2021 Laureate for the Robert Jekyll Award for Leadership in Craft
“The entire community has benefited immensely from her commitment to craft and by granting this award, may it express a bit of our appreciation and admiration for her dedication, energy, generosity and superb leadership.”Pamela Ritchie, artist-jeweller
As Executive Director of Craft Nova Scotia, Susan guided, influenced, and contributed to the ongoing development of craft on a provincial, national, and international level. Leading not only Craft Nova Scotia itself, but also the Centre for Craft Nova Scotia, one of Canada’s only public institutions dedicated to education, promotion and opportunities for fine craft artists in the province, which includes the craft-focused Mary E. Black Gallery.
Working with all three levels of government, she often acted as a policy consultant, serving on a variety of advisory and steering committees, including the inaugural board of Arts Nova Scotia, the Organizing Committee of the G7 Showcase Halifax, and the NS Cultural Human Resources Group. A founding Board member of Craft Alliance Atlantic Association, she was also heavily involved in work with the Canadian Crafts Council, and its transformation to the Canadian Crafts Federation, the Trade Team Canada Craft Working Group, Nova Scotia Cultural Network, Cultural Federations of Nova Scotia, and Arts Nova Scotia.
In her 33 years with Craft Nova Scotia, her leadership opened opportunities for craft artists to participate in Design Week, the Cheongju International Craft Biennale, Professional Artists in the Schools, and countless wholesale, export, and business growth opportunities. She contributed greatly to projects like the “Life’s Work: Six Conversations with Makers” series of film shorts, and on a regular basis guided gallery exhibitions, contemporary art fairs, trade shows, best practices missions, educational missions, conferences and exploratory partnerships with craft organizations and events across Canada, the USA, and Europe.
Susan represented the craft community with distinction, bringing joy and dedication to every project. As an administrator, advocate, and director, her effective diplomacy has inspired so many.
Thank you to Julie Rosvall and Jeffrey Cowling for nominating Susan for Robert Jekyll Award.
The Robert Jekyll Award for Leadership in Craft celebrates distinguished contributors to the craft sector and is one of the highest markers of exceptional commitment to the development of the craft community in Canada. Named after the founding president of the CCF/FCMA, stained glass artist and arts administrator Robert Jekyll, this award reflects the role he played in guiding, expanding, and leading the craft sector in Canada. To be a recipient of this award is to be recognized as an invaluable citizen of craft.
You can donate to the Robert Jekyll Award for Leadership in Craft through CanadaHelps.org. Your financial support helps the Canadian Crafts Federation administer and celebrate nominees. Every year, this award is made possible by donors like you. Thank you!