The $65-million Qaumajuq (Winnipeg Art Gallery Inuit art centre) is just one of several shiny new things ready to wow you in Winnipeg, where the roster of world-class attractions keeps growing.
Winnipeg’s newest attractions
The $65-million Inuit art centre is just one of several shiny new things ready to wow in Winnipeg, where the roster of world-class attractions keeps growing.
Qaumajuq [HOW-ma-yourq] will be the word on many Winnipeggers’ lips in 2021. The Inuktitut word meaning, “It is bright, it is lit” was bestowed upon the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s Inuit art centre in a naming ceremony by elders and Indigenous language keepers, while its hotly anticipated opening is set for when restrictions are lifted.
Qaumajuq houses the world’s largest collection of contemporary Inuit art, with more than 7,500 carvings that the WAG could never showcase at one time before in its main galleries. To showcase these carvings, which represent nearly every community in the Arctic, the main gallery features a 464.5 square metre atrium encircling a three-storey-high glass vault. This visible vault also allows visitors to watch conservators, curators and artists work within the collection.
The entire building has been designed to pay homage to the stark beauty of the Arctic landscape, including a façade that flows like snowdrifts. At its plaza you’ll be greeted by two large new sculptures – Time to Play by Abraham Anghik Ruben and Tuniigusiia/The Gift by Goota Ashoona – while the first exhibit, INUA, is by a curatorial team represent all four regions of the Inuit territories.
Garden of earthly delights
Set to bloom later this year is Canada’s Diversity Gardens, Assiniboine Park’s latest blockbuster attraction.
Its central fixture will be the 90,000 sq. ft Leaf building, featuring an all-glass façade flaunting a butterfly garden at its summit, with four diverse zones featuring exemplary flora showcased at every turn.
This massive project’s overall theme is to tell “Canadians’ cultural stories through the world of plants,” while also focusing on our interconnectivity with nature. This will be most evident in its bold, thematic outdoor gardens, which will surround and stretch out from The Leaf. One garden will be focused on Indigenous Peoples, one is dedicated to the culinary world and will supply ingredients for the Leaf’s restaurants, another garden will focus on trees and one more garden will be seasonal. There will also be a Sensory Garden and Performance Garden that will provide hands-on experiences and performances for the post-Covid world.
The Leaf is scheduled to open in 2021. In the meantime, check out all its features in this jazzy, tranquil animated rendering.