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The Globetrotting Exhibition Nunavut’s Culture on Cloth Stops in the Netherlands!


Stijn Schoonderwoerd, Director of the National Museum of Ethnology in Leiden, at the opening of the exhibition Nunavut’s Culture on Cloth.
   

The Speaker of the Senate in Canada, the Honourable Noël A. Kinsella, delivering an opening address.
   

Ambassador Lambert at the opening of the exhibition Nunavut’s Culture on Cloth.
   

A vast and pristine land of ice and snow?  The Embassy of Canada to the Netherlands has been working to enrich this popular but misleading image of the Arctic.  This is a timely message, since Canada’s Arctic Council agenda emphasizes the human dimension of this region.  Our latest initiative to show the vitality of the Arctic peoples is the Nunavut’s Culture on Cloth travelling exhibition, which opened on May 22 for a four-month run at the important National Museum of Ethnology in Leiden.

Nunavut’s Culture on Cloth features a collection of vibrant and intricately worked wall hangings created by the women of Baker Lake, a village located west of Hudson Bay.  This is one of the most sparsely populated and remote regions of the world.  With no written tradition, the Inuit used such fabric art to convey their stories, beliefs, and traditions.  The Leiden exhibition has a centrepiece of unique local relevance:  the Embassy has loaned the Museum a stunning large-scale tapestry by Irene Avaalaaqiaq from the collection at the Chancery. 

The opening of the exhibit on May 22 coincided with Aboriginal Awareness Week, a Canadian government-wide celebration honoring the history and contributions of the First Nations, Métis and Inuit in our communities.  The opening also overlapped with the five-day American Indian Workshop at Leiden University, bringing an enthusiastic expert audience from the academic and museum world. 

We welcomed the Speaker of the Senate in Canada, the Honourable Noël A. Kinsella, who delivered an opening address alongside Ambassador James Lambert.  The curator of the exhibit, Judith Varney Burch, came to the Netherlands especially for the opening.  With great sympathy and knowledge she spoke to the guests about the artists and the cultural relevance of their works, offering her personal recollections of travel throughout the area.

The Embassy has sponsored this exhibition as part of the yearlong celebrations of the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Canada and the Netherlands.  We invite you to view Nunavut’s Culture on Cloth at the National Museum of Ethnology in Leiden until September 28, 2014.


The curator of the exhibit, Judith Varney Burch, came to the Netherlands especially for the opening.
   

Packed audience at the opening of the exhibition Nunavut’s Culture on Cloth.
   

Opening of the exhibition Nunavut’s Culture on Cloth.
   

Exhibition Nunavut’s Culture on Cloth at the National Museum of Ethnology in Leiden.
   

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Date Modified:
2014-06-17