Canada Goose seeks another 20 Inuit designers to expand Project Atigi

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Canada Goose and Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK) continue their partnership, which began with 14 Inuit seamstresses featured in an international launch of original parkas in late January.

The company is looking for another 20 Inuit designers.

Project Atigi, a social entrepreneurship project, is intended to build on the company’s commitment to Canada’s  North, according to an Aug. 8 news release from the national Inuit organization.

In the fall 2018, designer Mishael Gordon joined the secret Project Atigi, Canada Goose’s new social entrepreneurship project. The company now seeks to expand the project with another 20 Inuit designers.
photo courtesy Canada Goose

“The next wave of Project Atigi will showcase 100 parkas made by 20 designers, from across all four regions of Inuit Nunangat – Inuvialuit Settlement Region, Nunatsiavut, Nunavut, and Nunavik. Each designer will be commissioned to create a capsule collection of five pieces for either men, women or children,” states the release.

“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 were distributed equally between the four Inuit regions for craftsmanship and training programs.”

Lauding the talent Inuit designers possess, ITK Natan Obed noted the art of making parkas has been part of Inuit culture for thousands of years.

“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,” stated Obed.

Iqaluit’s Mishael Gordon, one of the original 14 designers, states Project Atigi is a great example of cultural appreciation, not appropriation.

“It’s bringing together a world-renowned company and Inuit culture that is represented through our clothing and traditions. This is an opportunity for a piece of our heritage to reach a global audience, especially while owning our own designs,” stated Gordon.

Meanwhile, Canada Goose president and chief executive officer Dani Reiss states the company’s goal is to use its voice to amplify the voice of Inuit.

“The response for Project Atigi and the 14 amazing designers, from people around the world was phenomenal,” states Reiss.

“As an entrepreneurial company that was built in the North, we firmly believe in our role in creating opportunities for future entrepreneurs and helping to empower these communities in a meaningful way.”

Designers must be 19 years of age or older, reside in Inuit Nunangat – Inuvialuit Settlement Region, Nunatsiavut, Nunavut, or Nunavik – and have an understanding of spoken and written English or access to an interpreter.

Interested designers can email the company at projectatigi@canadagoose.com between August 8 and August 30.