The coastline of south Baffin Island is rugged, beautiful and plentiful, and the Inuit of this region refer to themselves as Sikusilaarmiut. The name refers to the lack of ice along this coast or, more accurately, that the waters of the Hudson Strait stay open beyond the edge of the ice floe, even in winter.
As you approach Cape Dorset from the sea, you are struck from afar by the silhouette of the highest hill on the southwest extremity of Baffin Island overlooking Hudson Strait. There, looming on the horizon like a sleeping beast of prey and bearing the Inuktitut name of Kinngait (the mountain), sits Dorset Island.
The Hudsonís Bay Company established a trading post here in 1913, followed by the missions, the school and in 1959, the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative. The Co-op is the oldest arts organization in the Canadian Arctic, and the Kinngait Studios are the oldest professional printmaking studios in Canada. Cape Dorset is home to some of Canadaís most acclaimed Inuit artists, and the Co-op and its Toronto marketing office, Dorset Fine Arts, have been representing them for the past fifty years.