We deliver on our Mission and achieve our Vision by:
Craft Ontario is a registered charitable organization under the legal name Ontario Crafts Council (118878511RR0001), founded in 1976 as a merger between the Canadian Guild of Crafts (1931) and the Ontario Craft Foundation (1966). Based in Toronto since its inception, Craft Ontario currently offers programs and services to 1200 members across Ontario, 1000 of which are professional craft artists, businesses, galleries, guilds and organizations.
Craft Ontario’s work, and the work of our members, takes place on traditional Indigenous territories across Ontario. Craft Ontario’s Gallery is located on the traditional Indigenous territory of the Huron-Wendat, Haudenosaunee, and most recently, the territory of the Mississaugas of the New Credit. Today, Tkaranto is still home to Indigenous people, and Craft Ontario is grateful to have the opportunity to meet and work on this territory, and is committed to advancing reconciliation and de-colonization.
As a multi-disciplinary craft organization devoted to the support, advocacy and promotion of Ontario craft and craft artists, Craft Ontario operates in four parts: (1) as an art service provider, (2) presentation space, (3) publisher, and (4) retailer.
Our services and programs provide support for craft artists at all career levels, while raising awareness of, providing access to, and growing appreciation for their work. Craft Ontario’s primary areas of focus include: member services and professional development programming, including workshops, conferences and the annual awards program; exhibitions that contextualize and present contemporary craft practice to the public; the Craft Ontario Shop, a retail presentation space that provides opportunities for members to sell their work; and the nationally-distributed Studio magazine, which fosters critical dialogue in the Canadian craft and design community. Craft Ontario further contributes to craft on both a national and international level through partnering with other craft-related organizations to advocate for craft practice and produce special projects that include touring exhibitions, residencies and symposia.
Craft Ontario's most significant contribution to the cultural community is the support of craft artists by providing tools to develop their careers and make an income from their work, promoting their work through exhibitions, retail, online and print publications, and through advocating for the importance of craft practice as an integral part of contemporary culture. At the same time, Craft Ontario's programs and services foster a community of patrons, collectors and educators, which continues to grow through an engaged public that actively seeks to understand the value in supporting craft.
Overall, Craft Ontario works to provide opportunities for craft artists that range from addressing business needs to providing promotional space in the arts and culture community, and we are committed to growing and developing in this unique role.