Canada Goose, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami collaborate again on parka designs
“The art of making parkas has been part of our culture for thousands of years”
Canada Goose and Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami have joined forces to recruit 20 Inuit designers to work on Project Atigi, the parka-making company’s social entrepreneurship project for Canada’s North.
Launched in January 2019, the project includes a collection of custom-designed parkas created by Inuit designers using their traditional skills, designs and Canada Goose materials.
Designers will be selected by a committee comprised of representatives from across Inuit Nunangat, as well as Canada Goose and ITK, for the second edition of Project Atigi, a joint news release said on Thursday, Aug. 8.
The first group of 14 designers who participated in Project Atigi last year saw their work launched in New York City this past January.
The Project Atigi collection of parkas will be showcased again in Canada Goose stores around the world and online in early 2020.
“The talent that Inuit designers possess extends across Inuit Nunangat and the art of making parkas has been part of our culture for thousands of years,” said Natan Obed, the president of ITK, in the news release.
“By partnering with Canada Goose and expanding this initiative, it raises awareness of the incredible talent of our designers and allows us to share more of our culture and craftsmanship to the world in a way that protects and respects Inuit intellectual property and designs.”
This time around, Project Atigi plans to showcase 100 parkas made by 20 designers, from across all four regions of Inuit Nunangat—the Inuvialuit Settlement Region, Nunatsiavut, Nunavut and Nunavik.
Each designer will be commissioned to create a collection of five pieces for either men, women or children.
Proceeds from the sale of each parka from Project Atigi will be going back to Inuit communities across Canada via ITK.
Proceeds from the sale of the first collection, which you can see here, were also distributed equally among the four Inuit regions for craftsmanship and training programs, the release said.
“Project Atigi is a great example of cultural appreciation, not appropriation, said Mishael Gordon of Iqaluit, who participated in the launch of Project Atigi.
“This is an opportunity for a piece of our heritage to reach a global audience, especially while owning our own designs.”
To apply to be part of this year’s project, you must be 19 or older, live in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region, Nunatsiavut, Nunavut or Nunavik. As well, you must have an understanding of spoken and written English or access to an interpreter.
For more details and to apply, you can email [email protected].
The deadline to apply is Aug. 30.
The committee will choose the designers, who will be notified by Sept. 20.
All original parkas created by the chosen designers must be completed by Oct. 31, the release said.
Fabric and other materials will be provided to the designers. As well, designers will be paid for their work and maintain all ownership of the rights to their designs.
Amauti designs will not be included in the collection.
I’m curious about the issue of intellectual property, who owns the IP on these designs?
Each community could create their local company with northern original designs and create many jobs for the unemployed who are wasting, aging away without realizing their own potential. Many women can sew, many men can work with their bare hands. Assembly lines, each with specific tasks in creating northern environment ….
I don’t know about assembly lines, but there really is a serious market out there for Inuit designed parkas and such. What we see here is the exploitation of a niche, and a fairly small one given the costs of these works, at least last year. I wonder if the costs will start coming down as production numbers go up? We’ll see, but I do think these designs could nearly dominate the market at some point. Some one make sure to follow through on getting real IP rights enshrined and not leave it to magical thinking.
I would like to vote for a potential President of ITK, but I can’t because my voice doesn’t count. It is a weird system in Canada where only select few can decide the fate of Inuit in Canada.