Staff Directory

 
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Meet the Craft Ontario Staff

Administration   Craft Ontario Shop   Studio Magazine

 

Craft Ontario Administration

Janna Hiemstra

Executive Director

T 416 925 4222 Ext.225
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Janna has been with Craft Ontario since 2007, and in 2009 graduated with a degree in Criticism and Curatorial Practice from OCAD University. She has held the position of Curator and Director of Programming since 2014. With a background in philosophy and cultural theory, as well as two years of working as a ceramic studio assistant, she works to guide Craft Ontario’s four core areas of focus to address member needs, educate the public regarding contemporary craft practice, and advocate for the craft community. Balancing member professional development with public engagement, she currently has the lead role in directing organization growth and programming. Janna taught craft history courses for Sheridan College's Craft & Design Program 2011 - 2013, and served on the Executive Committee of the Canadian Society of Decorative Arts 2013 - 2017.

Gilles Latour

Development Officer

T 416 925 4222 Ext.222
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For over 15 years Gilles Latour has contributed to the growth of the Canadian education sector as Chief Operating Officer of the EdCan Network - Canadian Education Association. As COO Gilles’s role included the management of budgets, oversight of all areas of membership, events management, sponsorship and patron development, circulation and publishing areas of the association. For his professional volunteering background Gilles is Past President of the Canadian Society of Association Executive Trillium Chapter – a non-profit professional association providing knowledge and resources to the association sector. Gilles has contributed greatly towards arts related organizations such as the Past President of Craft Ontario (formerly the OCC) and Past President of the Canadian Crafts Federation. Gilles currently sits and Chairs on a number of committees at the professional and arts volunteer sectors.

Elycia SFA

Member Relations and Programs Manager

T 416 925 4222 Ext.221
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Elycia has been a Craft Ontario member since 2015, which is also when she graduated from the Material Art and Design Program at OCADU. In 2016, she became an Artist-in-Residence in the Textile Studio at Harbourfront Centre where she maintains her studio practice as a weaver. Elycia has eight years of experience in administration and customer service in creative, art based environments, and will be bringing her knowledge to the Membership Relations & Programs Manager position. Elycia has received wonderful support and assistance from Craft Ontario as a member, and is looking forward to her new role where she can return the favor to the Craft Ontario community.

Robyn Wilcox

Curator

T 416 925 4222 Ext.226
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Robyn Wilcox is a Toronto-based arts programmer and administrator. With a post-professional Master of Architecture (McGill University) in cultural mediations and technology, and a background in the arts, Robyn is interested in the intersection of craft, art, and design. She has curated and co-curated exhibitions at Harbourfront Centre, Craft Ontario, and Urbanspace Gallery. For over six years, she worked in Craft & Design at Harbourfront Centre where she helped run Canada’s foremost Artist-in-Residence Program in ceramics, glass, textiles, jewellery, and design. Robyn has worked with DesignTO since 2016, where she is currently the Head of Programming.

Sally McCubbin

Digital & Design Solutions Manager

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Sally joined Craft Ontario as Communications Coordinator in the summer of 2017, evolving into Digital and Design Solutions Manager in spring of 2018. She is a glass artist, designer and educator, working as an independent creative since 2005. Her passion for problem solving and new technology inspired her interest in User Experience design. Today she leverages this approach to design thinking in all her professional activities. For excellence in glass, Sally has received national recognition in the way of grants and awards and taught hot-glass and business practice at Sheridan College from 2009-2018. Today she pursues an independent art career in public art and architectural glass art.

Sharmaine Mehta

Communications Coordinator

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​Sharmaine Mehta is an international student from UAE and India and is in her fourth year of Communication Studies at York University. She has had previous internship experience in three advertising agencies globally, helping create promotional content, edit writing and generate campaign ideas. Currently holding a position of Residence Don at York University, she manages the welfare of students by planning events and initiatives for them.

Meranda MacKenzie

Finance Controller

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Meranda joined Craft Ontario in 2013 and is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Accounting Department including daily banking, accounts payable, payroll and preparing for yearly audits.

CRAFT ONTARIO SHOP STAFF

Caitlin Lawrence

Sales & Accounts Manager

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Caitlin has been with Craft Ontario for 25 years. Her knowledge of the craft community and the work represented in the Shop is phenomenal!

Liz Durden

Project and Merchandise Manager

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A longtime Craft Ontario admirer, Liz joined as a Sales Associate in 2018. Liz is thrilled to be part of an organization that supports and values craft and craftspeople in Canada. Liz holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Alberta, and is a recent graduate from the Industrial Design program at OCAD University. Combining her education, Liz pursues her interests in user experience, universal design, and creative problem solving for complex social issues. Liz is passionate about using design innovation, community building, and collective responsibility for social change. Prior to attending OCADU, Liz worked as the Production Coordinator for CJSW Radio in Calgary. Hosting and producing two radio programs and training a roster of production volunteers showed her the value of community engagement and collaboration. At OCADU, she was able to improve her studio skills, with her practice including functional ceramics, woodworking and garment production. Raised in a creative family, Liz can’t remember a time when her hands weren’t busy knitting, sewing or otherwise making!

Maurie Todd

Senior Sales Associate

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After a 30-year career in disability management, Maurie started at the Craft Ontario Shop in 2005 on a part time basis. She is an active volunteer at the Textile Museum of Canada and brings her textile knowledge to the Shop. Maurie also teaches rug hooking, knitting and needlepoint at The Knit Café in Toronto, ON.

STUDIO MAGAZINE STAFF

Nehal El-Hadi

Editor-in-Chief

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Nehal El-Hadi is an editor, journalist and researcher based in Toronto. She has previously lived in London (UK), Muscat (Oman), Khartoum (Sudan) and Moose Jaw (Saskatchewan).

With over 15 years of writing and editing experience, Nehal’s interdisciplinary work has appeared in journalistic, academic, literary and art gallery publications, and is forthcoming in several anthologies and edited collections. Themes explored in her writing include the relationships between virtual and material spaces, the agency of digital objects, and gendered and racialised online experiences. Her short film Blaxites (2019) was commissioned by the Surveillance Studies Centre at Queens University and is being used to teach about the implications of technology use.

Nehal has a Ph.D. in Planning from the University of Toronto and is a Visiting Scholar at York University’s City Institute. She has taught place-based writing courses at the University of Toronto Scarborough and creative non-fiction and poetry to community groups.

Lera Kotsyuba

Managing Editor

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Lera Kotsyuba is an editor, curator, and art historian based in Toronto. She completed her MA in Art History with a Curatorial Studies diploma at York University in 2015. Working across disciplines in architectural history and craft, she has recently worked on the Inuit Artist Database for the Inuit Art Foundation, worked as editor for the publication “A Thousand Colours” by glass artist Sarah Hall, and convened a session at the 2017 Canadian Craft Biennale on Craft and Public Art. She currently serves as a board member of the William Morris Society.

Julie Nicholson

Advertising Representative

T 416 925 4222 Ext.228
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Julie Nicholson is a creative place-maker, curator and advocate, exploring the intersection of contemporary craft and design in Canada for over 10 years. From 2006-2014, Julie was co-founder/owner of MADE, a design studio and showroom dedicated to emerging Canadian designer/makers. In 2009 she co-founded ToDO, The Toronto Design Offsite Festival.  Julie has taught in the Craft and Design program at Sheridan College and worked on design projects with numerous clients and collaborators. She continues to develop curatorial and place-making activities through evolving platforms such as Do Design. As Publications Representative for Studio since 2014, Julie enjoys developing and managing relationships with individuals and organisations in support of the magazine.

Dale Barrett

Artistic Director

Dale's practice focuses on the development and design of identity programs, marketing materials and publications for art galleries, museums, arts organizations and cultural institutions. He uses the language of design to shape client messages in fresh and compelling ways without sacrificing the proprietary nature of the message. Following undergraduate studies (B.A. Fine Art, Asbury University), he worked in various positions in the art gallery sector, and currently works for Canadian Art magazine.

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.