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The 8 greatest things about the Great Northern Arts Festival

Culture on display at the Great Northern Arts Festival in Inuvik

The 8 greatest things about the Great Northern Arts Festival

It's the globe's finest celebration of Arctic arts – the Great Northern Arts Festival, each July in Inuvik. It features eights days of polar fashion, music, dancing, games and artistic creation. It showcases artists and performers from across the North. And it attracts visitors like you from all around the world. Here's just a taste of what you'll experience. 

Art on display at the Great Northern Arts Festival in Inuvik

Great Northern artists

At the Great Northern Arts Festival, creative types abound – from carvers of massive Inuit soapstone creations to crafters of delicate silver jewelry or intricate beadwork designs. They come from the east shores of Greenland, the west coast of Alaska, the lowlands of Great Slave Lake and the High Arctic. They represent scores of styles and media. And they make artwork that's out of this world. 

Performing artists flock to Inuvik for the Great Northern Arts Festival


Inuit throatsingers. Country crooners. Foot-stomping fiddlers. Soothing, soulful folksingers. Whatever your taste in tunes, the Great Northern Arts Festival hits all the right notes. 

Inuvialuit Drum Dancing in Inuvik

Dancing to the beat of a different drum

Limber up. From Inuvialuit drum-dances to country hoedowns, the Great Northern Arts Festival will get your body moving and put a huge grin on your face. 

A cultural exchange

A cultural exchange

The Great Northern Arts Fest is a meeting place – between Inuvialuit, Dene, Northerners and southerners. Between the ancient and the ultramodern. Between the urban and the wild. Between humour and heart-stopping beauty. Come here to interact, to learn, to grow, to be surprised. Prepare, in small ways and large, to be changed. 

Buy handmade local goods at the Great Northern Arts Festival

A local marketplace to shop...

Let's be honest. Looking at art is great. But buying it, wearing it, displaying it, collecting it – that's way better. The Great Northern Arts Festival is the best place on Earth to begin your love affair with Northern art. Start with the porcupine-quill bracelet, shown above .... 

Sealskin mitts at the Great Northern Arts Festival

...and shop

Then move on to this stupendous pair of hand-sewn sealskin mitts. Your fingers will never be cold again. 

Sculptures on sale at the Great Northern Arts Festival

Did we mention shopping?

Next, snap up this lovely soapstone snowy owl, with two adorable owlets under its wings. 

Driving the Dempster Highway to Inuvik

The trip there ... and back

Now that you've bought all sorts of brilliant art, made new friends, watched wonderful performances, and danced like no one was watching, it's time to load up the vehicle and return the way you came – the Dempster Highway, possibly the most scenic drive in all of North America. 

But we hope you're already planning your return trip to the Great Northern Arts Festival. 

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