Artina’s – First Nations and Canadian Jewellery in Gastown
For the past 20 years, Artina’s has specialized in carrying uniquely handcrafted Canadian jewellery. With two locations on bustling Government Street in Victoria and Gastown in Vancouver, Artina’s houses some of Canada’s most notable jewellery designers including master carver and co-designer of the 2010 Olympic medals, Corrine Hunt.
Featuring exclusively Canadian jewellery, the store brings together local and national designers from coast to coast. Among the collection are local aboriginal artists from BC representing a number of creative styles from Tlingit, Coast Salish, Haida, and Kwak-waka-wakw (formerly Kwakiutl) cultures. These uniquely original pieces reflect a variety of unique styles incorporating distinctive native legends and symbols. Beautifully crafted and distinctively Canadian they are truly an example of “wearable art”.
The staff at Artina’s each have an incredible wealth of knowledge and understanding of products in store. Our favorite part of visiting the store was learning about the story behind each of the designs and the inspirations behind certain pieces. One of our favorite things about the store is the highly customizable pieces. For example, store owner, Shelley Hird shared with us:
“Recently a client had Joe Jack Gold earrings custom made. She wanted to match the ring and bracelet her husband had given her. After he passed away last September she decided to get the earrings made. Joe never makes earrings but made a special exception for her. She loved them so much she was almost in tears when she came in to pick them up. She said they were exactly what her husband would have wanted for her!”
The collections in store represent not only a variety of artists and contemporary styles from Canada but jewellers who work with a number of different materials. Artina’s carries everything from precious and rare stones like turquoise and titanium, to silver, gold and argillite. For the more colorful few, their collection of fashion jewelry includes pieces that incorporate crystal, amethyst, jade, and pearl to name a few. At any given time, the store will carry a number of First Nations and Canadian artists. From bracelets to brooches, earrings to necklaces and rings, products range from $15 – $9,000 for custom created pieces. Store favorites includes Jean Yves Nantel, Korite, and Alex Helin.
It’s not hard to see that Artina’s is proud to feature their artists. This can easily be seen in full feature profiles on their website including full descriptions and stories about each artist. To learn more about this specialty store, go online or visit them at one of their two locations.