Board of Directors

Jerre Davidson
FEATURED MEMBER

Jerre explores the shifting rhythms of a particular space and uses gestural shapes, light, shadow and reflection, to capture these spatial rhythms.

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EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Virginia Eichhorn

Chair: 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. 

Celeste Scopelites

Vice Chair: 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.

Katy Baker

Treasurer: 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.

TRACY HATTEN

Secretary: 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.

Cliff Ledwos 

Past 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.

DIRECTORS AT LARGE

Catherine Clark

Toronto, Ontario

Catherine Clark is a highly experienced and award-winning Customer and Business Strategist with an MBA in Entrepreneurship and Innovation. She has worked on both sides of the Atlantic for large corporates, a ‘Big 4’ management consultancy and creative agencies. Catherine has a genuine admiration for all those who use their skills and creativity to make the lives and homes of others more beautiful, and firmly believes that they should be able to make a living from their talents. She is particularly drawn to pottery and ceramics - which is fortuitous as her partner's father was a potter in the UK.

Christy Haldane

Douro-Dummer, Ontario

Christy Haldane joined the Glass program at Sheridan College in 1996 and has been working with glass as her primary medium ever since. She further participated in a student exchange program with the Canberra School of Art in Australia, which expanded her experience of the intrinsic value of the relationships between art, artists and the broader community. With over two decades as a practicing glass artist, Christy rarely relegates her work to the confines of the studio, and exercises her diverse set of skills in fostering relationships. This is demonstrated through her work as website and membership coordinator with the Glass Art Association of Canada (GAAC), the pivotal role she played in establishing the Electric City Culture Council (EC3) as a sustainable arts incubator in Peterborough, as well as her proprietorship of Proximity Fine Art; a gallery hub on Stoney Lake that made the work of Peterborough Country available to collectors and enthusiasts from across the continent. Christy continues to evolve her practice as a glass artist and has successfully moved her business online to better respond to the market during the Covid-19 pandemic. Christy's life experience dictates that the future is unpredictable and the last couple of years have driven that home, but she sees no end to her continued championing of the arts toward creating a united and sustainable arts community.

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.

José Niaison

Ottawa, Ontario

José Niaison has over thirty-five years of experience in the field of visual arts. He recently retired from the Canada Council for the Arts where he spent the last twenty-two years. Among his responsibilities as a Program Officer were all grant programs to fine craft artists and organizations, including the Jean A. Chalmers Fund for the Crafts and, until 2018, the Saidye Bronfman Award (now a Governor General Award). Fully bilingual, José cultivated relationships with provincial/territorial craft councils and the Canadian Crafts Federation, facilitating access to public funding opportunities for the craft sector nationally. Before joining Council, he also gained invaluable experience in the management of commercial and public galleries, both in Montreal and Ottawa. Trained as an artist and an educator, José has hands-on experience of many craft practices, with an emphasis on ceramics, and a deep enthusiasm and appreciation for the creative process and technical skills of craft artists.

Jeanette Romkema

Toronto, Ontario

Jeanette Romkema is an educator and artist, with a long history of volunteer and community involvement. As an educator, Jeanette currently holds a Masters Degree in Education, serves as Strategic Director and Senior Partner with Global Learning Partners, Inc., a global education and training firm, and is adjunct faculty at the University of Toronto. As an artist, Jeanette earned her Bachelors in Fine Arts in Michigan and a graduate degree in fine arts from Belgium with a focus on photography. In her vocation, she has always woven education and art together. As a customer of Craft Ontario, Jeanette has long admired the craftspeople whose work is featured in the Shop and desired to make a contribution to the craft community. As she has served on several Boards in leadership roles, she brings a wealth of governance experience to the position at Craft Ontario. Jeanette further brings a special interest in the collection and appreciation for Indigenous art and artists. Her profession has allowed her to travel extensively around the globe, and she has a solid collection of artwork from many corners of the world.

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.

 

 

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.