BY ALISON GALLANT
Do you have a case of the winter blues? The courses and workshops being offered at Cape Breton Centre for Craft & Design will make your winter brighter! Meet new friends, learn a new skill, or fine-tune your craft with experienced instructors in state-of-the-art studios.
The Cape Breton Centre for Craft & Design promotes and fosters the growth of just that: Cape Breton’s craft and design community. With a strict focus on Cape Breton artisans, the CBCCD is leading Cape Breton’s arts and craft into a new age. The Centre features classes on everything from traditional rug hooking and quilting to trendy pottery and jewelry making. As intern Alyce MacLean describes, “It’s a place where you can come and knit octopus mittens that are really cool looking with [knitting instructor] Janice MacKay.” The centre aims to inspire a new generation of love for craft and design.
Maintaining small class sizes within the walls of the three state of the art studios – for clay, metal and weaving – courses provide an intimate experience and a great social atmosphere, catering to the aspiring hobbyist and experienced craftsperson alike. A range of eight-week winter and fall courses for all levels, and various 1 to 4 day workshops for beginners, are the staples of the Centre’s repertoire.
Winter courses are already in session, but several workshops are slotted for February and March including some Easter-themed egg and cake decorating, decorative needle-felting, a fabric dyeing session, an Asian tea box workshop, a Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD) lecture series and a four-day jewelry making workshop. Along with adult sessions, courses for kids and youth are also offered periodically, including the upcoming Psyanky-Ukrainian Easter Egg decorating course for parents and children on March 23, Summer day camps, and regular winter and fall eight-week course offerings for hand-building pottery.
Having celebrated its 40th anniversary, CBCCD earned the title as the leader in providing Cape Breton with a forum for cultural experience, preservation and enrichment. The downtown establishment acts as a valuable resource for artists to display and create their work.
Located at 322 Charlotte Street in Sydney, the Centre provides a social learning environment for locals of all levels of craft experience, including those who want to, according to intern, Gemma Shelton, “find their craft”.
MacLean says that most people who register for a course return again and again, noting that the Centre has served as a great place for newcomers to the island to really integrate into the community. She offers one example of one new comer who moved to Cape Breton with her family. Upon taking a course, she was able to use the experience to bond with locals, through the cultural experience of craft, while polishing her English and forming long-lasting friendships with her classmates.
For more detailed information on course and workshop registration at CBCCD, feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit CBCCD’s website. Visit the WGO calendar for upcoming workshop dates.