June 22, 1933 – December 23, 2023
The CCF/FMCA is deeply saddened to share that Robert Jekyll passed away on December 23, 2023, at the age of 90. Robert was an extraordinary individual and a true gem in the world of craft. As an accomplished visual artist and an ardent advocate for the craft sector, he touched many lives with his passion and creativity. Robert was a remarkable leader and an inspiring mentor who left an indelible mark on Canadian culture and contemporary fine craft. Our hearts go out to all those who knew and loved him during this challenging time, and we offer our most heartfelt condolences.
An exceptional stained glass artist, Robert’s skills were highly admired by craft aficionados. He was deeply committed to the arts and served as a director on many influential provincial and national arts service organizations. His contributions to the functionality of these associations were invaluable.
Robert’s association with the CCF/FCMA began in the mid-nineties, during a challenging period when the organization (then the Canadian Crafts Council) lost funding and was reduced to a transitional board of volunteers. Undeterred, Robert worked relentlessly to keep the Council operational, and his efforts culminated in the Council’s transformation into the active, functional CCF/FCMA in 1998. His determination was instrumental in preserving the Federation during those turbulent years.
Robert’s dedication to Canadian fine craft was exemplary and significantly impacted the direction of Canadian fine craft organizations. He served as the President of the Ontario Crafts Council from 1998 to 2000 and the Canadian Crafts Federation/Fédération canadienne des métiers d’art (CCF/FCMA) from 2000 to 2003. He played a critical role in programming, advocacy, and direction and went well beyond the call of duty.
Robert was a true character, and his enthusiasm for the arts was contagious. His work inspired countless artists to develop their own unique style, bringing a contemporary flair to a medium often steeped in traditional design. His legacy in the fine craft sector was unparalleled, and he will be deeply missed by craftspeople from coast to coast to coast.
The legacy of Robert Jekyll lives on through the Robert Jekyll Award for Leadership in Craft, a symbol of his unwavering dedication to Canadian fine craft. This award recognizes his countless contributions to the craft community, from his tireless work in administration and organization to his selfless volunteerism. Past recipients include industry leaders like Charles Lewton-Brain and Jean Johnson, along with Robert himself, and we will be thrilled to present it to a deserving individual at our upcoming symposium. It is an honour to have Robert’s name attached to this award, and we are excited to see his legacy continue to inspire future generations of craft enthusiasts and advocates.
If you would like to donate in memory of Robert, please consider contributing to the Robert Jekyll Award for Leadership in Craft, managed by the Canadian Crafts Federation. You can donate by visiting https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/canadian-crafts-federation/.
As a tribute to Robert’s life and legacy, we are hosting a special commemoration as part of the Robert Jekyll Awards on Friday, January 12, 2024. This event will be an opportunity for members of the sector and beyond to come together, share memories of Robert, and celebrate his contributions to the craft sector.
Click Here to Register
To learn more about Robert’s life and work, you can visit the following links:
– Robert Jekyll Award for Leadership in Craft (2016): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TPzCUhnHBc
– Painting with Light (1978): https://youtu.be/uH7N5pnRJ5g?si=-77oXDy94jmUGyZk