Father Henri Tardy, a priest who ran the Catholic mission in Holman, helped to form the Holman Eskimo Co-operative in 1961. In a 1979 interview published in Inuktitut Magazine, he recognized Kalvak’s artistic talent: I was then taking practical lessons in the Eskimo language from a superb grandmother, Helen Kalvak, collecting stories of the past. Sometimes to explain, she would make a drawing. One day I asked her to make me an Eskimo parka out of caribou hide and, contrary to Eskimo fashion, she drew a design of it. She was on her way to becoming a remarkable artist, with many designs to her credit.