Norwegian Crafts' research trip to Canada

Norwegian Crafts spent one week in Canada connecting with the local craft scene

Norwegian Crafts travelled to Canada in November 2019 to meet with organisations, institutions, schools and artists working in the contemporary craft field. Norwegian Crafts has been looking to Canada for several years. There are many similarities between our two countries, especially through our connection with the North and the circumpolar region. In light of the Nordic Council of Ministers' announcement of a new joint Nordic cultural initiative, Nordic Bridges, planned to take place in Canada in 2021, the timing seemed right for our first visit to Canada, and the cities of Ottawa and Toronto. Scroll down for more information on Nordic Bridges. 

While in Toronto Norwegian Crafts visited and met with representatives from OCAD University, Onsite Gallery, Craft Ontario, the Gardiner Museum, Harbourfront centre and Textile Museum Canada

In Ottawa Norwegian Crafts had the pleasure of attending the opening of Àbadakone | Continuous Fire | Feu continues at the National Gallery of Canada, one of the largest global survey shows of contemporary Indigenous art to date. The exhibition featured several artists from Sápmi, including Joar Nango, Inger Blix Kvammen, Fredrik Prost, Anders Sunna, Inga Wiktoria Påve and Marja Helander. 

Still in Ottawa Norwegian Crafts met with gallery spaces L.A Pai Gallery and SAW Centre. At SAW we had the pleasure to learn more about Nordic Lab, a residency, research and production space for artists from the circumpolar nations, initiated by SAW in partnership with the Canada Council for the Arts


All information available here, at Harbourfront's website.

The project entitled Nordic Bridges is a year-long initiative taking place from coast to coast to coast that aims to foster cultural exchange among the Nordic countries and Canada.

Harbourfront Centre, as one of Canada’s leading contemporary, multidisciplinary arts and cultural centres, will curate and lead the programming for Nordic Bridges in 2021 with funding support provided by the Nordic Council of Ministers, promoting and raising the profile of contemporary Nordic culture sectors within Canada.

Building on the shared values of creativity and innovation, Nordic Bridges will serve to connect the Nordic Region – Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Åland – and Canada through collaborations between artists, innovators and thinkers.

Over the course of one full year in 2021, Nordic Bridges will present contemporary art and culture in a range of disciplines including the performing arts (dance, theatre, circus and music), visual and digital arts, craft and design, literature, film, and culinary arts.

Nordic Bridges aims to generate dialogue between Canada and the Nordic region on culture’s role in the creation and promotion of sustainable societies, increasing awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations, most specifically, the environment, inclusivity, innovation and accessibility.

Four key pillars inform Nordic Bridges programming:
1) Artistic Innovation - programming that challenges the status quo; 2) Accessibility and Inclusion - Foster belonging and participation through art and the engagement of diverse audiences; 3) Indigenous Perspectives - Engaging Indigenous voices from Canada and the Nordic Region, in particular the Arctic dimension of these conversations; 4) Resilience - Exploring how our shared, rugged, natural landscapes inform and shape our art and design.

Working with cultural partners across Canada, Nordic Bridges programming will be presented as part of scheduled programming seasons, festivals and tours, as well as industry stand-alone-events.

Nordic Bridges is receiving applications until 5 pm EST 13 December 2019.