Tony Romito, Founder of Atiigo Media Inc. in Iqaluit, Nunavut
Tony has an extensive background in Northern communications planningand development. Having lived in Nunavut for over 20 years, Tony understands the complexities of delivering communications products across a vast and challenging territory. His hands-on experience with Nunavut’s government, Inuit organizations, socio-economic issues, political landscape, regional differences, culture, traditions and language allow Tony to effectively plan and execute projects that resonate with both his clients and the communities. Since founding Atiigo Media in 2003, he has worked on major communications projects for the territorial and federal governments, Inuit organizations and within the private sector. Tony led Atiigo Media’s recent work with the Government of Nunavut to create public awareness on issues such as Tobacco Cessation, Energy Conservation and Responsible use of Alcohol.
Jennica Robinson Provisional RGD, Senior Graphic Designer at Design de Plume in Sudbury, ON
Jennica is an Indigenous woman with membership through the AundeckOmni Kaning First Nation of Manitoulin Island. She is passionate about making a difference and creating change through design. Jennica is no stranger when it comes to supporting her community and encouraging the value and development of design locally within Greater Sudbury and Districts. She has contributed to numerous design initiatives through mentoring, conferences, award exhibitions, and fundraisers, within her leadership role as Board Director and President of the Sudbury Design Society.
What advice would you give?
“Students should consider how their work is representing Indigenous cultures. Indigenous Design tells a story about our history. It protects, nourishes and recognizes native ancestry, language and spiritual and traditional beliefs. Submissions should communicate those aspects in the cultural and social well-being of First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples.
Mark Rutledge, CGD, Lead Designer at Animikii, Inc. & National President of the Graphic Designers of Canada.
With over 30 years of experience, Mark has deep roots designing for North America's Indigenous communities and organizations. He is the first Indigenous designer elected as National President of the Graphic Designers of Canada. He is also the first to lead from Canada’s arctic region. He is a proud Ojibwa from Little Grand Rapids First Nation who lives and works in Whitehorse, Yukon on the territories of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and the Ta'an Kwäch'än Council.
What will you be personally looking for from the entrants to identify winning work?
I will be looking for work that best represents the client’s objectives and needs. I’ll be looking for how the designer has interpreted this and how this has been reflected in their design. Creativity that showcases the best of their talent, cultural sensitivities, passion and storytelling. One that resonates with the client and community. I’ll be looking for the balance between research, strategy, creativity and rationale from an Indigenous worldview.
Katie Wilhelm RGD, Indigenous Graphic Designer & Marketing Consultant in London, ON
Katie is an award-winning Prior to founding her own design practice, she spent many years specializing in corporate communications, specifically in the area of local economic development. Katie is passionate about her community and is a leader in her local arts, culture and Indigenous communities. As a professional artist, Katie has experience owning and operating art galleries, curating art exhibitions, adjudicating for acquisitions, conducting appraisals and has produced several permanent large-scale art installations. To view case studies and learn more about Katie’s work, visit katiewilhelm.ca.
What advice would you give to a Student who is considering entering this category?
“Find freedom in the context you inherit’ ― Lee Maracle (Stó:lō). I believe that knowledge sharing through the arts is a critical tool for lifting up the voices of the Indigenous people of Turtle Island. For Indigenous students considering entering this award, your voice is important to bringing Two-Eyed Seeing into this space.”