New Arctic Project

Global climate change has started to have a dramatic impact upon the fragile arctic eco-system. The decreasing thickness of sea ice in southern polar regions has resulted in significant changes for wildlife and the arctic communities upon which they rely.

The Appleton Foundation has embarked on its New Arctic Project to find ways to assist Arctic communities understand the complex social, economic and cultural impacts of climate change. The New Arctic Project is designed to work with Northern communities to develop viable economic and cultural development programs that are consistent with Inuit culture.

The Legacy of the West Baffin Eskimo Co-op

An initial program launched under the Appleton Foundation’s New Arctic Project was a set of meetings with community elders in Cape Dorset, Nunavut to discuss the successful 50 year history of the West Baffin Eskimo Co-op. The Foundation’s Co-op exercise involved discussions with community members and Inuit artists in this remote polar community. In June 2009, Barry Appleton, National Director of the Appleton Foundation, travelled to Cape Dorset to meet with local leaders and celebrate the 50 year history of the West Baffin Eskimo Co-op. This dialogue with community elders also addressed the impact of environmental and social change occurring in their fragile northern land.

Inuit art strongly reflects the distinctive Inuit lifestyle. From traditional artistic depictions to the more contemporary Arctic in which they live in, it is only natural that the effects of global warming are mirrored in the cultural products produced by this community. The Appleton Foundation is committed to enhancing the dialogue with the Cape Dorset Community to find ways to visually showcase the changes taking place in the Canadian arctic.

Arctic Visions: 50th Anniversary of the Kinngait Studio, Cape Dorset

The dialogue initiated by the Cape Dorset visit prompted the Foundation to sponsor a visit to Toronto by five of Canada’s most accomplished Inuit artists to speak out on the change for arctic communities over the last 50 years.

Some of the best known of Cape Dorset’s Inuit artists participated in the event, including Kananginak Pootoogook, Kenojuak Ashevak, Shuvinai Ashoona, Ningeoluk Teevee and renowned Cape Dorset photographer Jimmy Manning. The artists travelled to Toronto as guests of the Appleton Foundation and participated in a community dialogue at the Art Gallery of Ontario moderated by AGO Canadian Curator, Dr. Gerald McMaster.