Where we started

What is craft?

In August of 2014, the Provincial and Territorial Craft Councils and the Canadian Crafts Federation set out to "Rematerialize Craft." The goals of this exploration were to clarify and deepen the public’s understanding of craft and make craft more accessible to Canadians.

Existing research here in Canada and around the world was examined; discussions were had with stakeholders – makers, academics, gallery owners, patrons; similar fields were examined; and through case study and research, knowledge was gleaned from those on a steering committee who have been involved in craft for decades.

From all this research, the word craft was found appearing in all sorts of places. Also, there was a prominence in the use of similar terms – artisan food, heritage markets – all terms connected with craft and yet being used to define products that were very different. So what was the connection?

Who is Funding the Project? »

Maker: K. Claire MacDonald

What we discovered

The connection was not in the product but in the people.

The connection was not in what they were buying but why they were buying. The link was in the values: the authentic, the local, the personalized, the traditional, the artisanal, sustainable, meaningful, and entrepreneurial. The values that underlay all of these products, whether they defined "craft" or "artisan" or "local", were the values that the consumers shared and that the buying of these products allowed them to announce their beliefs to the world.

From all of this knowledge and conviction, Citizens of Craft™ was born.

What we created

Citizens of Craft is a movement.

A movement of makers, of appreciators, of shoppers, of admirers – of anyone whose values match our values of heritage, innovation, the leading edge, traditional, authentic, and entrepreneurial.

Citizens of Craft is a movement because there is a great need to unify the voices, to stop trying to define craft but instead to celebrate its diversity – what it is, what it represents, and who it defines – those who make and those who appreciate. A movement is a way for craft professionals to say, "this is what I do, this is what I am – come share my passion." A movement is a way for appreciators to say, "this is what I love, this is what I value, this is who I am."

As a society, we’ve come to greatly value things like craft beer, local farmers markets, and artisanal products – this is a societal shift that has taken place over the last decade. These beliefs form the basis of the Citizens of Craft manifesto, which outlines the movement’s platform.

The culmination of all of the efforts behind this movement are realized in this website and its Craft Finder where you can experience and locate craft from Whitehorse to St. John’s. This website allows everyone – Canadians and visitors to our country alike – to experience and access craft more readily and in a rich and easily searchable environment.

What’s next

Our quest doesn’t stop here.

The Citizens of Craft movement relies on you – the craft professional, the craft appreciator, the curious – it relies on every one of us to declare ourselves Citizens of Craft, to share the Craft Finder, and to pass the message on as we move forward… together.

Create a Profile

If you are a member of a provincial/territorial craft council you can create a profile in the Citizens of Craft™ community. Your participation will give you the opportunity to showcase your work and align yourself with the vast array of Canadian craft talent.

Create Profile

Share our Manifesto

Read the Citizens of Craft manifesto to see yourself reflected in these ten rallying statements. Shout them out and share the message of craft today.

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