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Indigenous Fashion Arts Festival 2022 Impact Report

Indigenous Fashion Arts Festival 2022 Impact Report shows $5.63 million generated for local economy + 20,000 visitors throughout the event

First ever Impact Report highlights social, cultural and economic impact and value of the Indigenous creative economy

Toronto, ON – Indigenous Fashion Arts (IFA) is pleased to announce results from the Impact Report for the third biennial IFA Festival 2022, presented by Rogers. This is the first time IFA has commissioned an external study to assess the Festival. The findings gathered by Bespoke Collective show significant social, cultural and economic impacts for participating artists, designers and the local economy, and a strong appetite for Indigenous fashion, craft and textiles.

The Report highlights six areas of impact that IFA contributes to: 1. Celebrating and amplifying Indigenous creativity; 2. Acting as an interdisciplinary incubator for Indigenous fashion arts; 3. Generating economic growth and capacity building; 4. Establishing inclusive and ethical fashion systems; 5. Raising the bar on values-driven partnerships; and, 6. Connecting Indigenous communities across Canada.

The 2022 edition of the IFA Festival took place in Toronto at Harbourfront Centre from June 9 – 12, presenting a wide variety of Indigenous fashion arts to over 20,000 live and virtual visitors. The Festival included runway shows, an outdoor marketplace, panel discussions, hands-on workshops, industry events for artists, and free digital and on-demand content. Programming featured more than 85 Indigenous artists and designers.

Designer D’arcy Moses reflects, “[IFA] is making a huge contribution, it presents new and more established designers with a venue to showcase their work … it was an honour to be involved.” Several participating designers also remarked on the benefits of connecting with each other at the Festival. “We now have a support system for one another. We have a whole large network who we can bounce ideas off of and share techniques with,” commented one IFA designer.

In addition to providing opportunities for visibility and networking, IFA Festival facilitates market development opportunities and contributes to economic growth and capacity building for Indigenous entrepreneurs and the local economy. The Ontario Tourism Regional Economic Impact Model calculates the IFA Festival contributed $5.63 million to the local economy.

“The 2022 IFA Festival Impact Report affirms and demonstrates the valuable influence and significance of Indigenous fashion,” says Sage Paul, IFA Executive & Artistic Director. “More Indigenous-led platforms like IFA exist than ever before, which undeniably reinforces relevant infrastructure and advancement in the sector for Indigenous communities. I invite everyone to join this exciting momentum at the next IFA Festival in 2024.”

Highlights from the Impact Report include:

  • Approximately 20,000 visitors attended the event in-person and online (11,660 unique in-person attendees + 8,745 online)
  • $5.63 million generated for the local economy
  • 85+ participating Indigenous artists, makers and designers from around the world
  • $1,962 average spend per visitor
  • 94% of visitors felt it was a high-quality experience
  • 67% of visitors attended for the first time
  • 95% of visitors said the Festival helped them better appreciate the diversity of Indigenous arts, culture, fashion and design
  • 93% of participating designers reported the Festival was a good opportunity to meet other artists and designers
  • 80% said the Festival was a good opportunity to sell work and connect with new customers
  • 73% of participating designers said they reached new audiences
  • 50% of visitors came from the GTA, 19% from Ontario, 18% from the rest of Canada, and 13% were international

Read the full Report here.

IFA would like to thank our partners, whose support helps make what we do possible. 

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