NWT Arts Council

Updates and Announcements

2018 NWT Arts Strategy Survey

Have your say to help shape the GNWT’s priorities for supporting the arts over the next decade.

Your answers will help the Government of the Northwest Territories develop a new Arts Strategy. The survey should only take about 20-30 minutes. By completing it, you could win an iPad Mini when the survey closes!

In this survey, we are seeking input from members of the general public, artists across all disciplines arts organizations, and community groups – either based in the NWT or working in the NWT. If you are a part of any of these groups, this survey is for you.

Everything you share will be kept confidential by Nordicity. All of your responses to this survey will remain confidential and only released in aggregate to the Government of the Northwest Territories (i.e. never on an individual basis).

If you have any questions about this survey or the project, please contact Victoria Lean of Nordicity at vlean@nordicity.com.

Go to Survey >

Canadian Public Arts Funders (CPAF) Welcome Federal Government’s Commitment to Invest in Canadian Arts and Culture

Yellowknife, November 17, 2015 – Representatives of arts councils and equivalent public arts funders from across Canada met in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, from November 11-13, 2015, on the occasion of the Canadian Public Arts Funders (CPAF) 11th Annual General Meeting.

The CEOs/Directors, senior staff and Chairs of CPAF welcomed the public release of the mandate letter from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to new Minister of Canadian Heritage Mélanie Joly on November 13. The letter outlines the federal government’s priorities to provide significant new support to Canadian arts and culture.

“This unprecedented investment by the federal government will transform the arts and cultural sector, which contributes $47.7 billion to the country’s economy,” said Peter Caldwell, Chair of the CPAF Steering Committee and Director & CEO of the Ontario Arts Council. “These commitments are a strong endorsement of the contribution of the arts to Canadian communities, the economy, and quality of life. The arts are a reflection of who we are as Canadians, in all our diversity. We understand from the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that the arts and culture are a critical element of reconciliation, defining new relationships that will move our country forward.”

CPAF members also welcomed the mandate letter from the Prime Minister to Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure, which calls for a 10-year plan to deliver significant new infrastructure funding to provinces, territories and municipalities, including for cultural infrastructure.

During the meeting, the CPAF members acknowledged the 30th anniversary of the Northwest Territories Arts Council, and its history of supporting the territory’s outstanding artists. Throughout the meeting, the group had the opportunity to experience the vitality and diversity of the artistic work in the territory through the NWT artists’ showcase and the opening of the exhibit 30 Years of Art: An NWT Arts Council Celebration at the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre.

With a current combined budget of approximately $442 million dollars in 2015, CPAF aims to foster and support the arts in Canada through cooperation and collaboration of the federal, provincial and territorial arts councils and equivalent public arts funders by increasing networking and partnership opportunities, sharing information and best practices, and commissioning research. Launched in 2005, there is a CPAF member organization in each province and territory in Canada. The federal member of the network is the Canada Council for the Arts.

For more information about CPAF and its mission, members, and activities, visit www.cpaf-opsac.org.

The next CPAF Annual General Meeting will take place in 2016 in Victoria, British Columbia.

Media Contact: Peter Caldwell
Director & CEO, Ontario Arts Council, and Chair, Steering Committee, Canadian Public Arts Funders (CPAF)
Telephone: 416-969-7457

NWT Arts Council 30th Anniversary Celebrations

As part of the NWT Arts Council 30th Anniversary celebrations, the Council is hosting an Exhibit and Showcase of artists from across the NWT.

Visual Artist Showcase

Explorer Hotel, Kat Room A
Wednesday, November 11, 12:00pm - 4:30pm
Thursday, November 12, 10:00am - 4:00pm

Come meet artists from each region and see them demonstrate their craft. Artists will have artwork on hand for sale as well – just in time for the holidays!

30th Anniversary Exhibit Opening

Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre
Thursday, November 12, 5:00pm - 7:00pm

Join us at the museum to enjoy the work of over 200 NWT artists in audio recording, performing arts, writing and publishing, visual arts and crafts, and film and media arts.

The Council is pleased to celebrate the talents, passions and commitments of our artists who contribute to building vibrant communities across the NWT.

NWT Arts Council 30th Anniversary Kick-Off Event

Join us in celebrating 30 years of NWT Arts Council support to northern arts and artists whose talent, passion and commitment have strengthened our Northern communities.

Kick-off Event: Thursday, August 13: 7-9pm
Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre
Museum Café

Performances by Jonathon Churcher and Lee Mandeville

Join us at the museum for a night of entertainment and celebration.

Since 1985, the Arts Council has supported over 1,000 people and organizations throughout the NWT.

Watch for more announcements this year about the museum exhibits, workshops, social events and information sessions happening in each region of the NWT.

Canada Council for the Arts / Conseil des arts du Canada: Council’s new funding model | Le nouveau modèle de financement du Conseil

Shared by the Canada Council:

Today, we’re pleased to share our #newfundingmodel with you.

We invite you to visit our website for the full announcement and to discover the new programs. They reflect our commitment to making our funding responsive and flexible and ensuring your focus stays on the art-making.

This is a first step towards a new way of supporting artists. Current program deadlines will remain in place through 2016. More details on each new program will be available in the fall of 2015.

Aujourd’hui, nous sommes heureux de partager avec vous notre #nouveaumodele.

Visitez notre site web pour consulter l’annonce complète et découvrir nos nouveaux programmes. Ceux-ci reflètent notre engagement à rendre notre financement pertinent et flexible et à veiller à ce que vous consacriez encore davantage votre énergie à la pratique artistique.

Il s’agit là d’une première étape vers une nouvelle façon d’appuyer les arts. Les dates limites des programmes actuels demeurent inchangées pour 2016. Plus de détails sur chacun des nouveaux programmes seront annoncés à l’automne 2015.

NWT Arts Council announces an additional application date for project applications from artists and arts organizations in the NWT

The NWT Arts Council has added a second application date for funding applications.

The new additional date is October 31, 2014. The original funding application deadline of February 28, 2015 remains as in previous years.

“The addition of the second application date is to help applicants schedule their artistic projects more effectively for the upcoming year,” states Ben Nind, Co-Chair of the NWT Arts Council. “Applicants responding to the fall deadline will now be advised of their funding status in April 2015 and those who submit proposals for the February deadline will continue to hear the results in June 2015.”

The new application date was added as a result of feedback and suggestions from the NWT arts community in the survey conducted on the NWT Arts Council Strategic Plan 2014-2018. The survey was sent to more than 500 artists and arts organizations in the NWT.

“It’s clear from the number of survey respondents that the artistic constituency supported the addition of a second application deadline,” says Winnie Cadieux, Co-Chair of the NWT Arts Council. “We have taken their suggestion to heart, set the additional date and now encourage the artistic community to incorporate this into their planning for the upcoming year.”

Individuals and organizations resident in the NWT are encouraged to apply for either deadline posted above.

Download call for applications »

Conseil des arts des TNO plan stratégique 2014 – 2018

Nous sommes heureux de vous faire part de la publication, aujourd’hui, du Plan stratégique 2014-2018 du Conseil des arts des TNO.

« Nous nous réjouissons d’avoir enfin un document officiel qui soutient la prestation des programmes à l’intention de la communauté artistique des Territoires du Nord-Ouest », a déclaré Winnie Cadieux (région du Slave Sud), coprésidente du Conseil des arts des TNO.

Ce premier plan stratégique en 29 ans d’existence du Conseil des arts des TNO énonce la mission, la vision et les objectifs du Conseil, tout en présentant de façon détaillée ses priorités stratégiques pour les cinq prochaines années. Ce plan a été préparé au début de l’année par des membres du Conseil, en collaboration avec Jane Marsland, conseillère torontoise en développement des arts, et Lois Little, de la société Lutra Associates de Yellowknife.

« Le Conseil a consulté des membres de la communauté artistique avant d’entreprendre son travail de planification, explique Ben Nind (région du Slave Nord), coprésident du Conseil des arts des TNO. Bon nombre des points soulevés par les artistes, dans leurs réponses au sondage en ligne qui les visait, ont été pris en compte au moment d’élaborer notre plan stratégique. Au fur et à mesure qu’il s’attellera aux tâches décrites dans ce document, dans un proche avenir, le Conseil continuera de communiquer avec tous les pans de la communauté artistique et, bien sûr, le grand public. »

Le Conseil des arts des TNO a été créé en 1985, à l’époque en tant que comité consultatif pour le gouvernement des Territoires du Nord-Ouest. Le mandat prescrit par la loi de cet organisme est de faire la promotion des arts aux TNO.

Les membres du Conseil tiennent à remercier M. Jackson Lafferty, ministre de l’Éducation, de la Culture et de la Formation, pour son soutien à l’égard de cette importante initiative. Vous pouvez télécharger un exemplaire du Plan stratégique 2014-2018 du Conseil des arts des TNO ici.

Pour de plus amples renseignements, veuillez communiquer avec :

Ben Nind
Région du Slave Nord
Coprésident du Conseil des arts des TNO
Tél. : 867-444-0230

Winnie Cadieux
Région du Slave Sud
Coprésidente du Conseil des arts des TNO
Tél. : 867-984-3211

NWT Arts Council Strategic Plan 2014 – 2018

The NWT Arts Council is pleased to release the NWT Arts Council Strategic Plan 2014 – 2018.

“It is very exciting to now have a leading document to support the delivery of programs to the arts community in the Northwest Territories” says Winnie Cadieux (South Slave) Co-Chair of the NWT Arts Council.

The first Strategic Plan in the twenty nine year history of the NWT Arts Council lays out the Mission, Vision and Goals for the Council while detailing its strategic priorities for the next five years. The plan was prepared earlier this year by Council members in collaboration with Jane Marsland, Arts Consultant from Toronto, Ontario and Lois Little of Lutra Associates in Yellowknife.

“The Council consulted with the arts community before engaging in the planning session” says Ben Nind (North Slave) Co-Chair of the NWT Arts Council. “So many of the points raised by the community through the online survey are directly reflected in the Strategy. As we work through the tasks of the document in the near future, Council will continue to communicate with all sectors of the arts community and the public at large.”

The NWT Arts Council was established in 1985 as an advisory board to the Government of the NWT (GNWT). The legislated mandate of the NWT Arts Council is to promote the arts in the Northwest Territories.

Council members are grateful to the Honourable Minister Jackson Lafferty, Department of Education, Culture and Employment for supporting this important initiative. Copies of the NWT Arts Council Strategic Plan 2014 – 2018 are available for download here.

For more information please contact:

Ben Nind
North Slave
Co-Chair NWT Arts Council
(867) 444-0230

Winnie Cadieux
South Slave
Co-Chair NWT Arts Council
(867) 984-3211

The Drum: The Heartbeat of the North

Shining the spotlight on our talented artists and performers is another way the GNWT promotes the Northwest Territories. At the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver, a collective of performers from across the NWT represented a range of traditional and contemporary styles.

In addition to a feature show at BC Place Stadium on NWT Day, our performers put their talents on display at performances at a variety of venues located in and around Whistler and Vancouver throughout the Games.

This video, filmed at the Olympic preview at NACC, shares a glimpse into the fun of living, laughing and playing in today’s north through a musical journey that includes traditional drumming and dancing, spoken word poetry, northern sports demonstrations, ballads, fiddle tunes, and rock and blues numbers. Underlying everything in the show is the beat of the drum, the heartbeat of the North.

NWT Collective Performers – Cultural Information

Dene Performers
Gerry Antoine– Fort Simpson
Wesley Hardisty– Fort Simpson
Ricky Andrew – Tulita

Inuit/Inuvialuit Performers
Tiffany Ayalik – Yellowknife
Leanne Goose – Inuvik
Greg Nasogaluak –Tuktoyaktuk

Metis Performers
Norm Glowach – Yellowknife
Richard Lafferty – Hay River

Non-Aboriginal Performers
Sophie Leger (Francophone) – Yellowknife
Theresa Pamplin – Yellowknife
Karen Zaidan – Yellowknife
Aaron Hernandez/Godson (Filipino-Canadian) –Yellowknife
Mike McCormick – Yellowknife


  • Fourteen performers were selected from across the NWT based on their abilities to demonstrate a variety of traditional and current performance styles. These artists make up the Performers Collective.
  • The Performers Collective, along with performers from the Yukon and Nunavut were part of a pan-territorial approach to promoting the cultures, people and music of the North.
  • The concepts and themes for the NWT performances combined music, drumming, dance, poetry, drama and storytelling, representing both contemporary and traditional performance genres from all regions of the NWT.
  • The Collective joined the NWT Youth Ambassadors, Dene and Inuit Games athletes and other Northerners to deliver a showcase that represented all regions and a mix of cultures of the Northwest Territories.
  • The Collective took a collaborative approach to mentorship by connecting a mix of younger musicians with more experience musicians.
  • The Collective was funded by the Department of Education, Culture and Employment.

Sharing the Results of the NWT Arts Council Artist Survey

The NWT Arts Council’s strategic planning process was launched in August 2013 with a survey that was sent out to over 500 NWT artists and arts organizations. For six weeks the survey was open and over this period three notices were sent out to encourage artists and organizers to complete the form.

The feedback submitted by 145 respondents (29%) was extremely supportive, insightful and engaged. The NWT Arts Council acknowledges the importance of the survey in its recent strategic planning deliberations and recognizes the importance now of feeding the survey results back to the NWT artistic community.

It’s clear from the number of individuals who took the time to complete the online survey that the artistic constituency cares deeply about the arts in the Northwest Territories. The NWT Arts Council members would like to thank all of the respondents for their time and interest in helping the NWT Arts Council chart a renewed course for the future.

The survey consisted of three questions with an open space provided for suggestions.

Please download the results of the survey here.

Culture Days

Culture Days raises the awareness, accessibility, participation and engagement of Canadians in the arts and cultural life of their communities. With the support of volunteer groups at the national, provincial and local levels, hundreds of thousands of artists, cultural workers, organizations and groups, volunteers and supporters self-mobilize to host free participatory public activities that take place in hundreds of cities and towns throughout the country over the last weekend of September each year.

Did you know that over 1.7 million Canadians participated in the 2013 Culture Days weekend and 7,573 free activities were held in 825 cities and towns across Canada?

The fifth annual Culture Days weekend will take place September 26, 27 and 28, 2014, and will feature thousands of free, hands-on, interactive activities that invite the public to participate “behind-the-scenes,” to discover the world of artists, creators, historians, architects, curators, designers and other creative people in their communities.

With thousands of activities registered at culturedays.ca, Culture Days drives a multi-level national communications and public relations campaign designed to inspire and catalyze greater public participation in the arts and cultural life of our communities. A variety of free, useful Tips and Tools are available to support activity organizers throughout their process of planning, promoting, hosting and sharing their Culture Days experiences.

Culture Days is a collaborative initiative that welcomes your participation. Everyone can play a role in Culture Days: Whether you are already passionate about arts and culture or curious to discover new cultural experiences, an artist, arts or cultural organization, community group, municipality, library, school, citizen, or business person, you can participate in and contribute to Culture Days!

Arctic Winter Games 2014: Call for Cultural Performing Delegates

Sport North, in conjunction with the NWT Arts Council, is now accepting applications for Cultural Performing Delegates for Team NWT. We are seeking six cultural delegates and one manager who are interested in participating at the 2014 Arctic Winter Games in Fairbanks, Alaska. Performers can represent different disciplines (i.e. music, theatre, storytelling, drumming, dance, etc.). The manager will be required to submit references from their community and a criminal record check.

Cultural participants in the Arctic Winter Games must be born between 1993 and 1999. Candidates should be skilled and experienced performers, ready to present their own work and to participate in common arrangements with other artists.

Download the application here.

Application deadline: Friday, December 6, 2013 @ 5:00 pm.

NWT Arts Council Strategic Review 2013

The NWT Arts Council is about to engage in a strategic planning initiative to review its original mandate, structure and services to adapt to the changes in the artistic and cultural environment of the Northwest Territories.

Your input is valuable to this process and we encourage all artists, arts organizations and supporters of arts and culture in the NWT to participate through this survey in letting us know what changes you would like to see to the NWT Arts Council to become the best it can be for the foreseeable future.

Please complete our brief online survey.

The survey is also available as an MS Word document in both French and English. If you require an alternative format, or if you have other questions about the NWT Arts Council, contact us at: nwtartscouncil@gmail.com.

We will welcome survey responses until Monday, September 30, 2013.

Thank you for your participation!

Barb Tsetso, Co-Chairperson, Fort Simpson
Ben Nind, Co-Chairperson, Yellowknife

NWT Arts Strategy Progress Report

The much anticipated second progress report for the NWT Arts Strategy was released this spring. Tracking the last five years, the report outlines in detail the state of the arts sector in the territory.

Download it here.