From the North to Ottawa’s Southway Inn
Why does a hotel in Ottawa’s south end fly the flag of Nunavut? The answer to this question is a story of family, home, and community. It is also a story of Canada’s North and South. After opening in 1958 close to the city’s airport, the Southway Inn became a cherished place for people travelling to and from the Arctic, especially the Baffin Island region. More than just a place to stay, the Southway served as a wayfinder for new arrivals trying to make sense of Ottawa’s urban geography, as Inuit men, women, and children travelled for work, school, and healthcare. As a ‘home away from home,’ the Southway served as a distinctive space that linked families and communities together. Today, Ottawa has the largest urban Inuit population south of the Arctic, including many whose first relationship to the city began with a stay at the Southway Inn, where commemorative artwork will be installed. This Lost Stories episode is facilitated by Profs. John C. Walsh and James Opp through the Centre for Public History, Carleton University.
Couzyn van Heuvelen
Couzyn van Heuvelen is a Canadian inuk sculptor. Born in Iqaluit, Nunavut, but living in Southern Ontario for most of his life, his work explores Inuit culture and identity, new and old technologies, and personal narratives. While rooted in the history and traditions of Inuit art, his work strays from established Inuit art making methods and explores a range of fabrication processes. Couzyn holds a BFA from York University and an MFA from NSCAD University.
Mosha Folger is an Inuk originally from Iqaluit, Nunavut. His short films Never Saw It (2008) and They Called Her Sam (2016), and animated work The Big Lemming (2014) and Project of Heart (2013) have screened in Canada, the US, and Europe. His next project, Iglu:Angirraq (House:Home) (2018), a 60-minute documentary exploring Inuit housing and homelessness, is in production. Mosha is also a writer, performer, and hip hop artist, winning Best Music Video at ImagineNATIVE for his stop-motion video for Counterfeit Nobles – Sides (2012).
He lives in Ottawa with his wife, daughter, and a terrier named Finch.
WORK IN PROGRESS
Artist Couzyn van Heuvelen in his studio, making a few tests to get a sense of the scale of objects before ordering materials. Photo by Kaitlyn Bourden.
Filmmaker Mosha Folger, sound recordist Billy Pitseolak and artist Couzyn van Heuvelen during a film shoot at the artist’s home.
Mosha Folger at the site of the former Southway Inn getting footage. Interview with Elisapee Sheutiapik, former Mayor of Iqaluit, former President of Pauktuutit, the national Inuit women’s organization, and president of Qulliit Nunavut Status of Women Council. On the photo, Christina Williamson from Carleton University installing and testing Ms. Sheutiapik’s microphone.
Artist Couzyn van Heuvelen in his studio. Photo by Mosha Folger, 2017.
Another beautiful event: inauguration of artwork by Couzyn van Heuvelen on September 7th 2017 in Ottawa
Below, inauguration of public artwork with, from left to right: Elisapee Sheutiapik, artist Couzyn van Heuvelen, the Zlepnig family. Artist Couzyn van Heuvelen and detail of his sculpture. Photos by Caroline Boileau
REVIEWS AND PRESS
Nunatsiaq Online, Ottawa September 8th, 2017
Silver qamutik honours Inuit visitors to old Ottawa hotel, article by Lisa Grégoire
APTN news Ottawa, September 8th, 2017
CBC NEWS Ottawa, September 6th, 2017
Closed since 2015, former Ottawa hotel ‘went out of its way to make people feel welcome’
Article in Above & Beyond | Canada’s Arctic Journal 2017
The Lost Stories Project by Christina Williamson, Carleton University
CTVNews.ca, June 5th, 2017
Concordia University, July 24th, 2017
Concordia-led Lost Stories project set to unveil 4 public art projects across Canada
An article by Christian Durand