Fogo Island Arts (FIA) is the founding program of Shorefast, a registered Canadian charity dedicated to unleashing the power of place so local communities can thrive in the global economy. Fogo Island Arts was founded in 2008 as an international artist residency program with the belief that artists are visionaries with a unique capacity to reveal and respond to the complexities of our time.

The residencies enable artists, curators, and writers to think, create, and connect on Fogo Island, promoting discovery across perspectives and disciplines. The geographic specificity as an island off an island in the North Atlantic is a foundational platform for engagement around issues of sustainability, ecology, economy, and belonging. Over the last 15 years, Fogo Island Arts has grown into a program of exhibitions, public programs, publications, and research projects that aim to explore art and ideas and bridge connections between the local and the global.

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. 

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Fogo Island

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, we respectfully acknowledge the land on which we gather and work as the ancestral homelands of the Beothuk, whose culture has been lost forever as a result of colonization. We also acknowledge the province of Newfoundland & Labrador as the ancestral homelands of many diverse populations of Indigenous peoples, including Mi’kmaq, Innu, and Inuit.

We commit to using our platforms to encourage a reverence for Indigenous peoples and their knowledge, and to strive for truth and healing as we move forward together on a journey towards peace and collective prosperity.