Nunatsiavut President Johannes Lampe, along with members of the Nunatsiavut Government, elders and youth from each of the five Labrador Inuit communities, and Labrador MP Yvonne Jones and representatives from the Government of Canada, today took part in a ceremony to officially open a new state-of-the-art cultural centre in Nain.
Illusuak, which in English means “sod house”, will serve as a centerpiece for the community, allowing Inuit the opportunity to gather and strengthen their connections to each other and to their culture. It houses a permanent exhibit, aimed at broadening Inuit history, culture, traditions and shared experiences. Its multi-purpose theatre will support audio/visual presentations, film screenings, lectures and live musical and dance performances. A facility’s gift shop will serve as a showcase for regional artists and craftspeople to display and retail their goods, and its café will offer traditional ad wild foods and serve as a place for people to gather to share stories. Parks Canada will occupy office space through a long-term lease agreement as part of a $2 million contribution to the project.
“Illusuak will help bridge the generation gap between elders and youth, encouraging open dialogue, the sharing of traditional knowledge and the vision for the future,’ says Nunatsiavut President Johannes Lampe. “The stories that will be told in Illusuak will make Labrador Inuit proud. By understanding where we came from and how we survived as a people, Labrador Inuit will have a better appreciation of who we are as individuals and as a culture continuing to evolve in a modern world.”
Funded through financial contributions from the Nunatsiavut Government, the Government of Canada and the Tasiujatsoak Trust, construction of the 13,700 square-foot facility began three years ago at a cost of more than $18 million.