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It is bright, it is lit

May 27, 2024

4 minute read
Post Contributed by Derek Schlichting, Workplace Technology Consultant, Assiniboine Credit Union
Leadership Winnipeg Class of 2023-2024

On Friday May 10th, Leadership Winnipeg had the pleasure of being invited to the WAG – Qaumajuq,

Qaumajuq means It is bright, it is lit, is an innovative museum, home of the largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art in the world. This first-of-its-kind centre connects to the WAG on all levels, creating a 185,000-square-foot cultural campus in the heart of downtown Winnipeg.

Stephen Borys – Director, spoke about the project design and wanted to have a powerful way to engage people. The designer of Quamajuq Michael Maltzan, the architect who designed Qaumajuq, was inspired by an expedition to Nunavut where the team visited Inuit communities and artists’ studios. When you first walk in the front doors you have the light, openness and beautiful vault where visitors can view 7500+ artifacts. As you continue your journey, you will walk through the café where you can grab a break in the open seating. You’ll continue through to over 14,000 Inuit carvings, artifacts, drawings, textiles, and prints. We had the opportunity to tour WAG Qaumajuq and from the high ceilings, with the huge skylights (12ftx24ft), WAG provides pottery classes and kids’ Art Classes. You can book events, and have the gorgeous backdrop of Winnipeg

I was inspired by the work that Julia Lafreniere, Head of Indigenous Ways and Learning, and spoke about the importance of creating equity at the WAG. Julia has the important role of educating, consulting and presenting to other museums and groups of decolonization gallery presentations.

Julia started the Antiracism Employee Resource Group, Anti-Colonial Social Club, and Accountable Spaces Project. Is also working Artworks Renaming Initiative (wag.ca/equity)

In the afternoon, we heard from two different panels, Arts Boards and Operational Panel, which consisted of members from the following organizations, WAG – Qaumajuq, Manitoba Museum, Manitoba Opera, Royal Winnipeg Theatre Centre, Manitoba Chamber Orchestra. The Cultural Industries Panel consisted of Manitoba Film and Music, Merit Motion Pictures, Manitoba Arts Council, Arts AcceAbility Network, Centre Culturel Franco-Manitobain and Franco-Manitoban Artist. We had excellent questions and discussions from our Leadership Group.

We finished off the day by visiting the WAG gift shop which was also designed with the outside looking in, open windows and inviting.

This was my first time visiting the WAG – Qaumajuq, with all the deep rich history of all you can view. I definitely recommend taking you and your family.

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