Welcome to the 2022 Arctic Arts Summit

Take a moment to read some welcoming messages from our Co-Hosts and Partners

The Canada Council for the Arts is honoured to co-host the 2022 Arctic Arts Summit with our partner, the Government of Yukon, and our many collaborators across Canada and the Circumpolar North.

We are pleased to welcome representatives of the Arctic countries and Indigenous nations of the North. This is an exciting opportunity to reconnect and rebuild after over two years of pandemic-enforced distance. This moment also allows us to highlight the remarkable breadth of geography, languages, communities and peoples of Canada’s North, as we celebrate and strengthen Arctic arts and culture with our Circumpolar neighbours.

For the Canada Council, supporting artists, organizations and communities in the North on their own terms is essential. This perspective guided our approach as co-host. We want to centre the voices, visions and lived realities of the North; to amplify and learn from artists, cultural workers and creative leaders from across the region; and to recognize and honour strong Indigenous leadership. This is about making sure arts and culture flourish in a way that respects and affirms the cultural sovereignty and self-determination of Indigenous peoples in the North.

The 2022 Summit brings together a diversity of knowledge, perspectives and lived experiences. The gathering unites artists, arts and culture workers, arts funders, policymakers, community leaders, Elders and so many more—from communities across the Circumpolar North. This broad participation will foster rich, inclusive conversations that build on the success of the past Arctic Arts Summits.

The exchanges that took place at ArcticArtsSummit.ca over the past few months have already energized and inspired us. Now, in Whitehorse, we look forward to deepening those conversations and strengthening connections that will enrich the Arctic arts sector for many years to come.

Jesse Wente
Chair, Canada Council for the Arts

Simon Brault, o.c., o.q.
Director and CEO, Canada Council for the Arts


Simon Brault, o.c., o.q. Director and CEO, Canada Council for the Arts
Jesse Wente Chair, Canada Council for the Arts
Ranj Pillai - Minister of Tourism and Culture, Government of Yukon

As Minister of Tourism and Culture, it is my great honour to welcome everyone to the 2022 Arctic Arts Summit on behalf of the Government of Yukon.

It is now more important than ever to have the circumpolar North come together, and this summit provides the opportunity to shine an international spotlight on Yukon’s scenic beauty, wonderful venues, and wealth of artistic talent.

Together with our hosting partner from the Canada Council for the Arts, our presenting partners from the Yukon First Nations Culture and Tourism Association, the Yukon Arts Centre, and an incredible Indigenous curatorial, team we have put together a truly exceptional showcase of the artistic talents and leadership alive in the circumpolar region.

The 2022 Arctic Arts Summit holds true to its founding vision of strengthening Northern artistic representation through innovative partnerships and meaningful discourse with immersive programming that reflects strong Indigenous content and a diverse array of Northern voices.

We are beyond excited to host so many incredible artists and cultural leaders as we deepen connections and understanding so that arts in the North continue to thrive.

Our thanks and congratulations to all the artists, cultural leaders, presenters and knowledge keepers for sharing their passion and talents, and our sincere gratitude to the many organizers and volunteers who have brought this event to life.

Honourable Ranj Pillai
Minister of Tourism and Culture,
Government of Yukon

Chief Doris Bill, Kwanlin Dün First Nation

Dänch´ea! Welcome to the 2022 Arctic Arts Summit taking place on the shared Traditional Territories of Kwanlin Dün First Nation and Ta’an Kwäch’än Council.

I would like to welcome all guests joining us from other Circumpolar countries as we celebrate our arts and cultures, and work to lift Indigenous voices.

I know how important cultural connection is for our people, especially when we are going through hard times.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, many people picked up the tradition of sewing or turned to cultural practices to find connection, community and healing.

I invite everyone to listen, learn and find connection through this cultural gathering.

Chief Doris Bill
Kwanlin Dün First Nation

CYFN Grand Chief Peter Johnston. Photo by Alistair Maitland Photography

It’s an honour to welcome delegates from the Arctic countries and Indigenous Nations of the Circumpolar North to the 2022 Arctic Arts Summit.

We are so pleased to see this gathering come to Yukon during such an exciting time of resurgence of Yukon First Nations creative and cultural expression. Undoubtedly, Yukon First Nations creators are making a remarkable impression on audiences far and wide and continue to push boundaries, challenge perspectives and place focus on important issues that we face through their creative works.

This Summit offers a unique opportunity to support artistic and cultural development by creating space to cultivate connections and explore perspectives on issues of relevance to northerners across the globe. I trust that many fruitful discussions and opportunities for identifying common ground and exploring opportunities for creative collaboration will emerge from this gathering.

In closing, I applaud those in attendance for your contributions to sustaining culture and for your commitment to land and environmental stewardship for the benefit of generations to come through your work.


Grand Chief Peter Johnston
Council of Yukon First Nations

Chief Amanda Leas, Ta’an Kwäch’än Council

On behalf of the Ta’an Kwäch’än Council, it is my pleasure to welcome you to our Traditional Territory, which we share, in part with the Kwanlin Dün First Nation.

We are honoured to be hosting so many talented people for this Summit. To create and inspire through art is a powerful thing. We know our artistry is unique to the world and we are enormously proud to be a part of this summit and to share it with you.

Over the week, we will have a chance to share our stories, cultures and art, and open up a world we didn’t know existed. Language, community, heritage, identity, self-determination and decolonization are some of the themes that will be explored, and we are very excited to see what stories are created.

We want to thank the organizers, volunteers, funders, artists and performers who will shine for us in the days to come!

Shäw níthän.

Chief Amanda Leas
Ta’an Kwäch’än Council