The Town of Inuvik will be playing host to the NWT’s first Arctic Image Festival celebrating photography and videography shot around the Arctic Circle.
The inaugural festival will feature the first use of PechaKucha 20×20, a worldwide trending art presentation style where 20 images are selected with 20 seconds of explanation for each.
“It is an art style and there is something interesting about it because with only 20 seconds to talk about each photo, it forces you to think about what you were trying to say when you took that image,” said Lynn Feasey, curator of the festival.
More than 500 cities in the world have held PechaKucha events since its inception in 2004. Inuvik will be the first in Northern Canada.
“It’s a bit of history in the making,” Feasey said. “It’s the first festival in the NWT and we are the first in the three territories using PechaKucha.”
The festival runs Friday, Feb. 28 to Sunday, Mar. 2. and will feature exhibits from some of Canada’s prestigious art photographers, including Dave Brosha, Michelle Valberg and Donald Weber.
Participants will also have a chance to take workshops to improve their photography skills in the challenging Arctic landscape from Brosha, Valberg and keynote speaker Thaddeus Holownia, a visiting art professor and visual artist from the East Coast of Canada.
“He’s an incredible photographer and he’ll be bringing yet another level to the festival as part of the jury,” Feasey said. “The workshops are a great opportunity for everybody attending to get some valuable knowledge.”
Submissions for the inaugural Arctic image contest are divided into three categories: professional, amateur and youth. Each category allows for five submissions from photographers across the world as long as the subject of the art is the Arctic.
The idea behind holding an Arctic Image Festival in the NWT came from a group of local photography enthusiasts in Inuvik who saw a need to share the incredible local art and to offer training to budding photographers, Feasey said.
“There are a lot of photographers that live in the Beaufort Delta area that are taking some amazing pictures of the area and of the people,” she said.
Photography from the Arctic Circle is a unique subject matter underexplored in popular culture, but local artists are noticing more and more artists emerging from the area along with southern artists seeking out the North for the “vastness of the landscape and quality of the light,” Feasey said.
“I wouldn’t even call myself an amateur photographer, but I love photography as a medium and as an art and for me it’s the light. There is nothing like it,” she said.
The festival has more than 20 people submitting images. To learn more about the festival and to submit images, go online to http://www.arcticimagefestival.com/