First Three-Year $260,000 Agreement to Assist Nunavik Artists

    MONTREAL, Feb. 12 /CNW Telbec/ - Minister of Culture, Communications and
the Status of Women, Christine St-Pierre, and Minister responsible for
Aboriginal Affairs, Minister responsible for the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region
and the Nord-du-Québec region, Pierre Corbeil, today announced the signing of
the first three-year $260,000 agreement to improve the conditions of artists
and writers in Nunavik. This support is made possible through a partnership
between the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (CALQ) and the Kativik
Regional Government (KRG), which will contribute $150,000 and $110,000
respectively. The Avataq Cultural Institute, a special representative in the
field of arts and literature in Nunavik, will manage these funds.
    The announcement was made at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, attended
by Yvan Gauthier, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the CALQ, Johnny
Oovaut, member of the administrative committee of the KRG, and Charlie Arngak,
President of the Avataq Cultural Institute.
    "The Québec government acknowledges the commitment of all the partners
who helped make this new agreement a reality," Christine St-Pierre said. This
agreement will help strengthen the cultural identity of the Nord-du-Québec
region by supporting exchanges between artists from the north and south and
the production of quality works that all Quebeckers will be able to enjoy."
    "This agreement demonstrates the Québec government's determination to
contribute to the overall development of the Nord-du-Québec region and shows
that it believes in Nunavik's artistic potential and culture," Pierre Corbeil
added. "I am proud of the government's support, which will improve the
socio-economic conditions of Inuit artists and give their entire community
access to their works."
    "These coordinated financial resources are important for Nunavik's
professional artists and writers. They will increase activities in Nunavik's
art sector, provide better support for our artists, and permit a flourishing
of Inuit cultural expression," stated Mr. Oovaut at the press conference.
    "Avataq Cultural Institute is extremely proud of this agreement, which is
the result of fruitful and positive collaboration between the signatories. The
Nunavik Fund for Arts and Literature will support talented artists in a region
with limited employment options by contributing to the development of their
careers, bringing Nunavik communities and artists closer together, and by
providing an extraordinary opportunity for artists to broaden their horizons
through the residency program," Charlie Arngak said.
    Under the Entente spécifique pour l'amélioration des conditions de
pratique des artistes et des écrivains de la région du Nord-du-Québec, secteur
Kativik, from 2008-2009 to 2010-2011, $180,000 is allocated to phase I of the
Nunavik fund for the arts and literature to help professional Inuit artists
and writers carry out arts projects, work programs, and sponsorship and
mentoring projects for emerging artists. This support will thus increase the
revenue of Nunavik artists and encourage the development and recognition of
their artistic careers.
    An amount of $50,000 is allocated to phase II to allow Inuit artists to
do two-month research and creation residencies in Montréal, and artists from
other regions in Québec to do the same in Inukjuak. Lastly, $30,000 is
ear-marked for the Avataq to hold promotion and dissemination activities, to
train and mentor artists and writers, and to manage the Nunavik fund for the
arts and literature. The partners invite artists to submit their applications
for either of the two phases before March 16, 2009.

    In 2007-2008, the CALQ and its regional partners, mainly Regional
Conferences of Elected Officers, ratified seven agreements, bringing the
number of agreements reached in 15 regions to 18. These impressive results
were made possible through $1.5 M in funding from the Minister of Culture,
Communications and the Status of Women. KRG is mandated to act as the Regional
Conference of Elected Officers for the Kativik region. Since 1994, CALQ has
supported creation, experimentation and production in the performing, visual
and media arts, architectural research, arts and crafts, and literature
throughout Québec. It has increased the influence of the arts in Québec,
Canada and abroad. The Conseil also supports the development of professional

    KRG is a non-ethnic organization created in 1978 under the James Bay and
Northern Québec Agreement. The organization has jurisdiction over nearly the
entire territory of Québec north of the 55th parallel in the areas of
municipal affairs, transportation, the environment, policing, employment,
labour training, income security, childcare services, renewable resources,
land-use management, civil security and economic development.

    Avataq Cultural Institute is a non-profit, charitable organization
created in 1980 by the Elders of Nunavik to protect and promote the language
and culture of Inuit in Northern Quebec. In over 25 years of existence, Avataq
has developed numerous projects in the areas of Inuit language, traditional
culture, arts, museums, archaeology, and genealogy. Avataq is also the
safe-keeper of the Nunavik Inuit Art Collection.

    Sources :                               Information:
    Valérie Rodrigue                        Carl Allen
    Attachée de presse                      Public Relations Director
    Cabinet de la ministre de la Culture,   Conseil des arts et des
    des Communications et de la             lettres du Québec
    Condition féminine                      Tel.: 514 864-2930 or
    418 380-2310                            1 800 608-3350
    Kevin Bilodeau
    Attaché de presse                       Katarina Soukup
    Cabinet du ministre responsable du      Development Officer
    secrétariat aux Affaires autochtones    Avataq Cultural Institute
    et ministre responsable de              Tel.: 514 989-9031, ext. 243
    l'Abitibi-Témiscamingue et de la
    région du Nord-du-Québec
    418 646-9131                            Robert Mackey
                                            Communications Officer
                                            Kativik Regional Government
                                            819 964-2961, ext. 2317
    -%SU: CLT
    -%RE: 44

For further information:

For further information: Carl Allen, Public Relations Director, Conseil
des arts et des lettres du Québec, (514) 864-2930, 1-800-608-3350;; Katarina Soukup, Development Officer, Avataq Cultural
Institute, (514) 989-9031, ext. 243,; Robert Mackey,
Communications Officer, Kativik Regional Government, (819) 964-2961, ext.
2317,; Sources: Valérie Rodrigue, Attachée de presse, Cabinet
de la ministre de la Culture, des Communications et de la Condition féminine,
(418) 380-2310; Kevin Bilodeau, Attaché de presse, Cabinet du ministre
responsable du secrétariat aux Affaires autochtones et ministre responsable de
l'Abitibi-Témiscamingue et de la région du Nord-du-Québec, (418) 646-9131

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