Yellowknife is a principal retail outlet for Northern artwork and craft items, as well as for the specialized clothing the climate demands. Some of it is so handsome that sheer vanity will make you wear it in more southerly temperatures.
Down to Earth Gallery (5007 Bryson Dr.; tel. 867/920-0711; www.downtoearthgallery.blogspot.com) in Old Town is a cooperatively owned and operated gallery with more than 60 aboriginal and contemporary artists from the Yukon, NWT, and Nunavut. The gallery has an impressive and affordable selection of pottery, paintings, photography, jewelry, beadwork, and glasswork. And speaking of glasswork, make sure you check out the Yellowknife Glass Recyclers Co-Op (3510-A McDonald Dr.; tel. 867/669-7654) just down the street. The shop carries drinking glasses, vases, bowls, and candleholders of various-colored recycled glass. For just C$40, you can sandblast your own personalized glass. Inquire about workshops.
Also in Old Town is Just Furs (3602 Franklin Ave.; tel. 867/873-6748). This store is for people who see fur as a renewable resource that was and is an integral part of the Dene and Inuit culture. You'll find gorgeous sheared beaver hats, scarves, and gloves. Northern Images (4801 Franklin Ave.; tel. 867/873-5944) features authentic Native Canadian (Inuit and Dene) articles: apparel and carvings, graphic prints, silver jewelry, ornamental moose-hair tuftings, and porcupine-quill work. Proceeds from sales go directly to Native artisans.
Gallery of the Midnight Sun (5005 Bryson Dr.; tel. 867/873-8064) has a great selection of Northern sculptures (mainly Inuit stone carvings), and also sells a variety of apparel, paintings, and Arctic crafts. To browse an excellent selection of paintings and other artworks by Northern artists of all cultural backgrounds, visit Birchwood Gallery (26-4910 50th Ave.; tel. 867/873-4050; www.birchwoodgallery.com).
Arrowmakers Art Gallery (4825 49th Ave., in the lobby of the Explorer Hotel; tel. 867/920-7002) specializes in Northern Aboriginal art. It has original fish-skin prints, moose-hair tufting, birch-bark baskets, and an extensive collection of paintings by Chipewyan artist John Rombough.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.