The Manitoba Craft Council is for people who love contemporary craft: professional artists and artisans, collectors and connoisseurs, DIYers and armchair enthusiasts. It’s for people who value the originality and quality of the handmade, who find meaning in making. It’s for the dreamers and schemers who seek to reinterpret the material and cultural traditions of the past through a contemporary lens.
It’s for people who have to forge, carve, weave, fold, sculpt, knit. And for their friends and supporters. It’s for you. See, smell, touch, explore the myriad expressions of contemporary craft in Manitoba and be part of a community that is shaped, motivated, and defined by its love of craft.
The Manitoba Craft Council (MCC) was founded in 1978 as Manitoba’s only not-for-profit arts organization dedicated exclusively to contemporary craft. Our purpose is to promote, develop and advocate for contemporary craft and its makers in Manitoba. For over 40 years, the organization has worked to ensure that contemporary craft and the artists who produce it are supported, recognized and celebrated for their contribution to the cultural and economic life of Manitoba.
Over the course of its history, the MCC has engaged Manitobans with the rich diversity of craft. Emerging originally out of the Studio Craft movement of the 1960-70s with its emphasis on fine craft, the MCC has grown to embody an even broader vision, encompassing the full spectrum of what contemporary craft is today. The current MCC membership includes senior and emerging professional craftspeople, university trained visual artists and self-taught DIY crafters. Their work can be functional, sculptural, decorative, conceptual, relational, installation-based or performative, etc. The MCC strives to produce a range of opportunities and programming that addresses the interests and concerns of its broad and diverse membership.
On a practical level, the work of the MCC has taken different forms over time. For many years, the identity of the MCC was defined primarily through its retail outlet (Craftspace) and attached gallery. Following the closure of that space in 2006 and a period of reorganization by its board of directors, MCC programming resumed in 2008. Since that time, the MCC has focused on producing excellent craft-centred programming in partnership with galleries and arts organizations across the province. Regular exhibitions, mentorship opportunities, artist talks and lectures, studio visits, workshops, and retail sales events have formed the core of MCC’s recent programme offerings. Members also benefit from networking, information sharing, and promotional reach made possible through the MCC’s many events, workshops, and social media initiatives.
MCC is located in what we now know as Manitoba, the ancestral lands of the Anishinaabeg, Ininiwak, Dene, Anishininewuk, Dakota Oyate, Inuit Peoples, and the national homeland of the Red River Métis. These lands include territory subject to Treaties 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 10.
Craft occupies a space that has the hand and the handmade at its centre. It rejoices in sharing knowledge and solving problems. It stems from, creates, and nurtures community. It allows us to build bridges through shared action, but also fosters courage, empathy, and connection. We acknowledge the deep harm caused by settlement, and we look forward to using craft in our efforts towards reconciliation and positive change.
MCC’s Board of Directors and Staff
- Keith OliverPresident
- Ida SmithSecretary
- Chris BurkeTreasurer
- Sheila Cailleau Member at Large
- Paul Robles Member at Large
- Alison Gillmor Member at Large
- Anna Hunter Member at Large
- Nichol Marsch Member at Large
- Shaylyn Plett Member at Large
- Sage Wednesday Member at Large
- Tammy Sutherland Executive Director (staff)
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- Chelsey ThiessenCommunications and Administrative Coordinator (staff)
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- Katrina CraigProgramme and Outreach Coordinator (staff)
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