In these uncertain times, we want to share a message of hope.
The craft sector is undoubtedly reeling from the impact of this global crisis. Many of us are hurting, economically and socially, as we struggle with current challenges, while facing an unclear future. These are the new realities of the craft sector, the cultural sector, and the global economy at large. We recognize these difficulties, and we are fighting to ensure that the federal response to this unprecedented crisis recognizes our sectors’ critical needs as well.
Our message to you – the craftspeople of Canada – is that you are not alone. We are in this together. Our work and our mandate: to create connections, and champion craft has not changed. Our recent work in digital research supported by the Canada Council for the Arts’ Digital Fund and the #10digittech conference held in Saskatoon in early March proves that the national craft sector has been actively working toward digital adjustment and improvement for some time – the longstanding need to adapt is now amplified.
One of our key objectives at the CCF/FCMA is to advocate for craft. As the impact of this crisis grows, so does our drive to ensure that craft is heard and seen for the innovative, effective, economic powerhouse that it is.
- On March 18th, we released an open letter to the federal government, proposing immediate and long term recommendations to support the sector. We encourage you to utilize this letter for your own outreach and advocacy.
- We are working closely with our partners at the Visual Arts Alliance, ArtsPond, and the Canadian Arts Coalition to ensure that the craft sector is contributing to collaborative cultural demands for inclusion in the federal government’s Economic Recovery Package, and to assist in the coordinated collection of data to support this cause.
- Of extreme importance, we are encouraging craft artists to track and report financial impacts. Our partners at Craft Alliance Atlantic created an excellent loss documentation resource for craft artists and organizations, to help them capture the true picture of non-recoverable expenses and income lost. Use these loss documentation templates to guide your reports as all levels of government are stressing the importance of collecting this information.
Participating in craft specific surveys and national cultural sector surveys are both equally important. Locally, you may have received calls to complete surveys, or report lost income. Please heed these calls, as the CCF/FCMA aims to collate regional craft survey information into a national report.
We implore you to also complete the Artspond Ilostmygig.ca survey, which will capture the impact for all cultural sectors in one cohesive report. We want to empower every craft artist in Canada to be an advocate. We encourage you to tell your story, share how this crisis has affected you personally, and the sector at large. Share our open letter with your local MP, and share your personal story with them, so they know the arts sector is affected in their local community.
There is no silver lining to the current situation, but it is encouraging to see just how many people across the country, and around the globe, have turned to craft as a salve and a support during these trying times. When the markets close and events are cancelled, when shops close their doors and industry shutters, when we social distance for the greater good – the health and well being of our most vulnerable – craft lives on. In our homes, through our digital community, in the hands of professionals and hobbyists alike… craft finds a way. And in doing so, helps us all to find our way.
The CCF/CMA and your provincial and territorial craft councils continue to meet and advocate for support from all levels of government. Stay tuned to our website and follow us on Facebook and Instagram for future updates.