Artists & Communities / Communities
Kimmirut is located on the south shore of Baffin Island’s Meta Incognita Peninsula. Access to this community is restricted to air and water.
Whaling ships made annual calls at Kimmirut in the 19th century, making it the most important harbour on the south coast. Until the start of World War I, Kimmirut was the centre of a busy and thriving mica mining operation, which employed Inuit and Scottish miners.
Kimmirut means “a heel” in Inuktitut and is located across the inlet from a geological feature resembling a heel. Previously known as Lake Harbour, access to the untouched splendour of Katannilik Park is provided from this hunting and fishing community. The only trees on Baffin Island are found in Katannilik Park, along with a variety of Arctic flora and considerable wildlife.
Kimmirut hosts a thriving arts community and is famous for its beautiful local stone, which ranges in colour from apple green to light cream coloured shades. Sculptures from this region are highly representational, with naturalistic animal subjects that are smooth and usually highly polished. It is home to a remarkable group of walrus ivory carvers who produce intricate “scrimshaw” etchings. Artists also create fine jewellery containing semi-precious stones such as sapphire, spinel, scapolite, tourmaline, iolite, apatite, zircon, moonstone, garnet and lapis lazuli, which have all been discovered in the region.