Craft Ontario Volunteer Committee


The Craft Ontario Volunteer Committee has given over 80 years of service to the organization. Consisting of a core group of dedicated volunteers that have worked to support programming and members, the Volunteer Committee has had a profound impact on the development of Craft Ontario.

In the fall of 2016 the Volunteer Committee wrapped up its operations as an official organization, with a commitment to continue supporting the Awards Program until 2019. Many members of the Committee continue to volunteer in order to pursue a love of craft and support the community.

The Volunteer Committee’s history goes back to the early 1930’s, when a dynamic group of men and women founded the Handicrafts Association of Canada. This group arranged to create an area dedicated to selling fine craft in Eaton’s flagship College Street Store, and helped craftspeople purchase raw materials in smaller quantities than were generally available through wholesalers.

With this income, volunteers purchased storefront space dedicated to Ontario craft. In the 1960s, this grew into a small gallery, offices and a store on Cumberland Street that became The Guild Shop, which was then run as the Craft Ontario Shop, until summer 2016 when it moved to its current location on Queen Street.

The Volunteer Committee also established an annual awards program for professional craftspeople, at a time when few such awards existed. Today, the Volunteer Committee’s awards continue to support emerging, mid-career and established professionals. Hundreds of Craft Ontario members have benefitted from the Committee’s efforts over the years, with fundraising taking place through organizing tours of craft studios and installations, and social events.

Craft Ontario is deeply grateful for the role that the Volunteer Committee has played in establishing the organization today. The following awards will be given at the 2017 Craft Awards:
The Craft Ontario Volunteer Committee Award, the Craft Ontario Volunteer Committee Emerging Professional Award, the Craft Ontario Volunteer Committee Mid-Career Award and the Craft Ontario Volunteer Committee Undergraduate Award.


COVC - 2013



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.