Material Sampling Symposium

Symposium email banner

Save the Dates!

Explore intersections between making, culture and material innovation:

  • Sat, Nov 14, 1:00 pm
  • Sun, Nov 15, 1:00 pm
  • Thurs, Nov 19, 7:00 pm
  • Fri, Nov 20, 7:00 pm
  • Sat, Nov 21, 1:00 pm

The Material Sampling symposium will take place over two weekends, November 14th-15th and November 19th-21st, and will be hosted on Co-presented by Harbourfront Centre and Craft Ontario, this online event features talks and panel discussions from fourteen local, national and international craft artists, designers, educators and scientists who focus on materiality in their work.

Tickets will go on sale October 14th, at, $22.50 regular and $11.50 student.

Material Sampling symposium schedule, all times EST:

Saturday, November 14, 1:00 pm
Keynote: Materials Translating Meaning
Seetal Solanki

Sunday, November 15, 1:00 pm
Panel: Material Curiosity 
Glenn Hibbard
Jessica Lertvilai
Cole Swanson
Michael Massie
Moderated by Gord Thompson, Sheridan College

Thursday, November 19, 7:00 pm
Panel: Materials & Meaning Part 1
Cody James Norman
Jonathon Anderson
April Martin
Moderated by Robyn Wilcox, DesignTO Festival

Friday, November 20, 7:00 pm
Panel: Materials Meaning Part 2
Katherine Gray
Jay Havens
Karin Jones
Moderated by Melanie Egan and Janna Hiemstra, Harbourfront Centre and Craft Ontario

Saturday, November 21, 1:00 pm
Panel: Materials and Embodied Learning
Amber Zuber
Brigitte Clavette
Meghan Price
Moderated by Nehal El-Hadi, Studio Magazine

Harbourfront Centre is a not-for-profit cultural centre internationally recognized as a Canadian leader in contemporary arts and ideas. The Craft & Design Studio is an artist-in-residency incubator and training centre that uses a self-directed and transformative learning ethos. We advocate for collaboration between craft, design, and art, and strive to blur the boundaries between disciplines.

Craft Ontario is a non-profit member-based organization for people who love contemporary craft: professional craft artists, collectors, admirers and supporters. By connecting makers and audiences and by collaborating throughout the cultural sector, we strive to cultivate a community that is shaped, motivated and defined by craft. We promote craft and support the careers of craft artists through exhibitions, events, retail, publications, awards, and business tools for creative entrepreneurs.



Canadian Craft Biennial
August 19, 2017 to October 29, 2017

The Art Gallery of Burlington, in collaboration with Craft Ontario, is proud to present the first Canadian Craft Biennial from August 19, 2017 – October 29, 2017. The launch of this inaugural event during Canada’s 150th anniversary will serve as a spotlight to celebrate and educate on the importance of contemporary craft throughout Canada’s diverse history and future. Under the theme Can Craft? Craft Can! the Biennial will explore what and who is ‘Canadian Craft’?

Biennial Call for Entry Banner

Exhibitions: August 19 – October 29, 2017
International Ceramic Exhibition: Anton Reijnders

Biennial Opening Celebrations: Friday September 15, 2017, 6:00 pm-9:00 pm
Lee-Chin Family Gallery, Art Gallery of Burlington

Dutch ceramist Anton Reijnders will present his new work in a solo exhibition.

National Craft Exhibition: Can Craft? Craft Can!

Bringing together seventy makers from across Canada, Can Craft? Craft Can! will present works in glass, ceramics, wood, metal and fibre that address three subthemes exploring ideas of Identity, Sustainability and Materiality.

Craft Ontario Provincial Exhibition: Nothing is Newer than Tradition

Craft Ontario’s Nothing is Newer than Tradition will present the work of emerging Ontario makers that reflect a dedicated engagement with specialized skills and materials. The exhibition will explore how craft materials, tools and processes are creatively reiterated through the hands of a new generation of makers.

Craft Biennial Residencies

Six makers and six writers/scholars from a range of material disciplines will spend ten days discussing and making in a creative national incubator. Makers will provide innovative and exciting possibilities for moving the conversation outside academic discourse and encourage public engagement with issues of tradition and innovation, vernacular and global, hand-made and high-tech. Writers will engage in the discussion to explore new ideas and challenge current craft discourse.

Makers Residency
  • Teresa Burrows
  • Joon Hee Kim
  • Maja Padrov
  • Mia Riley
  • Anne Steves
  • Carolyn Young
Writers Residency
  • Mary Callahan Baumstark
  • Terri Fidelak
  • Julia Krueger
  • Andrew Rabyniuk
  • Sarah Swan
  • Katrina Tompkins
Can Craft? Craft Can! Craft Symposium
Friday September 15, Holiday Inn, Burlington
Saturday September 16, OCAD University, Toronto

Eleven sessions covering a variety of themes and approaches, will be presented by forty-four scholars and makers from around the world.

Symposium Details and Registration

To read more about the featured speakers, please download the full schedule and brochure below.

Full Symposium Schedule



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.