Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.”

-—Helen Keller

Nyla Innuksuk | Writer & Director

Nyla Innuksuk is the co-owner of Pinnguaq Productions, a company devoted to the creation of unique cultural experiences. She has produced both documentary and narrative films, including the short Kajutijuq, which premiered at TIFF and was later selected as one of Canada's Top Ten short films of the year (2014). Ms. Innuksuk has also directed a number of NFB documentaries and other interactive projects. 

Susan Aglukark

2016 Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award (Popular Music)

Singer-songwriter and humanitarian

Susan Aglukark is Canada’s first Juno Award-winning Inuk singer–songwriter. Her unmistakable blend of country, world music and pop is distinguished by her gentle voice, upbeat melodies, and moving lyrics (sung in English and Inuktitut) inspired by her Inuit culture and by the issues facing Canada’s Aboriginal people. She has released eight albums and is much in demand as a keynote speaker and workshop facilitator.
Susan Aglukark was born in Churchill, Manitoba, in 1967, and grew up in several Northwest Territories communities before settling in Arviat, Nunavut. She launched her music career in her early 20s while working for the federal government in Ottawa and studying to be a pilot.
CBC Radio recorded her first album, Dreams for You (1990), followed by her first studio album, Arctic Rose (1992). In 1993, she signed with EMI Canada and released a series of singles and three studio albums. Three more have followed since 2005, most recently Dreaming of Home (2013). Her breakthrough album, This Child (1995), sold more than 300,000 copies in Canada, and its lead single, “O Siem,” a welcome and honour song, became the first song by an Inuk singer–songwriter to reach number one on the Canadian country and adult contemporary charts.
Ms. Aglukark is a passionate advocate for northern Canadian communities and the people who live there. She is the founder of the Arctic Rose Project, which helps create emotionally safe environments for Aboriginal children and youth. She is also the co-founder of the Aboriginal Literacy Project and the former chair of the Arctic Children and Youth Foundation. She has served as a distinguished scholar-in-residence at the University of Alberta, as an Aboriginal fellow at the University of Saskatchewan, and on the Arctic Inspiration Prize selection committee.
Susan Aglukark is an Officer of the Order of Canada. Her other awards and distinctions include the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, Canadian Country Music Association Vista Rising Star Award, Canadian Aboriginal Music Award, Native American Music Award, Aboriginal Achievement Award in Arts and Entertainment, three Junos and three honorary doctorates.