Board of Directors

Alice Yujing Yan
FEATURED MEMBER

Alice explores forms that are both representative of architectural elements that she loves and her innermost emotional feelings.

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EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Cliff Ledwos 

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.

Virginia Eichhorn

Vice Chair and Treasurer: Midland, Ontario

Virginia Eichhorn has worked in the visual arts field for over twenty-five years. She is currently the Executive Director & Curator of Quest Art School + Gallery in Midland, ON. Previous positions include the Director & Chief Curator of the Tom Thomson Art Gallery (The TOM) from 2009-2018, and she was the first full time Curator of the Canadian Clay & Gallery from 2005-2009.  In 2009 she won the Ontario Crafts Council Award for Curatorial Excellence.  Under her leadership the TOM received an A rating from the Ontario Arts Council which means the TOM exceeded the standards of excellence artistically and administratively. In 2016 she successfully completed the Certificate in Not-for-Profit and Charity Finance Leadership programme through the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario programme. In 2017 she contributed a case study to the revised edition of the Manual of Strategic Planning for Cultural Organizations published by Lord Cultural Resources. 

James A. (Jay) Richardson 

Secretary: 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 EnerSpar Corp. 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.

DIRECTORS AT LARGE

Katy Baker

Etobicoke, Ontario

Katy Baker is a certified international trade professional (CITP), CPA-CMA, and has been an Export Development Officer and more recently operated her own Export Consultancy. Over the course of her career she has worked and collaborated with some of Canada's top trade development entities: Innovation PEI (PE), Kisserup International (NS), Atlantic Craft Alliance (NS), Grow Trade Consulting (ON), and BDC (ON) to name a few, where she worked, collectively, with over 500 companies across multiple sectors (bio-science, agriculture, fisheries, tech, craft & consumer products) and world trading regions (China, India, Brazil, UK, EU and US markets) assisting in client-companies' global growth ambitions. In her earlier career, Katy was the managing director of two non-profits, a Craft Development Officer and a regional event specialist building cultural collateral in her home province of Prince Edward Island Katy graduated from UPEI with her B-Com majoring in Marketing.

CALVIN BROOK

Toronto, Ontario

Calvin Brook is an architect, planner and urban designer, and co-founder with Anne McIlroy of Brook McIlroy Inc., a multi-disciplinary practice with offices in Toronto, Thunder Bay and Winnipeg. He co-established with Ryan Gorrie – an Anishinaabe architect and artist - the Indigenous Design Studio of Brook McIlroy as a unique practice area drawing together teams of Indigenous architects/designers/artists to lead projects in collaboration with the firm’s non-Indigenous professionals. The work of the Studio addresses Indigenous community needs at all levels with a focus on education, health and cultural facilities. A key objective is to kick-start the role that design and place-making can play in rethinking culture, education and shelter in a very important historical moment of cultural revival for Indigenous Peoples across Canada. At the same time providing opportunities for non-Indigenous Canadians to connect to the deep culture and world-views of our founding peoples. This work explores land-based teaching and the way buildings and landscapes can tell stories and make fundamental connections between form, materials and embedded artistic expression. Cal is an active member of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, and led Brook McIlroy’s process as the first design practice in Canada to be certified by CCAB’s Progressive Aboriginal Relations program. He was formerly Director of the Career Discovery Urban Design Program at Harvard University and an Associate Professor of Urban Design at the University of Waterloo. He is a Fellow of Architecture Canada (FRAIC) and a Senior Fellow of the University of Toronto’s Global Cities Institute.

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.

MARY K. MCINTYRE

Toronto, Ontario

Mary K. McIntyre has 25 years' experience in marketing and communications for the craft and design sectors. As Director of Business Development for architectsAlliance, she communicates complex ideas about architecture and urban design to a range of audiences. Mary is also a practicing metalsmith and jeweller, who sees teaching and curation as key strategies for promoting the profile of craft in a globalized, digital society. She has taught and held residencies at the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design, and has curated craft and architecture exhibitions at the Design Exchange and Harbourfront Centre. Between 2005 and 2014, Mary served as Exhibitions Chair for the Metal Arts Guild of Canada, and art directed MAGazine, the Guild's quarterly publication. She studied with Bronfman Award-winning silversmith Lois Etherington Betteridge and holds a BFA in Material Arts and Design from OCAD University. Her work is held in the permanent collection of the Art Gallery of Guelph and is represented by galleries in Ottawa, Fredericton and Vancouver.

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.

Celeste Scopelites

Peterborough, Ontario

Celeste Scopelites is the Director of the Art Gallery of Peterborough, previously the Director/Curator at the Art Gallery of Sudbury, and prior to that Manager of the Residency Program and Curator at the Living Arts Centre. Her education was both in fine art and craft, specifically textiles. She graduated from the OCA Textiles Department and continued her studies at Cranbrook Academy of Art's Fibre Department. In her early career as a craftsperson she ran her own weaving business and studio shop. This practical experience served her well in future roles, and her interest and passion for craft has influenced many of the public gallery exhibitions she has programmed. In her current role at the Art Gallery of Peterborough she has helped build its Shop reputation for representing craft, and works with local initiatives, such as the Kawartha Autumn Studio Tour, to connect with and support craft. She has hands-on experience in dealing with critical and time sensitive organizational challenges, and she welcomes the opportunity to bring the expertise of her experiences to help support the ongoing vitality of Craft Ontario.

BRANDON SOUSA

Toronto, Ontario

Brandon Sousa is an experienced corporate communications professional who has worked for some of Canada’s largest brands and publicly traded companies. With a passion for travel, Brandon writes articles on destinations around the globe for magazines and online news publications, and is accredited by the Travel Writers’ Network. Brandon holds a Graduate Certificate in Public Relations with Honours from Humber College, a Bachelor of Arts in Media, Information & Technoculture, and a Certificate in Writing from the University of Western Ontario. He served on the Craft Ontario Board of Directors from 2016 to 2018 during the organization’s chapter of change.

MARTHA TURNER OSBORNE

TORONTO, ONTARIO

Martha Turner is a seasoned and award-winning digital marketing and sales executive with over 20 years of experience building brands in innovative and socially responsible ways that help organizations break through complex and fragmented markets. Her lifelong passions include sustainable ecosystems, fitness and art collecting. Martha’s current obsessions include collecting hand-made jewellery, ceramics and Indigenous art. Herself a knitter, Martha appreciates the importance of working with our hands and creating as self-expression. Martha holds an M.A. from the University of Toronto, and has sat on many advisory councils and not-for-profit boards, including The Digital Advisory Committee for Sick Kids Foundation, The Jane Goodall Institute and EcoSchools Canada. When not obsessing about art, Martha is busy as a mother of two daughters, wife, doggie mom, and a whole-food, plant-based foodie.

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.