This holiday season, 18 Northwest Territories artists have joined together to give gifts back to their supporters in nine communities.
The NWT-wide scavenger hunt giveaway will take place on Sundays from mid-November until the week before Christmas. Artists in each participating community will hide gift bags filled with art from across the territory.
Clues to find the bags will be posted on the NWT Artist Appreciation Giveaway Instagram page, and the person to find the gift bag gets to keep it.
Organizers are asking that people only claim one gift bag “to ensure there is excitement left for everyone,” and that people post photos of their prizes on Instagram, tagging both the artists and using the hashtag #nwtartistappreciationgiveaway.
The first giveaway kicks off in Fort Simpson on November 14, followed by a giveaway in Hay River on November 21 and a giveaway in Inuvik on November 28.
Ndilǫ, Dettah, and Yellowknife share a giveaway date of December 5, followed by Fort Smith on December 12. Norman Wells and Behchokǫ̀ are the final two communities where giveaways will take place, both on December 19.
Artists involved include Willow and Wildflower, Tundra Beauty, Designs by Laska, Everr Nezo Kreations, Amaamaga, Artech Engrave, Golden Willow, Gombaade, Onte Sews, Haylan Apparel, Shake a Tail Feather Studio, Etoas Earrings, Borealis Earrings, Perched Pottery, Auntiez Apparel, North of Wild, Beaded Little Things, and From the Land Creations.
Yellowknife-based artist Shawna McLeod, who runs From the Land Creations with her sister, took the lead in pulling together the appreciation giveaway.
McLeod said she and the other artists were inspired by Etoas Earrings and Borealis Earrings, who previously held a similar giveaway and gave their blessing for the idea to be recycled and expanded across the territory.
“It’s definitely a team effort. Lots of moving parts and people willing to help in the communities,” McLeod wrote to Cabin Radio, saying it wasn’t hard to find talented artists and volunteers to bring the idea to life.
“It takes a community to run anything of this scale.”
McLeod said all of the artists have contributed items to the other communities participating.
“We’ve had a lot of people willing to take our items on the plane, or stuff it into their vehicle if they’re travelling by road,” she said. “It sounds like everyone has mailed their items out to the communities and is excited to watch who gets their giveaway donations.
“Overall, we think it’s a creative way to say thank you, get people out of their homes, and to have some fun during these unprecedented times.”