A variety of performances and presentations will also be open to the public.
About the 2022 Arctic Arts Summit Logo
The Arctic Arts Summit 2022 logo, Doing the Work That We Were Sent Here to Do, was created by Carcross/Tagish First Nation artist Blake Shaá’koon Lepine.
Many organizations and individuals are involved in making the 2022 Arctic Arts Summit a success. We are grateful for all of the partners who contribute to this important initiative.