“It is bright, it is lit": Celebrating Qaumajuq as part of our 20th anniversary



JP Perron, Payworks President & CEO (right) presents a $250,000 donation cheque to Stephen Borys, Director & CEO of the Winnipeg Art Gallery in front of Qaumajuq’s Visible Vault.

In celebration of our 20th anniversary – and more specifically, two decades of community support – Payworks is honoured to announce a series of donations to several highly-deserving and impactful Manitoba-based not-for-profit organizations, in addition to maintaining our ongoing national charitable partnerships. Learn more about this commitment!

Payworks 20th anniversary logo; a large 20 with "year anniversary" written underneath. Winnipeg's skyline is inside the number 0.Even in the darkest times, art can provide a spark of light by engaging, educating and inspiring a community. And as Canadians begin to emerge from the past year’s shadows, the Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG) brings us together within a brilliant new light: Qaumajuq (KOW-ma-yourq or HOW-ma-yourk).

Meaning “it is bright, it is lit” in Inuktitut (Nunavik), Qaumajuq’s 40,000 sq. ft. space is home to over 14,000 Inuit artworks held in trust by the WAG and opened its doors last week. Guided by the WAG Indigenous Advisory Circle, Qaumajuq is “the first of its kind in the world – a unique sharing space where Inuit voices are front and centre in sharing their creativity. Artists, Inuit, various partners and community leaders have collaborated to envision and create a vibrant gathering place where all are welcome and where everyone’s stories are told and heard in a true spirit of reconciliation.”

A large wall with four blanket art pieces handing on it. A mannequin stands on a platform in front wearing clothes by an Inuit designer.

Photo: Visitors to the second floor of Qaumajuq are greeted by art created by multiple generations of Inuit artists

It’s Payworks’ privilege to help support the platform and vision for these vital conversations with a $250,000 donation to Qaumajuq in recognition of our 20th anniversary.

Payworks Co-Founder Barb Gamey explores the world of stop motion in the Payworks-supported Digital Media Lab.Payworks’ contribution will support the Digital Media Lab, one of several brand-new and sunlight-filled studio spaces on the penthouse level of the original structure (including two outdoors!). Designed in partnership with students from Sisler High School’s Interactive Digital Media program (several of who will be providing instruction themselves!), the Digital Media Lab will be home to classes for children, youth and adults learning animation, digital drawing, photography and film. Not only will this space facilitate creative expression and skills development; it may also be where a future member of the Payworks team first develops an aptitude and appreciation for the world of digital arts!

Photo: Payworks Co-Founder Barb Gamey explores the world of stop motion in the Payworks-supported Digital Media Lab.

“Art making and art learning is at the heart of Qaumajuq,” says Stephen Borys, Director & CEO of the Winnipeg Art Gallery. “Qaumajuq will have a role to play in all communities across the country as an art museum, but it’s also a centre for dialogue, understanding and reconciliation. On behalf of all of the team here at WAG Qaumajuq, I’d like to say a heartfelt thank you to the team at Payworks – in Winnipeg and across the country – for making Qaumajuq possible.”

JP Perron taking in the collection on the second floor of Qaumajuq.We were recently honoured with the opportunity to explore Qaumajuq and experience the beauty, history and joy of this space for ourselves.

Looking for a peek at this world-class gallery (recognized by Condé Nast Traveler as one of the “21 Best Places to Go in 2021”!)? To learn why Payworks selected Qaumajuq as a 20th anniversary donation recipient and how both parties are engaging with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action through this initiative, we invite you to check out the video linked below.

Photo: JP Perron taking in the collection on the second floor of Qaumajuq.

To learn more about Qaumajuq or to make a donation of your own, please visit https://wag.ca/qaumajuq/.

A large shipping container. It's open and inside features both traditional and emerging media.

Photo: Qaumajuq features a broad array of art reflecting both traditional and emerging media.

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