Inuit Art Foundation Signs First New Igloo Tag Licensees in 45 Years in Conjunction with Comprehensive Community Consultation in Iqaluit, NU

The Inuit Art Foundation is pleased to announce Inuk gallerist Lori Idlout, owner of Carvings Nunavut, signed the first new Igloo Tag Trademark licence agreement in four decades in Iqaluit, NU, this week.

Carvings Nunavut is an Iqaluit-based, family-owned gallery that purchases work directly from Inuit artists as well as supports professional development opportunities for artists, including providing tools, materials and micro-loans to assist artists in the creation of their work. Carvings Nunavut will be the 7th active licensee of the Igloo Tag and works sold through the gallery will carry a small “12” at the bottom right corner of the Trademark.

This is the first new licensee of the Igloo Tag Trademark program in 45 years as well as the first licence agreement that has been signed since the Inuit Art Foundation accepted control of the Trademark from Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada in 2017. Notably, Idlout is the first Inuk to be granted a licence. The agreement was signed on July 8th, 2018 in Iqaluit, NU, and was signed in both English and Inuktitut syllabics, marking another important milestone for the program.

“What an honour it is to be the first Inuk licensee,” said Idlout on the occasion of the signing. “I am very proud of this gallery and the work we have put into supporting Inuit artists. This will go a long way to ensure we can continue to support Inuit artists, not just within Nunavut but abroad as well. I was proud to be able to sign the Igloo Tag Licence Agreement in Inuktitut as well as English. I am a huge proponent of Inuit syllabics, so it was exciting to be able to sign the licence and application both in English and Inuktitut.”

The Winnipeg Art Gallery, which holds in trust the world’s largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art, has also signed on as an Igloo Tag Trademark licensee. On July 9th, 2018, Sherri Van Went, Manager of Retail Operations at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, became the first retailer in southern Canada, under the Inuit Art Foundation’s management of the Trademark, to begin applying the Igloo Tag Trademark to works of Inuit art sold through their shop. Van Went’s signing of the licence agreement also took place in Iqaluit, NU, on Nunavut Day on the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Nunavut Agreement.

“The Inuit Art Foundation is pleased to be issuing new licences for use of the Igloo Tag Trademark, particularly within Inuit Nunangat,” said the Inuit Art Foundation’s Executive Director, Alysa Procida. “The IAF is committed to expanding the benefits of the Trademark to Inuit artists, and in fully consulting Inuit communities on these expansions. These new licenses are an important step in making the Trademark more accessible.”

Both new licence agreement signings took place while the Inuit Art Foundation (IAF) was participating in the Nunavut Arts Festival, July 4th to 9th in Iqaluit, NU. Bryan Winters, Igloo Tag Program Coordinator, and Alysa Procida were on hand to conduct community consultations with Inuit artists and other stakeholders to ensure use of the Trademark reflects the current realities and exciting future of Inuit art and supports Inuit artists careers and agency. The consultation was well attended by artists, elders and industry representatives. The results of this consultation as well as those previously conducted are available here.

The next consultation will be held on July 18th in Inuvik, Inuvialuit Settlement Region, NWT, at the Great Northern Arts Festival. Additional consultations will be added throughout 2018.

The Igloo Tag Trademark program and its initiatives are generously supported by:


The Reimagining the Igloo Tag Trademark project is funded by the Economic Diversification Grant of the Indigenous Economic Development Fund. An initiative of the Government of Ontario, the Indigenous Economic Development Fund supports promising projects that lead to employment, training and business opportunities for Indigenous people.







Lori Idlout, owner of Carvings Nunavut, with a signed copy of the first new executed Igloo Tag Licence agreement in over 45 years and the first under the direction of the Inuit Art Foundation, Iqaluit, 2018. Photo Inuit Art Foundation.

Sherri Van Went, Manager of Retail Operations at the Winnipeg Art Gallery with signed Igloo Tag License Agreement. The print in the background is Davidee Akpalialuk’s Hunter Carrying Child (1996) Photo Inuit Art Foundation.

From left: Mylena Idlout-Mullin, Jo-Anne Idlout, Crystal Mullin, Lori Idlout, Allan Mullin, Cassiar Cousins and Sam Mullin of Carvings Nunavut, Iqaluit, 2018. Photo Inuit Art Foundation.