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New Brand Authenticates Nunavut Arts and Crafts

22 July 2009

IQALUIT, Nunavut (July 8, 2009) Peter Taptuna, Nunavut’s Minister of Economic Development & Transportation, officially announced today a new brand for all Nunavut arts and crafts. The new brand will be made available to all Nunavut artists to identify their work as authentic Nunavut arts and crafts.

“The Authentic Nunavut brand addresses the long-standing problem of fake arts and crafts that use northern and Inuit imagery, but are made in Southern Canada and abroad,” said Minister Taptuna. “Art buyers can now be assured that if the artwork carries the Nunavut brand, its authentic”.

Nunavut artists can register to use the Nunavut Brand at no charge. Stickers and tags are available to artists at a small cost.

The new brand is intended to complement, and not replace, the traditional “Igloo Tag” brand used to identify Canadian Inuit art.

“Nunavut arts and crafts will be identified first by the Nunavut brand, and then, where the artist is an Inuk, by the igloo tag as well,” explained Theresie Tungilik, arts advisor with the Department of Economic Development & Transportation.

The image used on the “Nuna Tag” captures the elemental spirit expressed in Nunavut art.
• The sun is a Northern sun, low on the horizon. Its vivid yellow hues and the presence of sun dogs suggest a rising sun’s exceptional radiance in the frosty air.
• The blue waters are surrounded by white space that looks like spring or fall ice.
• The earthy green landscape sums up Nunavut’s geography – open spaces, distant hills, rolling terrain, and a coastline on salt or fresh water.

Artists wishing to register as users of the Nunavut brand should contact the Department of Economic Development & Transportation at 867-473-2679.


For media inquiries, contact:
Matthew Illaszewicz
Manager, Communications
Economic Development & Transportation

Backgrounder on the “Nuna Tag” – the Nunavut Art Brand

The creation of a brand for Nunavut arts and crafts was recommended in the Government of Nunavut’s strategy for growth in the arts and crafts sector, “Sanaugait”, released in June 2007. Goal number four calls for increasing the market share of Nunavut artists through international brand recognition. The release of the brand for Nunavut arts and crafts is the first step in ensuring authentic Nunavut art will be instantly recognizable throughout the world.

Work on the new brand began in May 2008. The Department of Economic Development & Transportation consulted with artists in 12 communities across the territory. More than 200 artists helped to determine the image that best represents Nunavut arts and crafts.

Focus groups were held in Toronto, Boston and Vancouver with major dealers in the Nunavut art world. An online survey was used to obtain the opinions of galleries, wholesalers and advocates of Nunavut art. After these consultations the “nuna design” was approved as the brand for Nunavut Arts and Crafts in January 2009.

Brochures are available that explain the brand. Shirts, ball caps and bags with the Nunavut logo were handed out during the Nunavut Arts Festival. Up to 100 Nunavut brand stickers and 50 tags were given to each artist who attended the festival.

Inuit artists in Nunavut will continue to use Indian and Northern Affairs Canada’s Igloo Tag in conjunction with the Nunavut logo. The Igloo Tag designates products as authentic Canadian Inuit art.