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A crafty family

The Story

For the Cammidges of Vancouver Island, crafting is a family affair. Andrew, the father, makes clay pots; his wife Joyce dyes and spins wool; and the children are expected to master a craft, too. The family has joined a growing number of Canadians who have turned to crafts as a livelihood. But it's no easy ride: in this CBC report, the owner of a craft supply shop says the odds aren't in favour of the professional craftsperson. 

Medium: Television
Guest(s): Andrew Cammidge, Joyce Cammidge, Khani Fowle, Jacki Warnock
Reporter: Rob Parker
Duration: 13:30

Did You know?

• The difference between art and craft can be highly subjective, but generally the difference is functionality. Art is meant solely to be beautiful. At its core, craft has a practical purpose.
• Practitioners of fine craft make a further distinction between their original work and the crafts produced by hobbyists, who rely on patterns created by others.

• The book The Craftsman's Way: Canadian Expressions (1981) pegs the rise of fine craft in Canada to the first half of the 20th century. "Because the machine now supplied the essentials of life and work, the crafts were free to become more expressive of human creativity. They were no longer taken for granted as a necessary part everyday living but became instead non-essential embellishments of it."

• In 1977, Canada's Bronfman family founded the Saidye Bronfman Award recognizing excellence in fine crafts. The award is named for Saidye Bronfman, wife of Canadian liquor baron Samuel Bronfman, and is awarded by the family's foundation.
• The Canada Council for the Arts administers the nomination and selection process for the award.

• The Canadian Museum of Civilization acquires works by recipients of the Saidye Bronfman Award for the museum's permanent collection.
• Among the craftspeople who have received the $25,000 Saidye Bronfman Award are sculptor Bill Reid, as well as artists working in ceramics, glass, bookbinding, textiles, tapestry, guitar-making and furniture design.

• In 2006 the Canada Council for the Arts announced that the Saidye Bronfman Award would, as of 2007, be given out at the same time as the Governor General's Awards in visual and media arts.




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