Taking their inspiration from ancient stories, traditional knowledge and personal experience, Inuvialuit, Dene and Metis of the Northwest Territories create captivating art in a variety of media. These NWT products are available in galleries and gifts shops in many communities. The following are 10 places you can view and purchase these products.
1. Gallery of the Midnight Sun - Yellowknife Located in historic Old Town, this is the NWT’s largest gallery and gift shop. Northern apparel, books, souvenirs, crafts, and craft supplies, as well as a fine selection of Canadian diamonds and jewelry are available here.
2. Originals on Mackenzie - Inuvik This local arts and crafts store on Inuvik’s main street has carvings, clothing, gifts, and diamonds for anyone stopping by. Open year round. Closed Sunday.
3. Snowshoe Arts and Crafts - Fort Providence Offering moose and caribou hair tufting and unique porcupine quill weaving, this shop also has smoked moosehide moccasins, antler Inukshuks, key rings, jewelry, and much more.
4. Winnie’s Dene Art Gallery and Gift Shop - Enterprise Specializing in high quality handmade Dene arts and crafts, Winnie’s has one of the finest selections in the North. Aboriginal artists blend artistic designs with natural materials to produce original products you’ll want to own.
5. North of 60 Books – Fort Smith This comfy and quaint, family-run business is a mini-art centre that lets you hang out with a cup of coffee and good book. In addition to books, you can also purchase arts, crafts, and giftware made by local residents.
6. Great Northern Arts Festival – Inuvik Each summer, up to 80 visual artists and 40 performers gather here to celebrate Canada’s North. The first Great Northern Arts Festival was held in July 1989. An annual event, it occurs in mid-July and lasts approximately 10 days. You can purchase works directly from the artists.
7. Northern Images – Yellowknife and Inuvik These stores carry an excellent selection of stone carvings, original art, and limited edition prints from communities in the NWT and Nunavut. Northern Images specializes in Inuit and Northern arts and crafts.
8. Norman Wells Historical Society – Norman Wells This place has Dene crafts and fossils from the NWT’s Sahtu area. Open year-round, you can learn about the culture of the area and purchase crafts at the Society’s visitor centre.
9. Birchwood Gallery – Yellowknife Representing a number of northern aboriginal artists, the collection here includes paintings, sculptures, and custom framing services.
10. Dene Fur Clouds, Fort Providence Local artisans produce a line of knit fur accessories (hats, mitts, scarves, sweaters) made from sheared beaver yarn. A small retail outlet is adjacent to their production facility in Fort Providence.