TD Presents

The Walrus Talks Arctic at the Winnipeg Art Gallery

Winnipeg Thursday, March 26, 2015, 7 p.m.



  • Circling the Midnight Sun, by James Raffan, author, explorer, geographer
  • Identity, Inspiration, and Anxiety by P. Whitney Lackenbauer, historian, author, Fulbright Scholar
  • Arctic Adaptations by Lola Sheppard, Arctic Adaptations project lead
  • Kinguvaatinnu by Ruben Anton Komangapik, artist and sculptor
  • The Right to be Cold by Sheila Watt-Cloutier, environmental and human rights advocate
  • It’s 27 Degrees and Sunny by Michael Maltzan, architect of the WAG’s new Inuit Art Centre
  • Frozen Bridges by Tanya Tagaq, performer and Polaris Prize winner

Closing remarks by Janet Stewart, host, CBC News Winnipeg.


Ruben Anton Komangapik is an Inuit jeweller, sculptor, carver, metalworker, performing artist, and musician. Growing up in Mittimatalik (Pond Inlet), Nunavut, Ruben absorbed traditional Inuit culture, language, and art from his grandparents and parents. Ruben helped decorate the new Nunavut Legislative Assembly building in 1999, and his sculptures and carvings belong to permanent collections across Europe and Canada, including that of the National Gallery in Ottawa. In 2010, he received creation grants from the Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Québec and the Canada Council for the Arts to create a life-size seal hunter for the entrance of Forillon National Park. And in 2013 and 2014, he received a Canada Council grant to produce a series of sculptures based on Inuit legends, using both traditional materials and digital technology. Ruben currently lives with his family in the Gaspésie, Quebec.

lackenbauer on greenland ice cap 2014

P. Whitney Lackenbauer is chair of the history department at St. Jerome’s University (University of Waterloo) and the Balsillie School of International Affairs. He is also co-director of the Emerging Arctic Security Environment project through ArcticNet and a fellow with the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute, the Arctic Institute of North America, and the Frost Centre for Canadian Studies and Indigenous Studies. Whitney has travelled extensively in the Canadian Arctic and broader circumpolar world and has consulted for various government departments and organizations. His current research focuses on Arctic sovereignty and security policies, Aboriginal-state relations, and contemporary circumpolar affairs. He recently authored The Canadian Rangers: A Living History.

Photo by Monica Nowens
Monica Nowens

Michael Maltzan is the founder of Los Angeles–based Michael Maltzan Architecture, an architectural, urban, and landscape design practice. Michael is a fellow of the American Institute of Architects, and he teaches and lectures internationally. He holds a master of architecture degree from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and both a bachelor of fine arts and a bachelor of architecture from the Rhode Island School of Design.


James Raffan, the former head of the Outdoor and Experiential Education unit at Queen’s University, currently works as a writer and scholar from his home in the Township of Rideau Lakes, north of Kingston, Ontario. He organizes and participates in a variety of expeditions, and he addresses live audiences across Canada and the world. His bestselling books include Summer North of Sixty, Rendezvous with the Wild, Tumblehome, Fire in the Bones, and Emperor of the North. He has written for National Geographic, Canadian Geographic, Up Here, Explore, and the Globe and Mail, and produced documentaries for CBC Radio and the Discovery Channel.


Lola Sheppard is a registered architect in Ontario and Quebec, a Toronto-based educator, the associate director of undergraduate studies at the University of Waterloo’s architecture school, and a founding partner of Lateral Office, an award-winning firm dedicated to architecture, landscape, urbanism, and the environment. Lateral Office promotes architecture and urbanism as a means of supporting local communities in the Canadian North; it is completing a book, Many North, examining the evolution of Arctic architecture, urbanism, and infrastructure; and it curated the Canadian Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Biennale, for which it received Canada’s first honourable mention at the event. Lola is co-editor of the journal Bracket, as well as Bracket [at Extremes], which looks at architecture and infrastructure in extreme environments. She holds a bachelor’s degree from McGill and a master’s from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and she won the 2012 Young Architect Award from the Royal Architecture Institute of Canada.

Tanya Tagaq

Tanya Tagaq’s unique vocal expression is rooted in Inuit throat singing, but her music has as much to do with electronica, industrial, and metal. She is known for her fearsome, elemental performances at sites as diverse as a Mexican EDM festival and Carnegie Hall. Tanya has collaborated with an array of like-minded talents, including opera singers, avant-garde composers, and experimental DJs. Her albums make for challenging listening, but, as her string of Juno nominations and recent Polaris Music Prize win attest, she makes difficult music speak a universal tongue.


Sheila Watt-Cloutier, an environmental and human rights advocate, was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for her advocacy work on climate change. From 1995 to 2002, she served as the Canadian president of the Inuit Circumpolar Council, and in 2002, she was elected international chair of the organization. Under her leadership, the council launched the world’s first international legal action on climate change with a petition to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. Sheila has won the National Aboriginal Achievement Award, the UN Champion of the Earth Award, and the prestigious Norwegian Sophie Prize, and she is an officer of the Order of Canada.


Janet Stewart hosts both CBC News Winnipeg at 5, 5:30, and 6 p.m. on CBC Television, and Radio Noon on CBC Radio One in Winnipeg. Since moving west from her native Nova Scotia in 2001, Janet has made community outreach her top priority. As the proud daughter of a registered nurse, she is particularly interested in promoting healthy-living initiatives. Janet was nominated for a 2009 Gemini Award and a 2014 Canadian Screen Award.

The Walrus
Winnipeg Art Gallery
Walter & Duncan Gordon Foundation
Aeroplan Beyond Miles
CBC News Winnipeg 4c

The Walrus Talks is a national series of events produced by the charitable, non-profit Walrus Foundation as part of an educational mandate to provide forums for conversation on matters vital to Canadians. The Walrus Foundation produces The Walrus magazine, the most awarded publication in Canada, as well as producing content at, on Walrus TV, and on stages from coast to coast to coast.

The Walrus Talks format features eight speakers for seven minutes each on various themes relating to a single topic. Each event offers lively, thoughtful, inspiring, riveting, smart, new thinking from scientists, writers, performers, scholars, and leaders of business and the arts. Each Talks event is followed by a spirited reception with attendees and participants.

The Walrus Talks delivers fresh ideas and new ways of looking at big issues. The Walrus has no “wings.” Our speakers are chosen to reflect a range of experiences and viewpoints, but they all have one thing in common: the desire for real conversation about issues that affect the future of Canada. Our goal is for audience members to think “I never thought about it that way” when the Talks are over.

In 2015, The Walrus Talks will be held in Calgary, London, Winnipeg, Montreal, Edmonton, Ottawa, Toronto, Halifax, and Victoria. They will address themes including vice, creativity, the Arctic, the animated city, the Aboriginal city, being human, play, and water.

The Walrus Talks 2015 will feature more than 100 speakers from all walks and from across the country. The Walrus Talks are sponsored by forward-thinking members of the private and public sectors whose support enables the Canadian conversation and encourages dialogue on a wide range of issues.

Dates, details, and ticket information are available at