The Canadian Crafts Federation / Fédération Canadienne des Métiers d’Art is the national arts service organization that represents provincial and territorial craft councils and the Canadian craft sector. It advances and promotes the vitality and excellence of Canadian craft nationally and internationally to the benefit of Canadian craftspeople and the community at large.
An historical perspective:
National craft organizations in Canada date back to 1900 with the foundation of the Canadian Guild of Crafts. A merger in 1974 of the Guild with other craft organizations and associations created the Canadian Crafts Council (CCC).
The CCC provided structure and a forum to unify and represent Canadian craftspeople nationally and internationally. Originally it was intended as an organization of provincial crafts councils, but over the years, membership privileges were extended to other crafts organizations, to honorary members, and in 1996, to individual craftspeople.
The CCC operated on a total annual budget of $225,000, approximately half of which was funded by annual operating grants from the Department of Canadian Heritage, the balance being provided through membership fees, contributions, contract revenues and donations from the private sector (principally from the M. Joan Chalmers Cultural Centre Foundation – MJCCCF).
National issues, particularly in relation to those actions of the federal government that interfaced with crafts and craftspeople were the CCC’s foremost considerations. But, as of 1996, federal funding to the CCC was discontinued. MJCCCF support came to an end at the same time. At this point the staff was laid off and the office in Ottawa was closed.
The CCC continued on without an office, staff, or funding through the energetic efforts of a small band of five volunteers who formed a transition board and who kept alive the CCC as a continuing legal entity but without any programming ability.
Their term of office came to an end in May, 1998, at which point the CCC members, representatives of provincial crafts councils, and officers of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, and The Canada Council for the Arts, met in Montreal to debate the future of a national organization for crafts in Canada.
From the discussions and ideas shared at this meeting, it was evident that a crafts organization at the national level was of vital and continuing importance. Needed was an organization that would collaborate with all provincial councils especially in areas such as the representation and international marketing of Canadian crafts, and that would share information from international, national and provincial levels to the Canadian crafts community. The organization would also provide a conduit and information link between the community and the federal government.
It was agreed the CCC should be transformed into a national network for crafts to be known as the Canadian Crafts Federation / Fédération canadienne des métiers d’art (CCF/FCMA). An Interim Directorate was elected to oversee this transformation and to conduct the affairs of the new organization until a new board was in place and able to elect its own executive.
A first item of business was to ensure the CCC’s charitable tax status was transferred to the CCF/FCMA. As far as possible within funding and personnel constraints, the new organization would attempt to address national issues and to provide a forum for discussion and action on matters of common concern amongst the provinces
Canadian Crafts Federation / Fédération canadienne des métiers d’art thereby came into being as an organization of national consensus, mutual discussion and decision making. The members of the CCF/FCMA are the ten provincial and territorial crafts councils.
The first Annual General Meeting was held by conference call in September 1999 and a slate of officers were elected. A coordinating secretariat rotates periodically amongst the ten councils, the Ontario Crafts Council being the first to provide this service, with the New Brunswick Crafts Council as the current host.
The Board members are appointed by each of the ten provincial councils. In addition, there are CCF/FCMA representatives on the Boards of the Canadian Conference of the Arts, the Cultural Human Resources Council, and the World Crafts Council.
Strategies for the future:
The CCF/FCMA utilizes a Three-Year Plan, with a mission to advance and promote the vitality and excellence of Canadian craft nationally and internationally to the benefit of Canadian craftspeople and the community at large.
Our current plan is built around three major goals that provide the framework for the federation’s current and future activities:
- Serve as the national conduit between provincial, federal and international organizations for the promotion of Canadian Craft and the Canadian Craft sector.
- Continue to act as the National voice of Craft to increase awareness of and support for Craft.
- Establish and renew infrastructure in order to govern with best practices.
Operating funding is currently provided by the National Arts Services Organization Program of The Canada Council for the Arts and through annual contributions from the provincial and territorial craft councils.
Our board of directors and contact information:
Mailing Address: PO Box 1231, Fredericton, New Brunswick, E3B 5C8
Director: Maegen Black
(506) 462-9560, maegen_at_canadiancraftsfederation.ca
President: Gilles Latour
Past President: Deborah Dumka
First Vice President: Kelly Bruton
Second Vice President and Regional Representative, Yukon: Glenn Piwowar
Treasurer and Regional Representative, Manitoba: Alison Norberg
Secretary: Linda Brine
Regional Representative, Yukon: Glenn Piwowar
Regional Representative, Alberta: Kai Scholefield
Regional Representative, Saskatchewan: David Freeman
Regional Representative, Manitoba: Alison Norberg
Regional Representative, Ontario: Gordon Thompson
Regional Representative, Nunavut: Rowena House
Regional Representative, Quebec: Luc Delavigne
Regional Representative, Prince Edward Island: Ayelet Stewart
Regional Representative, New Brunswick: Kim Bent
Regional Representative, Nova Scotia: Deborah Wheeler
Regional Representative, Newfoundland and Labrador: Michael Flarhety