Canada Goose taps artists to reconnect to the physical world

The parka brand fills its reopened store windows with art to inspire customers to venture outside again.


Canada Goose is bringing its relationship with artists to its recently reopened stores as it refocuses marketing efforts on brand storytelling.

Through the inaugural “In Residence” program this summer, Canada Goose is donating prominent space at flagship retail locations in Montreal, Paris, Milan, New York, London and Shanghai to artists, so they can express the resilient spirit of their communities and celebrate togetherness.

In Montreal, visual artist, silkscreen specialist and Banksy collaborator Dominque Petrin is taking over the downtown Rue Sainte Catherine retail location with an installation that highlights the transition from the virtual experiences of the last few months to a reconnection with the real world.

Greg_MablyCanada Goose has frequently engaged with the art world, such as when it launched it limited edition Branta parka collection by commissioning an installation by Brooklyn artist James Clar, repurposing it as Instagram content. To honour Canada Day last week, the brand commissioned Toronto artist Greg Mably to create a custom aurora borealis illustration for its community on Basecamp, a hub that includes email subscribers, followers, public events and video content.

“We have a long history of partnering with creators that we’ve leveraged for various campaigns and usually do so digitally,” says Penny Brook, CMO at Canada Goose. “’In Residence’ is a physical manifestation of this partnership brought to life in our stores for the first time ever.”

The brand has said it’s focusing marketing efforts on brand storytelling and ecommerce, though on the bricks-and-mortar front, CFO Jonathan Sinclair has said that conversion has been good for consumers who have been able to shop at recently reopened stores, as Canada Goose offers “a high-priced item that people plan and seek out.” Overall, the parka brand has been able to stay resilient, as pandemic-related slowdowns being experienced across fashion and retail have aligned with the spring and summer months, which has already historically been the company’s slowest time of year in terms of sales.

With many retail stores boarding up their windows or focused on value-driven propositions, Brook says the brand felt it was important to provide a non-commercial consumer experience, set back from commercial gains, where customers could slow down and reconnect and appreciate the world again. It ties back into the brand’s “Live in the Open” theme, which was originally launched in 2019 as a docuseries predicated on breaking boundaries and connecting communities with the outside world, both physically and emotionally.

“We’re giving people a reason to venture outdoors again, to visit our stores and see the beautiful creations of hope and optimism that are illustrated in their community,” Brook says, and adds that consumers will see this specific in-store activation also come to life across the brand’s digital channels and social media. Six global artists will “remix” the brand’s essential photography as an extension of the program.

Though Brook stresses that “In Residence” is not about a specific product category, behind the scenes content for this program will feature the artists wearing Canada Goose’s newest Knitwear and Lightweight Down products.

“We’ve emphasized growing our spring categories since it first launched in 2015 and have seen incredible success and growth in the category over the years, with dedicated marketing support during that time,” Brook says. Since it first opened its own retail stores in 2016, she says spring collections are among the fastest growing, even as most people associate Canada Goose with parkas.