The Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment’s NWT Arts Program held the 3rd annual Sealebration Workshop from February 28-March 1, 2022 in Inuvik, NT. This workshop was open to Indigenous artists, registered in the NWT Arts Program, who work with seal. There was no cost to participate, and all materials and supplies were provided to the artists.

Eight Indigenous artists from three communities (Inuvik, Tuktoyaktuk, and Yellowknife) took part in this five-day workshop. Participants included:

Elizabeth Arey, Tuktoyaktuk
Cathy Cockney, Inuvik
Taalrumiq Christina King, Tuktoyaktuk
Inuk Trennert, Yellowknife
Eliza Firth, Inuvik
Eliana Joe, Inuvik
Eleanor Elias, Inuvik
Peggy Day, Inuvik

The workshop was held at the Midnight Sun Recreating Complex and was instructed by Master furrier, Panagiotis (Panos) Panagiotidis, from Fur Canada. Panos has taught at the Fur School of Kastoria in Greece and has three decades of experience in the fur trade, in Europe and now in Canada. The workshop curriculum focused on skin grading, blocking, pattern design, and using a fur sewing machine and an industrial sewing machine.

NWT Arts also presented their eight workshop video series NWT Arts Workshop Series: Selling Your Art. This workshop series was developed to help NWT Artists to learn about the different ways that are available to sell their artwork. Participants learned about pricing artwork, the importance of creating an artist portfolio, marketing, and how to sell their artwork.

An industrial sewing machine and a fur sewing machine were purchased using the project budget. These two machines, as well as the tools below were gifted to the Town of Inuvik. They will be housed in the new facility currently under construction in Chief Jim Koe Park, the Inuvik Welcome Centre. The Inuvik Welcome Centre will be a combination space of both a covered, but open-air wood & beam promenade adjacent to an enclosed visitor reception building that is set to have visual and digital displays for visitor and residents. Also included in this space is a small multi-purpose community room to be used for workshops, meetings, and presentations. These two machines will become part of the offering to community residents, artists and crafters to use, access, and demonstrate throughout the year.

The Town of Inuvik received:
• Techew fur sewing machine
• Jukki industrial sewing machine
• French curve ruler
• Metallic ruler in inuvik –
• Dress Making shears
• Chalk x 3 black, grey, red
• Tracer
• Fur comb
• Blocking plyer
• Round staple remover
• Variety of needles/threads
• Jacquard fabrics

Each participant received a sewing kit that contained:
• French curve ruler
• Metallic ruler
• Dress Making shears
• Furrier knife w blades
• Professional grade needles for hand sewing
• Chalk x3 black, grey, red
• Tracer
• Fur comb

NWT Arts was also able to donate a sewing kit to the Tuktoyaktuk Community Corporation (TCC) who has a fur sewing machine for artists in the community to use.

At the end of the workshop, each participant filled out an NWT Arts Workshop Survey. The feedback was incredibly positive. The only negative comments were that the workshop wasn’t long enough and that it went by too quickly.

Participant feedback from Taalrumiq Christina King:
“It was wonderful, educational, and life-changing in regards to my work. I learned so much that I look forward to putting into practice.”