EDMONTON -- A collection of art has been stolen from an Edmonton gallery including pieces from Northwest Territories artists.

The Alberta Craft Council said in a statement to CTV News Edmonton that a robbery occurred at 3:10 a.m. Wednesday.

Eleven pieces of art were stolen, including nine belonging to artists based in the Northwest Territories who participated in the Crafted NWT exhibition.

Additionally, damage was done to the building and equipment was taken.

The Alberta Craft Council, a non-profit charitable provincial arts service organization, helps support contemporary and heritage crafts. It operates two galleries and shops in Edmonton and Calgary.

Jenna Stanton, Alberta Craft Council executive director, said in a statement that the theft of artwork was devastating – especially after a challenging COVID-19 year when exhibitions have been closed to the public.

“The unconscionable theft of artwork has furthered hindered artists who were already experiencing a challenging situation.

“We at the Alberta Craft Council are heartbroken, and we ask the community for help locating the stolen artwork.”

Some of the items stolen included a polar bear/bison grub bag with a handwoven strap, two parkas, two animal carvings made from BC chlorite, a leather bag, and other items.

The theft was reported to police who are asking the public to report any tips about the theft to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.