Inuktitut meaning: Place of many fish
Iqaluit, formerly known as Frobisher Bay, is located on the south coast of Baffin Island, at the head of Frobisher Bay, on the remote Arctic tundra. It is a central hub and the gateway to the north and south in the Baffin region.
Iqaluit, which was originally built as an airbase during World War II, was selected as the capital of Nunavut in December 1995. In April 2001, it was officially designated a city. Iqaluit aims to be every inch a capital city, with amenities and a quality of life to rival any city in Canada. Its economy, based mainly on a government that has expanded rapidly since the city became the capital, is growing by leaps and bounds. The city's infrastructure continues to develop at a steady clip, as it attempts to catch up with the population growth.
As well as being Canada's newest and most northerly capital, Iqaluit is also Canada's fastest growing community. It is a magnet for Inuit from throughout the Baffin region and is home to many talented artists.
Art from Iqaluit is not as homogeneous as that of other communities; however, it does share, with its neighboring settlements, a taste for the elegant and flamboyant representation of Arctic wildlife. Animals (particularly bears, caribou and musk oxen) are depicted realistically, but often in unusual or heroic poses, or with exaggerated proportions. The annual Nunavut Arts Festival, held in Iqaluit each June, draws many artists from all regions of the Arctic.
Lucassie Ikkidluak is praised for his Muskox. This is the only subject that he carves and has been doing it for over 30 years. Why his pieces get appraised so highly is because of the unique technique he uses to finish the look of the stone. Unlike the smooth shiny polish Pits uses, Lucassie prefers a more rugged, naturalistic finish where the sense of texture is emphasized The detail and grace found in his Muskox's are unmatched and have earned him a spot in Canada's national art collection as well.