Annie Pootoogook Park is located next to the Sandy Hill Community Center, near the U of O.
Inuit community and supporters in Ottawa gathered on International Inuit Day to dedicate a garden in the center in the name of internationally renowned Inuit artist Annie Pootoogook. A native of Nunavut, Pootoogook lived in Ottawa before his death in September 2016 at 47.
Stephanie Plant often sees Pootoogook in the Sandy Hill neighborhood and loves her art. Following her death, Plante, a member of the local Sandy Hill community, launched a campaign last February to name the park after the award-winning artist. “Annie and Plante were having problems at the same time, and Plante thought these stories needed to be told. “It’s not just Terry Fox and Walter Bakers who have their names on file.
The Committee for Public Service and Protection approved the name Annie Pootoogook Park on February 18.
Plante says Pootoogook’s art is unique because it captures people’s daily lives inside and outside the Inuit community. For example, one of his best-recognized works is called Dr. Phil plays a young woman watching an American talk show on television. ” Pootoogook’s art is so different, so contemporary, and so beautiful that they have a public space dedicated to contemporary Inuit artists.
Pootoogook’s body has discovered in the Rideau River, and although her death was initially thought to be suspicious, Ottawa police later determined.
Plante wanted Pootoogook to be remembered as a “bright light.”
“She deserves this park. She deserves more. Several members of the Pootoogook family, including their nine-year-old daughter, Inuk elders, and Canada’s first Inuit Governor-General Mary May Simon, were also in the inauguration garden.
The ceremony includes traditional Inuit songs and dance as well as a throat singing performance.
As well, members of the Ottawa arts community made speeches, as did those close to Pootoogook. Mathieu Fleury teamed up with Plante to conduct an inauguration campaign at the town hall. He compared the ceremony to a wedding because it was a special moment for the city and the Inuit community.
“On November 7, World Inuit Day, they have their Highness here, all the actors and speakers. It was very special to them. Florey said he didn’t know Pootoogook personally but found her through Plante, who he credits for his efforts to make the park’s name a reality.
Source: CBC News
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