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New facility in Charlottetown aims to grow Island’s crafts business

Artist Julia Purcell of Clyde River is excited with the new P.E.I. Centre for Craft in Charlottetown, which has been created to promote fine craft. Purcell, who plans to display and sell her oil and watercolour paintings there, also hopes to hold painting classes at the centre. JIM DAY/THE GUARDIAN
Artist Julia Purcell of Clyde River is excited with the new P.E.I. Centre for Craft in Charlottetown, which has been created to promote fine craft. Purcell, who plans to display and sell her oil and watercolour paintings there, also hopes to hold painting classes at the centre. JIM DAY/THE GUARDIAN - Submitted

A year-round, multipurpose facility is being established to help grow Prince Edward Island’s fine craft business.

The P.E.I. Centre for Craft will raise public awareness and understanding of fine craft, increase educational opportunities and access to export markets and provide employment opportunities for the Island’s craft industry. 

The provincial government is investing $115,000 in the new centre, located at 98 Water St. in Charlottetown. A grand opening will be held on June 5.

“Culture grows and thrives through collaboration, and the P.E.I. Centre for Craft will allow craftspeople to meet, mentor and network while providing a space for their craft to be enjoyed by Islanders and visitors alike,” said Education, Early Learning and Culture Minister Jordan Brown. 

“It exemplifies what makes Prince Edward Island mighty – that Islanders use our province’s size and interconnectedness to our advantage, working together to accomplish great things.”

The centre will offer a series of short courses and workshops that will increase skills for professional craftspeople in business management and growth. There will be technical and advanced training available in disciplines such as pottery, silversmith, glass and textiles.

“One of the major goals of our Culture Action Plan is to grow the economy by boosting our cultural industries and transforming how we support them,” said Economic Development and Tourism Minister Chris Palmer. 

“The P.E.I. Centre for Craft provides a space for craftspeople to showcase their talent, learn and develop their skills, and collaborate with other artisans to raise the profile of their work."

A key item from the Culture Action Plan was to invest in a craft development centre partnership with the P.E.I. Crafts Council. The action plan will see over $1.45 million invested to support culture in the 2018-2019 provincial budget.

“The P.E.I. Centre for Craft will offer great opportunity to both the current and future generations of Island craft makers,” said Lily Reaman, executive director of the P.E.I. Crafts Council. 

“We are incredibly thankful that the craft industry was recognized in the P.E.I. Culture Action Plan and that government recognizes the importance of craft to the economy and culture of our province.”

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