Fogo Island Arts (FIA) is a contemporary arts and ideas organization on Fogo Island, located in Newfoundland & Labrador, on traditional Mi’kmaw territory and the ancestral homeland of the Beothuk.
Founded in 2008 as an artists residency program, Fogo Island Arts was created with the conviction that art and artists have the capacity to instigate social change and offer new perspectives on issues of contemporary concern. By facilitating collaborations and connections between a local and international network of practitioners and thinkers, Fogo Island Arts aims to provide relevant insights on questions of human relationships with place, nature, financial capital, and one another.
Fogo Island Arts’ residency program has grown into a full program of exhibitions, public programs, publications and focused research programs including the Fogo Island Dialogues and Summer Workshops, all of which aim to bridge connections between local and wider global communities.
Fogo Island Arts is a charitable program of Shorefast, a registered Canadian charity with the mission to build economic and cultural resilience on Fogo Island, making it possible for local communities to thrive in the global economy.
Fogo Island is an outport community: a small, remote coastal settlement unique to the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Fogo Islanders are people of the sea who have made their living by fishing the frigid and often unforgiving waters of the North Atlantic.
A non-capital-accumulating society until the latter decades of the 20th century, Fogo Islanders sustained themselves for generations by fishing as families and relying on an unrelenting sense of resourcefulness fed by a profound love of place. This history of relative isolation and self-sufficiency has shaped Fogo Islanders and the Fogo Island of today, and continues to inform the island’s economy and culture.
While Fogo Island is a settler community, its territory is part of the ancestral homelands of the Beothuk, and the island of Newfoundland (Ktaqmkuk) is the ancestral homeland of the Mi’kmaq and Beothuk. FIA also recognizes the Inuit of Nunatsiavut and NunatuKavut and the Innu of Nitassinan, and their ancestors, as the original people of Labrador.