Craft Ontario 40th Anniversary Awards Gala

Every five years, Craft Ontario hosts a gala evening for friends of the organization. It is a chance to get together, catch up, and enjoy a wonderful meal. It is a time to reflect on our progress, celebrate our successes and look ahead to our future in the company of those who also believe deeply in the importance of craft. The evening centers on the presentation of the Anniversary Award Series.

Craft Ontario Anniversary Award Series

The Anniversary Award Series was established in 2011 to celebrate the spirit of community and giving as exemplified by some of the craft community’s greatest supporters - M. Joan Chalmers C.C., O.ONT, Mary and Bill Corcoran, John and Barbara Mather and the Craft Ontario Volunteer Committee. Craft Ontario is pleased to present this year's recipients of the Anniversary Award Series. Presented every five years in alignment with our major anniversaries, these awards celebrate those individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the spirit, vitality and longevity of Ontario’s craft community.

2016 Recipients

The Joan Chalmers Award: 
Robert Jekyll

The Joan Chalmers Award, established by the Craft Ontario Board of Directors, recognizes an individual’s longstanding support of craft in Ontario. 

The Mary and Bill Corcoran Award:
Kent & Douglas Farndale

The Mary and Bill Corcoran Award, established by Craft Ontario’s Volunteer Committee, celebrates volunteerism and the support of craft-based organization. 

The John and Barbara Mather Award for Lifetime Achievement:
Michael Fortune

The John and Barbara Mather Award for Lifetime Achievement, established by the Craft Ontario Board of Directors, is awarded to an individual who is truly outstanding in their field and has displayed exceptional committment to the further development of craft. 

The Craft Ontario Volunteer Committee 40th Anniversary Award:
Jessica Steinhäuser

The Craft Ontario Volunteer Committee 40th Anniversary Award is a one-time award recognizing excellence in the field of professional craft practice. 

 2011 Recipients

The Joan Chalmers Award: 
M. Joan Chalmers,O.C.,O.Ont. & Barbara Mather

  • About Joan
    As the founding President of the Ontario Crafts Council, and in her positions with the Ontario Crafts Foundation and the Canadian Crafts Council, Joan Chalmers has been a visionary leader, a passionate advocate and a committed supporter of crafts in Ontario.
  • About Barbara
    Barbara Mather has continued her family’s support of the John Mather Award since her husband John’s death in 1977. Since 1980, the John Mather Award for Lifetime Achievement has been awarded to 91 people who have displayed exceptional commitment to furthering the development of craft in Ontario and throughout Canada.

The Mary & Bill Corcoran Award:
Mrs. Mary and Mr. Bill Corcoran

  • About Mary and Bill
    Mary Corcoran was a founding member of Craft Ontario’s Volunteer Committee and has been an active member ever since. Together with her husband Bill Corcoran, Ontario’s craft sector has prospered through their volunteer activity, patronage, and Mary’s own craft practice.

Coming soon.


CLOSING DATE: Wednesday, October 11, 2023, 7:30 pm EST

Support Craft Ontario through the Falling for Craft online auction! All proceeds go towards supporting Craft Ontario programs that have a direct impact on the careers of craft artists.


We can only succeed in our mission to champion craft through the generousity of our donors and patrons - your support means everything to us!




Craft Ontario was founded in 1976 through the merger of the Canadian Guild of Crafts (Ontario, 1931) and the Ontario Craft Foundation (1966), and is registered with Revenue Canada as a charitable organization under the corporate name Ontario Crafts Council (charitable tax number: 11887 8511 RR 0001). Our vision is for a world where craft is acknowledged as a source of enrichment in life and valued for its artistic, cultural and economic merit.

We champion, promote and support craft by:

  • Being the leading advocating voice for craft makers in Ontario
  • Maximizing craft makers’ potential as artists and entrepreneurs
  • Providing a forum for critical debate
  • Enhancing the public’s enjoyment of craft through education and access

Craft Ontario’s annual programs include exhibitions of professional work that range from handmade ceramic tableware to one-of-a-kind furniture pieces; workshops and professional development services for our members as creative-entrepreneurs; conferences that reach a national audience; a retail Shop where we support sales of member work; and Studio: Craft & Design in Canada, a magazine published twice a year with readers throughout the country.

Overall, Craft Ontario works to provide opportunities for craftspeople that range from addressing business needs to providing promotional space in the arts and culture community. These services are crucial to craft artists across the province, and Craft Ontario is committed to maintaining and developing this unique role. 

Image: Plate by Builder Burner Ceramics, Alana Lea Wilson



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.