In its art, drama, history, literature, and popular culture, notions of Canada have been intrinsically linked to notions of the north, but with the imminent threat of global warming and globalization, traditional realities have begun to melt away. In their place, a new 'idea of north' is beginning to emerge.

The site of political, military, religious and, more recently, commercial colonization, Canada’s Arctic has long been a contested space. Since the early half of the twentieth century, the resettlement of Inuit people, the introduction of paternalistic government initiatives and assertions of political sovereignty over the region’s vast natural resources have unleashed an unprecedented reshaping of life and land in Canada’s Arctic.

Through the lens of contemporary art, Polar Shift examines the changing landscape of the High North. Featured are paintings and sculpture by former London-based artist Paul Walde, video by Inuk director Zacharius Kunuk and original drawings by Cape Dorset-based artist Annie Pootoogook.