Citizens of Craft

Craft Ontario, in partnership with Canadian Crafts Federation, the Manitoba Craft Council and all Provincial and Territorial Craft Councils in Canada announced the highly-anticipated launch of their new ground-breaking movement called Citizens of Craft at the Harbourfront Centre on Saturday, March 14, 2015.
Citizen Yellow_ENG
Citizens of Craft is a movement for those who are keen to develop their own style and aesthetic, those who are not easily swayed by aspirational advertising. It is a movement for those who value the idea of ‘unique’ and ‘one-of-a-kind’. A Citizen of Craft values the rich history and culture associated with craft and seeks to continue traditions in new and contemporary ways. A Citizen of Craft is fascinated by the maker behind the art, their practice and process and is proud to own their work. A Citizen of Craft understands the collective worth of community and appreciation of Canadian craft heritage.
The public is invited to participate in the movement and declare themselves a Citizen of Craft by sharing stories and ideas through social media using the hashtag #CitizensofCraft, visiting the website and displaying and wearing our buttons and t-shirts. The current phase of the movement is focusing on community engagement with future plans to introduce a new way to navigate craft, makers, appreciators and curators across Canada.
The goal of Canadian Crafts Federation and all the Provincial and Territorial Craft Councils is to expand public understanding and appreciation of craft practice. These organizations also strive to provide professional opportunities for makers in Canada and create excitement over the value of craft. Craft represents tradition, passed on from generations to generations, it represents a livelihood and a way to make a living, it also represents a form of creative expression, a place where artistic skill and ingenuity is cultivated, but ultimately craft can have a unique significance for each individual and community.
Defining craft is a global challenge. A noticeable increase in interest into ‘buying local’ and ‘DIY projects’ has attracted the attention of large corporate retailers, and pushed them to create their own ‘craft’ products — beer, food products, house décor, and accessories, among others. At the same time, products promoted in this way are often completely disconnected from the realities of the values associated with craft through their existence as mass-produced objects created within unsustainable systems of exploitative material and labour practices. Citizens of Craft is a movement that seeks to answer the questions: What is craft? How do we define it? How can we broaden its appeal on a national level and support craft makers across Canada?
Citizens of Craft was generously supported by a number of funders and partners – Canadian Heritage, the Strategic Initiative Fund, the Government of Ontario and the Cultural Development Fund, and through the Arts Branch, Manitoba Government.