TD Gallery of Inuit Art is a unique art gallery in the heart of the city. It was founded in 1967 by Toronto Dominion Bank to mark Canada’s 100th birthday. The main idea was to “honour Canada’s past, but also look ahead to its future.” Allen Thomas Lambert, then president and chairman of the TD Bank, announced the establishment of the “world’s finest and most comprehensive collection of Inuit Art.”
The gallery was officially opened in 1986 and it represents all regions of Canadian Arctic and both historical and contemporary pieces from Inuit arts.
At the beginning, the comittee, consisting of eleven individuals selected from all over Canada, traveled throughout the Arctic and southern Canada to collect the art for the gallery. They bought pieces from dealers, craft shops, private collectors, the Eskimo Museum in Churchill. Pieces included soapstone and bone carvings, ivory miniatures, graphic art and even experimental ceramics from Rankin Inlet.
The original collection consisted of around 1,000 pieces – sculptures done in stone, bone, ivory as well as prints, drawings and ceramic. The emphasis was on works created after World War II and up to 1967, including artists from across Canadian Arctic, representing communities where carving took place.
Dr. Joseph Martin, the director of the National Gallery of Canada opened the gallery to the public on 20 March, 1986. The Bank operates the gallery, free of charge, 7 days a week ever since.
You can visit the gallery at 79 Wellington Street West (TD Centre), it’s open Monday- Friday from 8am to 6pm and Saturday – Sunday from 10am to 4pm.
Meet the photographer: BEA LABIKOVA
Bea is a Toronto based musician, photographer, teacher and a multidisciplinary visual artist. Growing up surrounded by her father’s antique camera collection, Bea loves taking portraits of unique faces and always tries to capture the colours of the world around us. Her main areas of interest are documentary, performance and travel photography.