I was very impressive in Yellowknife with the amazing paintings that were readily available for purchase. There are lots of carvings and Inuit art as well. The carvings in NWT were all very unique and different.
I highly recommend this particular gallery apparently owned by the aboriginal artist themselves.
What to buy: Archie Beaulieu was born and still lives in the community of Fort Rae, on the shores of Great Slave Lake in the Northwest Territories. As a member of the Dogrib First Nation, Archie considers his art a continuation of his aboriginal culture, passed down to him by his grandmother.
"In the old days, Granny would use things provided by the land; berries to make paint, a branch for a paint brush and birch bark as her canvas." Archie in turn tries to pass down art to the young, including his five children, as a way of recording their cultural heritage. "I help and encourage them whenever I can." he states. His wife Rose is recognized for her large contribution to Archie's life and art. In tribute to her, beside his signature on each painting a wild rose logo always appears.
Beaulieu's images primarily depict the traditions of the Dene people and animals of northern Canada. When asked where he gets his ideas for his paintings, Archie replied, "I get a lot of my ideas when I am out on the land. Sometimes I even get them from my dreams."
Archie Beaulieu's fluid, abstract style of painting has gained him a national and growing international reputation. His works have been featured and exhibited all over North America, and have won several prestigious awards.
His originals can be found in the collections of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and Pope John Paul II. Paintings and prints have been purchased by former Prime Ministers, members of government, dignitaries and corporations alike. Source: www.nor-art.com
Enroute to Old Town I found the Midnight Sun Gallery. It is extensive with lots of carvings, polar bear rugs, etcetera. There is a lot in there.
I find the galleries pricey myself, if you want to get a deal try to buy direct if you can.
What to buy: $8000 Narwhal Tusk if you can afford it!!
I didn't buy anything in this shop but if your interested in a warm winter parka this was the place to keep warm.
I also mention this place because there was plenty of other stuff in there as well and much of it was hand made by local people.
The YK Centre is another department store type building I normally wouldn't bother recommending by again this place has some nice galleries and a unique store I'll let you discover called the Ragged Ass Road Store.
Yellowknife has a couple of nice shopping centres.
I normally don't recommend going into malls whatsoever however these ones in Yellowknife do have some great galleries of local artist and you'll miss out if you don't go in the mall in this case.
All the best!