Canadian Museum of Inuit Art

Founded in 2007, the Canadian Museum of Inuit Art was located in Toronto and featured exhibits dedicated to Inuit culture and art. The establishment closed doors in 2016 mainly due to a decrease in revenue and the number of visitors after construction activities that took place along Queens Quay West. Sadly, due to financial struggles, the establishment closed permanently because it was running mainly on revenues from sales in the gift shop as well as grants and donations.

Workshops and Activities

The museum operated for 9 years and organized educational workshops to teach visitors about Inuit culture and contemporary art. Workshops were organized by Inuit artists such as Jaco Ishulutak, Sylvia Cloutier, and Noah Maniapik. They focused on different themes, crafts, and activities, including carving, throat singing, and printmaking.

The Museum’s Collection and Works of Art

The museum showcased a collection of prints, wall hangings, and sculptures made by Inuit artists. Diverse materials are used to create original works of art, from bone and ivory to caribou antler, stone, sealskin, and others. The museum also featured a collection of abstract works of art and sculptures made of whale bones. In fact, the collection comprised between 600 and 1,000 works of art, including textile art, ceramics, drawings, prints, and more. Some pieces were part of the permanent exhibition while others were on loan from different exhibits and collections. The large sculptures were quite impressive, and there was a multimedia area for visitors to learn about the artist who created the bulk of works of art showcased in the museum. The majority of works of art were displayed in the museum thanks to the sponsorship of Eric Sprott.

Different exhibitions were showcased in the museum, the most notable of which The Art of Play and Celebrating Five Decades of Artistic Achievement.


The idea behind the museum was to encourage visitors to learn more about Inuit heritage and history. The collection also offered visitors the opportunity to discover different aspects of Inuit culture and communities from all across Canada. This was the only public museum to feature works of art devoted to Inuit culture. The main goal was to use revenue in support of acquisition, educational, and cultural programs.

Additional Information

A visit took between about 30 minutes and 1 ½ hours on average. There was also a gift shop for visitors to buy souvenirs as well as books, packing dolls, and jewelry. Inuit paintings could be purchased at a store on the other side of the Museum of Inuit Art. The establishment was also an admissions partner of the Gardiner Museum, Design Exchange, and the Bata Shoe Museum.

Other Museums That Showcase Inuit Art

There are other museums that feature works of art and artefacts, including the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and the Royal Ontario Museum. They all have good size collections that are dedicated to Inuit art. The Art Gallery of Ontario, for example, showcases a collection of over 175 works of art, including drawings, prints, and sculptures. The collection displays the works of notable artists such as Annie Pootoogook, Karoo Ashevak, Kenojuak Ashevak, and David Piqtoukun, among others. New places are also being opened to showcase Inuit culture and art. The Inuit Art Centre will open doors in 2020 to help educate the public and visitors about Canadian Inuit culture, language, heritage, and art.