About Us

The Imaituk Story

From 1989-1996, Brian McLeod created Boreal Tools. Boreal imported specialized sculpting tools from Italy, Japan, and the United States, making it the first-ever tool store dedicated to serving Inuit artists in Nunavut.

Inuit would come into his store and ask for specialized tools that had no name in Inuktitut. So they would commonly request an imaituk, or perhaps an imaituk for their imaituk,, and Brian and the customer would figure out what "thing-a-ma-jig" was required with hand gestures and pictures.

Over time, Brian learned what artists needed to make their work more efficient and profitable. His company made a real difference in the arts economy, as artists could finally get the tools they needed to be more efficient and branch out easily into other art forms to diversify their income.

Boreal Tools became known as the store with the 'Imaituk' you needed, as Brian learned to source, import and deliver exceptional tools across northern Canada, even supplying some sculptors in Toronto and Montreal, based on customer need.

Today, "Imaituk" still means 'thing-a-ma-jig' in Inuktitut. But instead of tools, we view our "Imaituk" as the experience and perspective brought to every project Imaituk works on - delivering services based on the needs of each client.

Boreal Tool Store in Iqaluit, 1993. Photo by T. McLeod.Boreal Tool Store in Iqaluit, 1993. Photo by T. McLeod.