Vancouver, the Hot Place for Inuit Art

Since I came to Vancouver of the night of the Olympic opening ceremonies on February the 12th, it has been non-stop all the way.

Besides the Olympics Games going on there are many other things people from the city and the visiting world can see and do.

The last couple of days have been very interesting to me as it felt like family day to me.

On February 17th a carver from Cape Dorset, Matthew Saviarjuk Jaw was invited by Nigel Reading of the Spirit Wrestler Gallery to have some concerning discussions of the Inuit art world.

I went there with him as his interpreter, though is his English is good but he preferred I went with him, much to my delight.

Upon entering the Spirit Wrestler Gallery, one can seem to find peace after hearing the busy streets of Vancouver, a calmness soothing to the mind and body from the surrounding art pieces.

There at the Spirit Wrestler Gallery one can see very high quality Inuit and First Nation`s fine art on display. This is one place people must to go and see. They also carry books about aboriginal art and artists. The Spirit Wrestler Gallery is on the 47 Water Street.

While we were there a local Vancouver man by the name of Lorne Balshine came by as he knew Saviarjuk was at the Spirit Wrestler Gallery that morning.

The following day Mr. Balshine took Saviarjuk and I to English Bay to view the huge inuksuk that was built in 1986 by Alvan Kanak from my home town of Rankin Inlet, Nunavut.

From there he took us to see the beluga and other living species at the aquarium.

I was a bit reluctant about how I would feel seeing once wild beluga living freely in our northern waters and seeing them in an aquarium.

I have seem polar bears in captivity and each time I saw polar bears in a zoo I have cringed with sorrow for the big beautiful beasts, known as the king of the Arctic enclosed in tiny space.

Much to our surprise we were very pleased to see the two adult beluga happily swimming around with two other young ones.

They were full of energy and are very well taken care of and are much used to the environment they now live in.

After the visit to the aquarium at the Stanley Park, Mr. Balshine took us to his home.

There were Inuit carvings galore!! What a collection! Seeing three of my father Marc Tungilik`s carvings was a very warm feeling, after leaving the building I felt my dad`s guiding and looking after me somehow.

You know when you feel such emotion, I could not help but shed some tears. Thank you Mr. Lorne Balshine for that re-connection.

This was like a family connection day to me as later on during the day relatives of my husband Jim MacDonald came by to the Canada`s Northern House from Victoria Island.

I had a brief meet with Lee Fraser and her two children 11 and 13, but a great one. Thanks for coming by to see me while you were in the area Lee.

Today will be a different day for sure again as each day has been since my arrival to Vancouver.

Yes Vancouver is truly the hot place on Earth for Inuit art!!

Visitors like the artists of Nunavut and myself are made to feel welcomed and we are loving it.

Taima for now.

Theresie Tungilik