The Great Northern Arts Society is a non-profit organization that hosts the annual Great Northern Arts Festival (GNAF), the largest festival of its kind in Canada. Founded in 1989 as an opportunity to promote and recognize the underserved arts community of the Beaufort-Delta region, the Festival has grown to become an Internationally recognized event and continues to be the premiere annual celebration of northern arts and culture in the world.
Thirty-one years of tireless enthusiasm, devotion, creativity and service have made the Great Northern Arts Festival a unique and moving event. We continue to lead and flourish as a Northern Arts organization, and look toward the future with pride of accomplishment in a quarter century of cultivation, promotion and advocacy for Northern Art and Artists.
The Great Northern Arts Festival provides artists with opportunities for professional development, networking and the promotion of their creations on a world stage. Attending artists and visitors alike are drawn to Inuvik each summer for ten days of workshops, seminars, hands-on learning and nightly cultural entertainment featuring both traditional and contemporary performing artists, all within a professional gallery, studio and stage setting.
Recognized as one of the Top 25 Festivals in North America by Rand McNally Maps and featured in National Geographic's Four Seasons of Travel: 400 of the World's Best Destinations, the Festival has cemented itself as a vital attraction for the Beaufort-Della, the Northwest Territories and Northern Canada.
With over 3000 pieces of art on display by over 120 attending artists from across the circumpolar world, and with over 60 arts workshops offered, the Festival provides an opportunity for the community and the travelling public to experience authentic northern culture and artistic expression. By enhancing the public profile and accessibility of northern artists, the Festival has consistently supported the development of a long-term, sustainable economic sector for northern people.
Many of our artists come from Canada's smallest and most remote communities and do not have access to the opportunities and development services southern artists enjoy. The Festival prides itself on hosting over 2000 artists and 70,000 visitors to the event over the past twenty-seven years, generating $15- $17 million