Board of Directors

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Kim McBrien Evans

Chair: Haliburton, Ontario 

Kim is a lifelong textile artist, working in contemporary basketry, surface design, knitting, spinning and embroidery, completing a Bachelor of Fine Arts at York University in 1992. She has since held positions with many arts and not-for-profit organizations working for the Laidlaw Foundation, the Arts Network for Children and Youth, the Arts Council of Haliburton Highlands and as the Executive Director for both the Nathaniel Dett Chorale and Visual Art Ontario. From 2010-2013 she taught marketing and portfolio presentation at Haliburton School of the Arts – Fleming College before launching her own business, Indigodragonfly, a textile arts retailer. Now she continues to teach and produces knitwear designs and hand dyed yarn known for rich, multifaceted colours and humourous names.

Cliff Ledwos 

Vice-Chair, Toronto, Ontario

Cliff has over 20 years of experience in senior and executive management as well as governance roles in the non-profit sector.  With increasing levels of responsibility he has worked and supported the achievement of high performance standards in the community based primary health and community services environment.  His leadership in the sector includes multiple site locations, developing and implementing innovative programs, services and special projects, community and primary care initiatives and capacity building, human resources, research, facilitation, multiple source fundraising, resource development and allocation and partnership building.  Cliff is a former board member of two Community Health Centres as well as Open Studio Contemporary Printmaking Centre. Cliff brings excellent skills in communication, leadership, coaching/mentoring, innovative, strategic and analytical thinking/planning, systems (re)design combined with sensitivity, determination and motivation.  Cliff has an MA in Canadian Art History and is an enthusiastic collector of Canadian studio ceramics - historical and contemporary - and related documentation material

John Arnold

Treasurer: Guelph, Ontario

John Arnold is a graduate of Trinity College, University of Toronto and Clarkson, Gordon & Co. (now Ernst Young). He has been a founding member of a number of successful companies primarily in the natural resource sector over the past 40 years. He is the past non-executive chairman of a well-known University of Toronto affiliated research based advanced reproductive technology clinic in Toronto. He has served on a variety of not-for-profit boards including as Governor, St. Margaret's Girls School (Elora); Governor, St. John's Kilmarnock School; Director, Windermere Golf & Country Club; and Director, Riverbrink Art Museum.

Stuart Reid

Secretary: Annan, Ontario

Stuart Reid has over 25 years of experience as a leader in the not-for-profit sector. He joined Community Foundation Grey Bruce as Executive Director in 2016 after serving for over four years at Brock University in St. Catharines as director of Rodman Hall Art Centre. He has also served as Executive Director of the Mackenzie Art Gallery in Regina, Saskatchewan, and was an Adjunct Professor at the University of Regina, from 2009 to 2012. From 2001 to 2009, he was Director/Curator of the Tom Thomson Art Gallery in Owen Sound. Reid is a graduate of York University in Toronto. He also completed the J. Paul Getty Trust’s Museum Leadership Institute training at the University of California at Berkeley in 2002. He is an elected member of IKT International Curators of Contemporary Art Network, Luxembourg. An award-winning writer, Reid is the author of over 60 exhibition catalogues and several books. An active community volunteer, he is a former president of the Ontario Association of Art Galleries.

DIRECTORS AT LARGE

Heidi Earnshaw 

Toronto, Ontario

Heidi is a furniture designer/maker living and working in downtown Toronto. She received her art education at the University of Toronto, graduating with High Distinction in 1993. After several years working in diverse studio environments, she returned to school to study design at Sheridan College where she is a part-time faculty member in the furniture studio. Grounded in woodworking and characterized by clean lines and authentic detailing, Heidiʼs work is inspired by Japanese and Scandinavian architecture, Shaker furniture, mid century modernism and traditional craftsmanship. Re-imagining historical and archetypal forms within the context of contemporary design, she aims to create simple, useful and timeless pieces that enhance our daily rituals and add comfort and beauty to the spaces we inhabit. A proponent of "slow design", Heidi's work is designed and made with a multigenerational lifespan in mind using responsibly harvested and enduring materials. Her work has been exhibited across Canada and has been recognized through the Toronto Arts Council, the Ontario Arts council and the Canada Council for the Arts.  In 2014 she was awarded a Fellowship Residency from the Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Colorado.

TRACY HATTEN

TORONTO, ONTARIO

Tracy was first introduced to Craft Ontario in 2011 when she stood outside at 5:00 am so that she could be the first inline for the Cape Dorset Print Collection release. She has not missed a year since. In addition to being an avid collector of Indigenous art, she has a fondness for glass and ceramics and has become a loyal donor of Craft Ontario. With over 30 years experience in the not for profit sector, primarily as a senior fundraiser, Tracy understands the importance of a community rallying behind organizations that are vital to the community, like Craft Ontario. Tracy is excited to be able to bring her strategic planning and fundraising expertise to Craft Ontario and looks forward to the opportunity to meet and thank its supporters in person.

JAY JOO

TORONTO, ONTARIO

Originally from South Korea, Jay Joo received his BFA from the Jewellery and Metalsmithing program at the Ontario College of Art and Design University. During his years at OCAD University, he has acquired a diverse skill set that includes traditional fabrication, chasing and repousse and computer aided design. He was accepted into the Harbourfront Centre's artist-in-residence program and was awarded a scholarship in 2012. After his residency, he established JJSTUDIO on October 1st of 2015. His studio is located in downtown, Toronto, where he promotes local art and craft, teaches and continues his practice as a jeweller.

MELISSA LOWRY

MILTON, ONTARIO

Melissa is a practicing surface/graphic designer and event planner who is passionate about all things handmade. She is the founder and director of Makeology, a growing community of craftspeople that was born out of her passion to help supporting makers and entrepreneurs. Since its inception Makeology has expanded into hosting workshops, a conference, and local curated craft fairs. She currently resides in Milton with her husband and twin boys.

NERSI MAKKI

THORNHILL, ONTARIO

Nersi Makki holds a B.A. and a J.D. from the University of Toronto.  He is a member of the Law Society of Ontario and has been practicing law since 2005 with a focus on civil litigation.  He is a member of the York Region Law Association.  Nersi is actively involved with the University of Toronto Schools Alumni Association.  He is an avid skier and an aspiring gardener.

LINDA MATHER

ELORA, ONTARIO

Linda Mather has no claim to craft talent or ability, but has a great appreciation for the skill and dedication of those who do. The greatest assets she has to offer are creative thinking and common sense, and a passion to be able to advocate for craft to collectors and the general public. Linda Mather’s professional background is in the medical field as a nurse specialist and she is active on several committees for Health Links Ontario. She has experience in the business of film and television sound as she is married to a musician, composer, and sound engineer, whose family has supported Craft Ontario for many years through the Barbara and John Mather Award for Lifetime Achievement.

James A. (Jay) Richardson 

Toronto, Ontario

Jay is a Canadian Chartered Accountant (1970), a Singapore Certified Public Accountant (1986) and a Fellow of the Insolvency Practitioners' Association of the United Kingdom. He has practiced as a Partner of Clarkson Gordon Arthur Young (now Ernst & Young, Canada and Singapore) and a Partner of KPMG (UK) prior to establishing his own practice as a company doctor in Toronto in 1993. Specializing in interim management in troubled situations, he has served as the CEO or Chairman of listed public companies on five occasions and in many other CFO and private company situations. He has extensive public company governance experience from over a dozen Board memberships including presently serving as Interim Chairman of the Argus Corporation. In his very extensive charitable and community activities he is most commonly associated with the visual arts, having served among others as the Chairman of the Royal Canadian Academy Foundation.

ALIA WESTON

TORONTO, ONTARIO

Alia Weston is a designer, educator and entrepreneur. She holds a BA in jewellery design and silversmithing, MA in business management, and a PhD which focused on organizational creativity. She currently occupies the position of Assistant Professor, Creative and Business Enterprise at OCAD University. At OCAD U, Alia co-leads the Minor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and teaches a range of courses that support art and design students in developing socially beneficial business capabilities. Alia’s research explores how alternative business practices can contribute to solving social challenges. Her work has been published in a range of media, including scholarly journals and the Globe and Mail. A notable research collaboration with the Centre for Emerging Artists and Designers (CEAD) at OCAD U gave rise to the This Art Works! web series which showcases OCAD U student and alumni work.  Along-side her position as an educator and researcher, she works as a designer-maker/ entrepreneur selling a range of unique lace-inspired jewellery.

 

 

Who We Are

Formerly the Ontario Crafts Council, Craft Ontario is a not-for-profit service organization that works to have craft recognized as a valuable part of life. We promote and celebrate professional craft through providing member opportunities, and advocate for craft practice by educating and empowering diverse audiences.