Craft News


Doors are Open! -July 7

As of Tuesday, July 7, 2020, we are excited to announce that we’re gradually opening up the Craft Ontario Shop and Gallery. Our new public hours are 2:00 – 6:00 pm, Tuesday – Saturday.

The health and safety of our staff and visitors remains top priority, and we are continuing to monitor government announcements and information to ensure that our safety plan is up to date.

In order to provide a safe and enjoyable experience, we have put in place new practices and policies:

  • All visitors are required to wear a mask according to the City of Toronto’s new Bylaw. If you don’t have a mask, we’ll give you one!
  • We’re limiting the number of guests onsite at a time to four in order to implement physical distancing (keeping guests 6 ft apart), and for our staff to be able to provide dedicated customer service. If you would like to plan your visit ahead of time, please call or email the shop (416 921 1721 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).
  • We’re also continuing to offer online sales and contactless curb side pick-up.
  • Sanitization stations are located throughout the space and gloves are available to use.
  • We have an extensive new cleaning schedule and are cleaning high touch surfaces and traffic areas multiple times a day.
  • Please remember not to visit if you are feeling unwell or experiencing any symptoms of illness – we’ll still be here when you’re feeling better.

Remember to stay safe, and we can’t wait to see you back at Craft Ontario soon!


A Message from the Executive Director. -June 11

We have work to do. We have been listening, learning and re-examining our responsibilities in response to the ongoing crisis of anti-Black racism. As a cultural organization that is mandated to support professional craft – to elevate the work and livelihoods of craft artists, we condemn anti-Black racism and choose to stand with racialized and marginalized communities in the arts.

We know that we hold power in resources, space and access to audiences, and that we are not neutral in the way that we operate – we are embedded in social, cultural and economic structures of systemic racism, and the choices that we make have impact.

Moving forward we commit to:

  • Better understand craft practice in Ontario through collaboration and to connect with craft artists through the communities that they belong to, and at the same time, learn what is needed to support their work.
  • Work to align with, and reflect craft communities across Ontario in our programs and services.
  • Analyze and simplify our membership structure in order to address socio-economic and cultural barriers, and ensure equality of participation.
  • Review and implement anti-racism policies and procedures in relation to positions of authority and processes of participation to ensure equitable outcomes.
  • Work with community leaders and organizations, including CPAMO and OOAG, to learn about the difference between equity and diversity, and work to enact change accordingly.
  • Fundraise to establish a financial award for BIPOC craft artists.
  • Put concrete strategies, timelines and measurable results in place, to ensure the ongoing work of holding Craft Ontario accountable.

We will continue to update you on our work. We stand in solidarity against systemic and institutional racism, and we ask you to do the same. Choose to learn, listen and be otherwise.

Janna Hiemstra, Executive Director

Craft Ontario's Response to COVID-19. -May 19

As Stage One of Ontario’s “Framework for Reopening our Province” begins today on May 19, 2020, the Craft Ontario Shop will continue to offer online sales, contactless pick-up, and schedule shopping inquiries or appointments by phone or email (416-921-1721, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Before opening to walk-in traffic, we’re working on making sure that we have all of the safety precautions in place that are needed for both staff and customers. Please feel free to get in touch with any questions in the meantime – we will be announcing our new operating hours shortly. 

In a recent Globe and Mail article, titled ‘Why we need the arts, now more than ever’, Kate Taylor states that: “The arts provide the reassurance of narrative, the peace of contemplation and, most of all, the power of community, experiences that can be hard to define but which the current crisis is laying bare.”

While the context of our work has shifted in the last month due to the impact of COVID-19, our ultimate goal to champion craft has not changed.

We know that craft artists are key contributors to our shared culture – not only through the creation of meaningful objects, but also through teaching skills, providing experiences to build emotional health, and developing social and economic relationships that strengthen community wellbeing. Now, more than ever, we need to ensure that craft artists are supported. Alongside providing support and guidance, promoting work, and advocating to government, we are actively working on new ways to champion craft within our changed context. We'd love to collaborate, partner and work with you, so please get in touch! Janna Hiemstra, Executive Director, is happy to receive an email from you at any time: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

As we begin to open our space, we're very pleased to announce that the Art of the Book 2018 exhibition will be available for the public to visit until July 4, and that we have rescheduled the Mass Wasting exhibition to take place in the fall. We look forward to sharing the upcoming summer CO Space programming with you, and are excited to announce the opening of the 2020 Awards Program, and a call for proposals for 2021 exhibitions

Our staff are continuing to work remotely in support of our members and clients, and you are more than welcome to reach out and connect. Member services are not interrupted, online and custom orders are being taken in the Shop, and we are happy to work with members and supporters on a one-on-one basis to help meet your needs.

Message from the Craft Ontario Board Chair, Cliff Ledwos: 

"These are unusual times. COVID-19 is changing the way we think, feel and interact. Its effects are both global and local. I am acutely aware of the COVID-19 effect in the cultural sector. Shows have closed, artists are reeling - there is a void. The Board and staff of Craft Ontario are committed to you - the artists and supporters of craft. We will work diligently to reduce the impact of COVID-19, support your creativity and bring attention to your needs wherever and whenever possible. Stay safe (wash your hands), create, inspire us. With your strength, we remain a champion of craft!"

As this situation develops, we also want to thank all those who are following good personal health habits and finding ways to support local businesses and artists.

Thank you for your confidence in the work that we do, and we look forward to seeing you again soon!

- The Craft Ontario Team



We know that important conferences, workshops, shows and exhibitions have been cancelled, and that lower levels of public interaction are affecting your plans and income. To stay on top of how COVID-19 is impacting the craft community, and how we can better work to advocate on your behalf, please fill out our Member Impact Survey.



For reliable updates and information on COVID-19:


Craft Ontario's 2020 Annual General Meeting will take place on Thursday, June 25, 5:30 pm

This year the AGM will be hosted as a digital event, with information on how to participate circulated to members. In addition to reviewing 2019, welcoming in new Board members and thanking outgoing Board members, we will be hosting a 'Survive and Thrive' panel discussion with craft artists sharing their stories of resilience during dramatic shifts in our cultural, economic and social realities. 



Craft Year 2020 is a year-long celebration of contemporary fine craft. It is a national festival promoting events from all across the country, and an opportunity to create craft events and activities, or simply re-brand existing programming for Craft Year. This could include exhibitions, workshops, festivals, studio tours and more.

Craft Year is an ongoing initiative rooted in education, connection, and dialogue about the world of craft. It is a path to forging new connections between craft artists, supporters, and the public at large. 

CRAFT YEAR 2020 Will:

  • Encourage craft artists and arts based organizations to make new connections 
  • Increase craft exploration and investment through new opportunities and public events
  • Foster craft activity, awareness and recognition in unexpected places!

Professional craft artists, curators, collectors, community organizers, teachers, or any lovers of all things craft can take part in the event. You can participate by attending or hosting an event, becoming a Craft Council Member or collaborating and connecting with the movement.

Craft based events are happening across Canada all year long. Search for events in your area, and register your own events in the database. Workshops, gallery openings, studio tours, anything that features professional craft and encourages public engagement with this diverse form of art can be a Craft Year event.

Find out more here


Craft is Happening Newsletter

E-NEWS FOR OUR ENTIRE CRAFT NETWORK: If you are not a member of Craft Ontario but would like to connect with our Craft, Art and Design community, subscribe to our public mailing list today!

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Monthly CRAFTFLASH Newsletter

CURATED NEWS AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR OUR MEMBERS: This newsletter's content includes up-to-date calls for entries, promotional and professional development opportunities, information on funding application deadlines, exhibitions, events, and more! To receive this publication, join today!

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Made Today Newsletter

SHOP TRENDS, SPECIALS AND FEATURES: This is a marketting newsletter featuring the beautiful and extraordinary work for sale in the Craft Ontario Shop, at 1106 Queen St. West, Toronto. Subscribe to receive this monthly sneak peak in your inbox!

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Studio Magazine Updates

UPCOMING ISSUE IDEAS, DEADLINES AND NEWS: Studio Magazine offers Canadian perspectives on Craft and Design within the global material culture. Stay updated on what's going on in this exquisite publication, including advertising opportunities, deadlines and special offers. Subscribe today!

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Craft Around Canada Listings

A CURRENT LIST OF CRAFT, ART AND DESIGN EXHIBITIONS, EVENTS AND SHOWS: These listings are accessible to the public, populated by the activities of craft professional from across Canada.

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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.