Projection mapping art show tours the territory

A travelling art show making its way across the territory this March is giving NWT residents a taste of a new art form.

Titled Ebb + Flow, the show uses a technique known as projection mapping. It’s a joint effort between the Northern Arts and Cultural Centre, the GLAM Collective, and Davis Heslep of Western Arctic Moving Pictures.

Projection mapping is a way of displaying art by projecting films, images, or designs onto buildings within the community – a Covid-friendly way of appreciating the arts, Heslep says.


“It’s almost like turning a building into a temporary art gallery, where people are able to stand and consume a very interesting visual or performance art piece, or whatever can be captured in video and projected through a projector,” he explained.

Marie Coderre, executive director of the Northern Arts and Cultural Centre, described it as virtual street art.  

“The goal of it is to really increase the exposure of the arts, and it’s to get out of the theatre concept,” she said. “You don’t need to pay for a ticket necessarily to go see a show all the time. It’s just fun to have it in your space.

Still from Ebb + Flow. Photo: Submitted

“You walk, you go to the post office and, hey, there’s a film on the wall. It’s a very organic type of art.”


Between March 6 and March 20, the tour will take in five communities for a night each, free of charge: Inuvik, Norman Wells, Fort Simpson, Hay River, and Fort Smith.

The projected films were created by the GLAM Collective, a group of Indigenous artists and scholars. Artists from Nunavut, Alaska, and New Zealand are involved.

It’s a more flexible way of consuming film, Heslep said, since audience members can come and go as they please. As he puts it, it’s “like an art gallery without expectations to sit around and be told a long story, because it’s a different format.”

Still from Ebb + Flow. Photo: Submitted

It’s the first time projection mapping has toured the NWT.

“This kind of access to these forms isn’t really available in the Northwest Territories,” Heslep said. “This project is going to be like a proof of concept of being able to go out and do this.”

A full list of show dates and times is available on the NACC website.