What happens when you bring leading experts on Inuit and First Nations art together with a mission to reinvigorate the resale market? The answer: A debut sale that smashes world records, and sells an astonishing 95% of lots offered.

First Arts’ inaugural auction, held on May 28th, 2019, achieved new record prices with 36% of lots selling above the high estimate. Total sales were among the highest ever realized for an auction of Inuit and First Nations art. That’s despite the fact that through the very selective vetting process only 75 pieces were offered – a fraction of the number of works typically associated with large auction houses.

Migration Boat by Joe Talirunili realized the highest price ever for a work of Inuit art at auction: $408,000.

Fisherwoman by Osuitok Ipeelee set a record for the artist at auction: $90,000.

The Woman Who Lives in the Sun realized the highest price at auction for this iconic print by Kenojuak Ashevak: $78,000.

What’s the difference?

What separates First Arts from other resale outlets is the curatorial focus. First Arts’ emphasis on high quality and thoughtful presentation aims to broaden the appreciation of Indigenous art in accessible and creative ways for both experienced and novice collectors. The art receives the ‘white glove’ treatment – that’s a reflection of First Arts’ knowledge and appreciation of Canadian Indigenous in all its forms, regions and periods. First Arts is a hybrid concept that allies live auction, online auction, exhibition and retail sale to serve its consignors. The first priority is to assess the work and determine the most appropriate venue for its sale. Drawing on decades of honed knowledge and experience, First Arts gives you access to a network of experts who work to find the best market and maximize the potential sale value. First Arts builds on the relationships the partners have nurtured with both collectors and artists. Its mission is to create a fresh excitement for Indigenous art through an immersive learning experience.

Giving Back

Along with this is a solid commitment to Inuit and First Nations visual arts communities by supporting initiatives that break down barriers and impact careers. First Arts is currently working with the Inuit Art Foundation to support IAQ Profiles, a central, online resource of accurate, up-to-date and, most importantly, artist-sanctioned biographies. Why are these profiles so critical? First Arts co-owner Mark London explains: “As an Inuit art enthusiast, collector and dealer, I know that in addition to the work itself, having a sense of the artist, their history, of their achievements, is incredibly important. It’s invaluable to collectors. It’s critical to artists. And it’s central to the work of curators.” First Arts is demonstrating its dedication to building IAQ Profiles by matching all contributions made through October 9th, 2019 – up to $10,000. If the goal of $20,000 is raised in that time, it will add 90 more artists to its showcase. Every donation of $222 translates into new artist profile. Please consider making a donation to the Inuit Art Foundation – First Arts will match it, but only until October 9th.


First Arts launched in January 2019, with its first auction held on May 28th, 2019. The partners of First Arts bring decades of experience working with Indigenous artists and collectors. Their mission is clear: finding the right home for your works of Inuit and First Nations art, whether through auction, exhibition or sale at two of the leading Canadian Inuit art galleries: Toronto’s Feheley Fine Arts and Montreal’s Galerie Elca London.


How do you know if First Arts is the right place to consign your Inuit and First Nations art? Talk to us. We’re passionate champions and advocates for this art that has been a central part of our lives for decades. Email us at:

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