About MCML

Canada’s Only Museum of Craft — Our Story

Dedicated to preserving the heritage, teaching the student, inspiring the artist, and promoting a way of life that values the handmade, the Manitoba Crafts Museum and Library has its origins in the early years of the Crafts Guild of Manitoba. The Guild was formed in 1928 as a branch of the Canadian Handicrafts Guild, and in 1933 that group established both a Permanent Collection and Library.

Over the years, volunteers worked to develop the collection, create exhibits, establish and deliver programming, and to care for the collection according to museum standards.

The Guild also established, in the early 1930s, a library of craft publications and patterns for use in workshops and by craftspeople.
The Library grew steadily over the years, and in 1948 was named the Gladys Chown Memorial Library in memory of a President of the Guild who died while in office. In the early 1990s volunteers worked to institute established library procedures and to develop the library into a more comprehensive resource.

In 1997 the Crafts Guild of Manitoba closed its doors, but the two collections were kept together and are managed by the Manitoba Crafts Museum and Library, an independent organization.

MCML’s Guiding Principles

VISION: Manitobans inspired, engaged, and connected through craft

MISSION: The mission of the Manitoba Craft Museum and Library is to:

  • Collect, preserve, and hold historical and contemporary craft in trust
  • Celebrate craft through exhibits, presentations, and programs
  • Facilitate the exchange of ideas and build interest in and appreciation for craft

Core Values

Honouring the handmade – MCML recognizes the inherent value of creating and appreciating craft

Organizational excellence – MCML endeavours to maintain the highest standards in developing and preserving its collection and in providing services

Exchanging knowledge – MCML values learning in all its forms and strives to offer and support opportunities for growth and increased understanding of craft and its cultural roles

Fostering participation – MCML aims to ensure that its collection and programs are accessible to all

Ensuring transparency – MCML is accountable to its membership and its community and operates openly and intentionally

Commitment to diversity and inclusion – MCML strives to be inclusive and welcoming and to ensure diversity throughout the organization and its operations

Strategic Plan – Approved March 2022

  1. Grow membership and organizational involvement – expand and diversify the membership of MCML as well as increasing value for membership and program participation
    1. Review and understand current programming and membership benefits for value and consistency, including the library, workshops, online services, and membership-specific advantages
    2. Explore the implementation of programming that is more relevant to communities which are less represented in MCML membership
    3. Utilize effective communications media to reach existing and new members with information on MCML and increase exposure to craft
  1. Grow organizational capacity – generate sustainable income and ensure capable and supported human resources
    1. Review fundraising strategy and develop a plan to grow and diversify revenue sources, and grow the endowment fund to further the mission in the long term
    2. Attract, sustain, and support expert staff and volunteer resources
    3. Develop strategy on use of internal resources to ensure all aspects of the mission are supported
  1. Increase MCML’s inclusivity, diversity, and connectivity – make MCML more accessible by engaging with underserved communities, building and expanding partnerships, and removing barriers to participation
    1. Develop a diversity, equity, and inclusion approach to the work of MCML that lives up to the spirit of Reconciliation while also ensuring community representation in the collections
    2. Strengthen partnerships and relationships with other groups such as museums or community organizations in order to further the mission
    3. Engage in outreach efforts to promote the organization and build interest in the handmade

MCML’s Board of Directors and Staff

  • Name Title
  • Marieke Gruwel  Co-President
  • Judith Huebner Co-President
  • Lise Brown Treasurer
  • Emma Hill Kepron Secretary
  • Catherine Acebo  Member at Large
  • Leah Gertzen Member at Large
  • Sabrina Janke Member at Large
  • Andrea Reichert Curator (staff)
  • Mackenzie Martens Museum Collections Assistant (staff)
  • Ana Ilagan  Communication and Engagement Assistant (staff)
  • Margaret Firlotte  Community Engagement Coordinator (staff)