/ The Vancouver Guide
Vancouver — By thevancouverguide on January 21, 2010 at 3:13 am

Arctic Treasures at Canada Northern House

Canada Northern House, dedicated to the Yukon, North West Territories and Nunavut has opened, and the exhibit is well worth the visit.¬† As you enter, passing the real¬† (stuffed) caribou, you’re greeted by a 1.82 metre Inukshuk and inside, past the¬†shaggy muskox and the handsome white Arctic wolf you’ll see some of the excellent arts and crafts of the northern people.¬† You can even enter a contest to win a diamond, a gold nugget or a hand-woven tapestry.

This free exhibit represents the three territories of the North.  You can take a virtual reality sleigh ride under the northern lights, experience First Nations performers and immerse yourself in their culture.

Northern House is a showcase of culture, wildlife and industry, showing how the territories are endowed with untapped natural resources.¬† Brose the galleries and see sample of stone carvings, build yourself a tiny Inukshuk statue while you view a video. Also on display are products made of the muskox referred to by the Inuit as the “Umingmak”, meaning “bearded one”.¬† They are an integral part of¬†the Inuit liefstyle, using muskox hides to make clothing, bedding and shelter.

You’ll also see the cute little¬† Amatunguak (Packing dolls), little animals wearing a parka in which to carry their babies, inspired by a group of local women in a Nunavat community.¬† The dolls are hand sewn and then dressed in a parka (amauti) in which a baby is placed.¬† They are personalized by the artists’ names stitched in Inuktitut.¬† Each doll as ha legend surrounding it.

The pillars and walls of Northern House are decorated with illustrations and paintings by northern artists.¬† Inuit printmaker Andrew Qappik has depicted the life and legend of the north. An Timmons “Arctic Winter Dream’ shows the challenge of noerthern people to survive the Arctic. Bill Nasogaluak, a world renown self-taught sculptor and painter originally from Tuktoyaktuk, NWT¬† illustrates northern life in “Our Northern Atmosphere” with three different northern tales.

In the sculpture gallery downstairs, the highlight is a monumental sculpture by Pierre Karlik of Rankin Inlet featuring an 8ft (84.0 c) narwhal tusk in a grante stone base titled “Survival”

You’ll come away from this exhibit with a greater knowledge of the North country, provided by not only the displays, but videos and by the conversations with staff, who themselves live in the northern territories.¬† And as you head for the exit, a massive white polar bear bids you goodbye.¬† But you’ll be sure to come another time,¬† because Canada’s Northern House was such a¬†pleasant and educational¬†experience.



609 W.  Hastings St.

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