Juno Award winning singer/songwriter, Susan Aglukark will be honoured with The Canadian Network for Arts and Learning's Lifetime Achievement Award at a gala dinner taking place as part of the 2017 National Conference called Celebrating Canadian Diversity in Ottawa on October 19. The Award recognizes an artist, educator, ensemble or leader as an agent of social change through the arts.
One of Canada's most celebrated musicians, Susan Aglukark personifies the spirit of the Arctic and her unique blend of traditional Inuk folklore with contemporary pop sounds has captivated listeners from all walks of life.
A onetime federal government linguist with the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada in Ottawa, Susan followed a new path after CBC Radio recorded her first album, Dreams for You, in 1991. Over the past 26 years, Susan has released eight albums that have set her on a path of personal discoveries, cultural reconnections and healing.
With three Juno awards, the Governor General's Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award and The Order of Canada, the Inuk singer is considered a Canadian cultural treasure. Her fame, however, extends beyond her artistic contributions. Aglukark is as well-known for her activism and support for education as she is for her singing and songwriting. Through her music and personal appearances, she has become a goodwill ambassador for the Inuit people, and a role model for youth. Many of the lyrics of her songs tackle vital social issues such as teenage suicide, problems with alcohol and drugs, and the spiritual and cultural estrangement of Inuit people.
Aglukark recently founded the Arctic Rose Foundation, an organization that seeks to address the challenges faced by youth in Canada's northern communities. Arctic Rose focuses on helping youth in the North through art therapy and other engaging, creative projects.
Aglukark has also been actively involved in various projects to mentor youth and has used her successful career in music to encourage and inspire young people. She is deeply committed to encouraging young people to advance themselves by pursuing education and has acted as a role model to help recruit students from Nunavut and the Northwest Territories.
In 2008, she was made a scholar in residence at the University of Alberta, where she mentored Indigenous artists and helped develop a joint Indigenous studies, recreation, sport and community health degree program. Last year, she was made a Fellow in Creativity at the University of Saskatchewan’s Interdisciplinary Centre for Culture and Creativity, and earlier this year, she received an honorary degree from the University of Toronto for “her excellence in the arts as a Canadian musician, and for her outstanding service” in support of Indigenous issues.
Aglukark is also a highly sought after motivational speaker and workshop facilitator. Her talks emphasize the same themes that her music does - those of hope, spirit, and encouragement - that have captivated and inspired listeners around the world.
Susan Aglukark is a role model and an inspiration to all Canadians. With her activism work and continued efforts to building self-confidence, leadership abilities and life success in Canada’s youth through mentorship programs, she is the perfect embodiment of an artist leading social change through the arts. We are thrilled to present her with the Lifetime Achievement Award at our 2017 Conference.
Aglukark will accept her award and give an exclusive performance at the Gala Awards Dinner on Thursday October 19th, after giving a keynote speech in the morning as part of the Celebrating Canadian Diversity conference. You can purchase tickets to the dinner here.
To find out more about the Celebrating Canadian Diversity conference, please visit this website.