York U to unveil Inuit sculpture to celebrate National Aboriginal Day


TORONTO, June 20, 2016 — Nearly a year after commissioning the carving of a 26-tonne granite boulder into an Inuit soccer player, York University is unveiling the sculpture at 1pm on June 21, marking National Aboriginal Day.

The monumental sculpture, Ahqahizu, was created by Inuit carvers Ruben Komangapik and Koomuatuk (Kuzy) Curley with a team of assistants and apprentices, including visual art students in the School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design (AMPD) and members of the neighbourhood community.

It is part of the $3.5 million SSSHRC-supported Mobilizing Inuit Cultural Heritage project aimed at recovering, preserving, documenting, facilitating and disseminating Inuit traditional knowledge and creativity, according to project lead Professor Anna Hudson in the Department of Visual Art and Art History.

Iqaluit, Nunavut based Mathew Nuqingaq’s traditional drumming will open the ceremonial event attended by York U community members, government officials and other special guests including Josh Stribbel of Torontomiutaujugut, a Toronto based Inuit organization.

A highlight of the event is performance by Inuk musician Susan Aglukark, who received the prestigious Governor General’s Performing Arts Award just 10 days ago. Traditional food served in a traditional manner will be part of the celebrations.

WHAT:  Unveiling of Inuit soccer player sculpture Ahqahizu

WHERE:  York Lions Stadium, York University, Keele Campus (number 6 on map)

WHEN: Tuesday, June 21, 2016, 1pm-2:30pm

NOTE: Professor Anna Hudson, project lead and Inuit carvers Ruben Komangapik and Koomuatuk (Kuzy) Curley are available for media interviews.

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Media Contact:
Gloria Suhasini, York University Media Relations, 416 736 2100 ext. 22094, suhasini@yorku.ca