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Trip Planner Canada  /  Nunavut  /  Cape Dorset

Cape Dorset

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Cape Dorset is an Inuit hamlet located on Dorset Island near Foxe Peninsula at the southern tip of Baffin Island in the Qikiqtaaluk Region of Nunavut, Canada.HistoryCape Dorset is where the remains of the Thule were discovered, that lived between 1000B.C and 1100 A.D. Cape Dorset was named by Captain Luke Fox after Edward Sackville, 4th Earl of Dorset on September 24, 1631. The Inuit originally called the inlet Sikusiilaq before it was named Cape Dorset, after the area of sea ocean nearby that remains ice free all winter. Hudson's Bay Company started their trading post in 1913, where they traded furs and skins for supplies like tobacco, ammunition, flour, gas, tea and sugar. Since the 1950s, Cape Dorset, which calls itself the "Capital of Inuit Art" has been a centre for drawing, printmaking, and carving. Even today, printmaking and carving are the community's main economic activities. Each year, Kinngait Studios issues an annual print collection. Cape Dorset has been hailed as the most artistic community in Canada, with some 22% of the labour force employed in the arts.In 1957, James Houston, European-Canadian created a graphic arts workshop in Cape Dorset. Houston collected drawings from community artists and encouraged local Inuit stone carvers to apply their skills to stone-block printing. The print program was modeled after Japanese ukiyo-e workshops. Other cooperative print shops were also established in nearby communities, but the Cape Dorset workshop has remained the most successful. They have experimented with etching, engraving, lithography, and silkscreen, and produce annual catalogs advertising the limited edition prints.
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