The Northern Arts and Cultural Centre is hitting the road to five NWT communities with five separate mapping art shows this month. 

There will be three shows per night in each location, each featuring a portfolio of International Indigenous art shown on a prominent building wall.

Marie Coderre, NACC’s executive and artistic director, announced the Ebb + Flow: Outdoor Project Show of International Indigenous Artists, which NACC is putting on in collaboration with the GLAM Collective – a group of Indigenous scholars who use public art and other visual elements.

A still image of Amrita Hepi is taken from the Movement of Place (2019), highlighting New Zealand and Australia. It will be part of the outdoor mapping art shows in Inuvik, Fort Smith, Hay River, Fort Simpson and Norman Wells this month.
image courtesy of NACC

Coderre said NACC typically puts on 40 shows a year outside of Yellowknife. The mapping art projects are special because of the lack of shows over the last year. 

“It has been really hard,” she said when asked about preparing shows for areas outside the capital. “We were able to do a lot of stuff this year for Yellowknife. But with the Covid restrictions, it has been really hard to plan something around the small communities when it’s time to present something that was performing arts.” 

Coderre said since last spring she has been working with the Western Arctic Moving Pictures’ Davis Heslep on the idea of having mapping art shows. 

“Back in Montreal, back in my home, I grew up with mapping art,” Coderre said. “It was everywhere and it is a project I had been wanting to do for a long time. It was just a matter of finding this technology and securing the money.

“The project that we’re presenting is a collective of six artists from different places like Canada, New Zealand, and the United States. And we are presenting a series of short films from them on a wall and in each community.”

Inuvik’s show is delayed until March 7 due to complications shipping the two projectors, which are being sent by cargo on Saturday.

It had been scheduled on March 6 at Chief Jim Koe Park.

A still image by Logan McDonald from Newfoundland will be shown at the mapping art shows this month.
Image courtesy of NACC

The time slots of 7:30 p.m., 8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. will be the same for every location.

The tour will also include Norman Wells on March 10 at Mackenzie Mountain School, Fort Simpson on March 14 at Líídlįį Kúę Elementary School, Hay River on March 17 at Aurora Ford Ice Arena and Fort Smith on March 20 at the recreation centre. 

Coderre said each show will be 30 minutes with a series of five-minutes videos. 

The idea of having it shown on a wall outdoors is to ensure it is accessible to all people in the community during the pandemic.

“It’s very organic and is art gallery style, and people can come and go so it’s very casual,” she said, adding that the event is free.

“People can expect to see different kinds of films. Some will be of a more graphic design, projected on a wall, or some are more realistic with a dancer in a desert and the movie is choreographed and beautiful. Sometimes it’s going to be (a) film more with visual effects and lighting and graphic design. So people will get a blend of more abstract film and more reality.”

Coderre said Heslep had already been doing the screening of mapping art on a smaller scale and both were excited about doing it in the North. They finally were able to proceed with the project after securing enough money to travel and to rent large film projectors from Ontario. 

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