CCBC, formerly the Craftsmen’s Association of British Columbia was created by interested members of the Visual Arts Committee of the Community Arts Council of Vancouver in recognition of the growing craft community in British Columbia.
CCBC’s first office, resource centre and exhibit space was located in the Dominion Building at the corner of Hastings and Cambie Street, in downtown Vancouver. In December 1979, CCBC moved its operations to 1411 Cartwright Street in the newly developed Granville Island – a project of the federal government through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.
CCBC’s gallery, the Cartwright Street Gallery was originally a separate society with its own Board of Directors, staff and programming. In 1985 CCBC moved across the street to its current premises at 1386 Cartwright Street and opened Crafthouse, a gallery and shop for fine contemporary craft in May 1986. In 1990, the Cartwright Street Gallery became the Canadian Craft Museum located at Cathedral Place, Hornby Street, Vancouver from 1992 until it closed in 2002. Some of British Columbia’s leading craftspeople – individuals who have made an important contribution to craft and who have worked for many years in the discipline in which they are recognized – were in the collection. The collection currently resides with the City of Vancouver in storage at the Museum of Vancouver.
Setting the stage:
In 1943 UBC instructors Fred Amess and B.C Binnings envisioned Vancouver as a city on the verge of greatness and anticipated an urban building boom. They created the Art-in-Living Group, setting in motion a distinctive West Coast school of architecture and design including homes, offices, furniture, draperies, floor coverings and tableware.
At the same time The Vancouver Junior League formed the Community Arts Council to pick up on and forward ideas generated by the Art-In-Living Group. A major exhibition was organized at the Vancouver Art Gallery in 1949 consisting of full scale models of four full furnished rooms. The exhibition generated a great deal of discussion, illustrating a different approach to life-style and furnishing which opened the eyes of a wide sector of the population to new possibilities. (Drawn from Vancouver Arts and Artists 1931-1983, Post War Architecture in Vancouver by Douglas Shadbolt)
The Beginning of CABC:
The Craftsmen’s Association of BC (CABC), grew out of the Community Arts Council through interested members of the Visual Arts Committee in recognition of the growing craft community in BC – early 70’s.
One of the first projects was publishing Craft Contacts in June 1970 as a newsletter for craftsmen, a bi-monthly monthly newsletter eventually to become monthly (free). The first run made 150 copies. A second Craft Contacts was run in September. Craft Contacts eventually provided up to date information on events (exhibitions /Craft Fairs /workshops /courses /conferences / advocacy/grants / funding / advertising / craft highlights / CABC news surveys of craftspeople & results / Guild’s news/tips from craftspeople’), local, provincial, and international relating to craft. Regional Representatives provide current information on craft related news in their areas.
A Registered Society:
In 1972 a decision was made to become a formal organization and became a registered society under the Societies Act of BC. CABC was the first umbrella organization for the crafts in the province. CABC’s mandatewas to provide information to members of the association and general public; provide a library, reading room, lounge & display area; sponsor exhibitions and lectures; provide and maintain files, indexes and slide portfolios of members, accessible to the public; to advance educational opportunities by providing scholarships, bursaries and other assistance (such as travelling assistance) to members; and to develop or encourage marketing opportunities.
An annual juried exhibition of contemporary crafts made in BC, “Made by Hand”, is launched in a number of venues in Vancouver by CABC as well as a co-sponsored a Craft Market at Vancouver East Cultural Center.
The first Executive Meeting of the Craftsmen’s Association of BC was held in September 1972.
First AGM held October 25. Committees of the new CABC Board are: Education Committee, Exhibition Committee, Publicity Committee, Marketing Committee.
June 12, 1973 we became a formal organization and a registered society under the Societies Act of BC known as the Craftsmen Association of BC (300 membership) with Jean Marie Weakland as 1st CABC President. The first Executive was created for 73/74.at this time and our
first AGM was held in October. At this time a consolidation of aims of council was developed; educational, marketing, communication with governments. The first Education Committee was set up.
CABC, the Craft Association of BC, was officially changed to CCBC, the Craft Council of BC.
To help us continue growing and serving the craftspeople of BC