The Alberta Craft Council is proud to introduce its new membership structure. This continues the ACC’s efforts to promote, develop and advocate for fine craft in Alberta, to elevate the value and perceptions of fine craft, and to enhance craft professionalism. Click here to view the ACC's mandate.
An up-dated membership structure has been discussed generally for several years, but the specifics of a “professional member” category are surprisingly complicated and sometimes debatable. Despite some internal administrative complexity, this should offer a variety of new opportunities for members who want more services, support and promotion for their careers.
ACC research looked at other provincial craft councils as well as similar Canadian and US organizations. For example, the Craft Council in Quebec, the Conseil des métier d’ art, has an exclusively professional juried membership, whereas the Saskatchewan Craft Council and Nova Scotia Designer Craft Council have marketing member categories. Other organizations vary widely in membership structure. Overall it seems that organizations with two levels of membership; one with a general category for aficionados, customers, supporters, students and dedicated amateur craftspeople, and another expanded membership for professional craftspeople or craft artists, academics, curator/writers, gallery operators, and others working in the craft field; seem to offer the best balance of service, promotion, and member satisfaction.
How do I become a member of the Alberta Craft Council?
Choose the appropriate membership category, fill out and return the application form and select a payment type. The ACC accepts VISA, Master Card, Cheques and/or Debit.
Join the ACC today. Download a pdf Membership Application.
How do I apply to become an ACC Professional Member?
You download the ACC Professional Member Application form and complete the required information. Send the form in along with your payment and a current CV. Professional Membership applicants will be reviewed by the Advisory Committee.
How do I know if I am considered a Professional?
A Professional Craft Artist, as defined by the ACC, has specialized training in their discipline, either academic and/or self-taught or traditional knowledge, and has professional recognition amongst his or her peers and/or public. He or she should also operate a studio practice and create a distinctive body of work that is sold and/or exhibited locally, nationally and/or internationally.
Unlike many other craft organizations, ACC Professional members can also be those with craft related expertise including: academics, teachers, researchers, curators, writers, and arts administrators.
New applications for a Professional Membership are reviewed by the Advisory Committee. Applications must include the completed membership form, current CV and a maximum of 10 good quality images. All information and questions can be emailed to email@example.com. Once approved payment will be processed.
The Advisory Committee takes all aspects of an artist's craft career into consideration including:
- current involvement with the ACC (retail gallery, ACC organized exhibitions, advisory services)
- craft related expertise: research, writing, curating, teaching, etc.
- relationships with reputable galleries, shops, craft sales and/or studio sales
- participation in exhibitions provincially, nationally and/or internationally
- post-secondary education related craft and/or self-taught or traditional knowledge
- awards and/or grants in recognition of your work
- public recognition through publications, videos, media coverage, etc.
What if I currently am selling through the Alberta Craft Gallery or have been in a recent (within the last year) ACC exhibition, do I still have to apply to be included in the Professional category?
Many ACC members who have already completed the Advisory Committee process and are represented in the retail gallery or are exhibiting in ACC exhibitions will be ushered into the Professional Member category. Once your membership is up for renewal you can choose to continue in the Professional Membership category or opt to become a General Member.
I am a current ACC Member who has been reviewed by the Advisory Committee but was not selected to sell my work in the Alberta Craft Gallery - Edmonton. Can I still become a Professional Member?
Yes, you can. You can apply at any time.
Is applying for the Professional Membership the exact same process as submitting to the Advisory Committee for inclusion in the retail gallery or for a product critique?
No, to apply for a Professional Membership you need to fill out the Professional Membership Application Form and submit it along with your CV and up to 10 images. The Advisory Committee will review the application and make sure that you are an appropriate fit for the membership.
To submit for inclusion in the Alberta Craft Gallery - Edmonton or a Full Product Critique you will to complete an Advisory Questionnaire Form as well as provide physical samples of your work for the Advisory Committee to review. Click here to learn more about the Alberta Craft Gallery.
When applicable a potential Professional Member may be asked to provide further information which may include samples of physical work to be reviewed by the Advisory Committee.
How is a Professional Membership application assessed?
The Advisory Committee currently meets to review applications for the retail gallery in Edmonton and to provide professional development advice and strategies to members. Many members rely on the Advisory Committee for regular input and some members have been doing this for many years. This past year, the Advisory Committee, with the assistance of selected mentoring artists, met in person with 14 Gallery Artists and members to discuss at length, their career planning, aims, goals, needs, opportunities and professional activities.
“I am very grateful for the time you have spared considering my works and for all your comments, and for the valuable advices which are very helpful for me. I am going to follow your recommendations regarding my craft development and to continue my collaboration with Alberta Craft Council as a member.” - Nina
“Thank you for such a detailed critique and the advice on changes. Critique is something I have very little access to and I really appreciate the chance to have a group of people with the experience your board has to see my work”. – Matt
“I so appreciate how thoroughly the Advisory Committee reviewed the work… and I will definitely take their suggestions into account as I improve upon these bodies of work. This is a really great service that the Craft Council provides” – Elizabeth
Who is on the Advisory Committee?
The Advisory Committee consists of 6 to 8 members of ranging expertise from varying disciplines in fine craft, marketing and promotion, and arts management. Convening each month, the Advisory will often invite guest artists of specific disciplines to participate in the review process. This provides yet another perspective, range of experience and level of expertise.
What if I am not approved as a Professional Member?
If the Advisory Committee does not believe that you currently fit into the Professional category you can become a General Member and reapply in the future. The Advisory Committee is open to all ACC members and it is an excellent tool for career planning, setting goals, assessing needs, finding opportunities and other professional activities.
What if I just renewed my membership? Do I have to send in the difference in cost for the new membership?
No, you can stay with your current membership until it is up for renewal. If you would like to apply to become a Professional Member before your renewal date, you can but you will have to pay the pro-rated difference in membership cost once you are approved.
Do I have to pay for my Professional Membership before I know if I am accepted?
No, you can apply for the membership and then based on the decision of the Advisory Committee you can pay accordingly, $60 for a General One Year ($110/2 year) or $120 for a Professional One Year ($230/2year).
What if I have other questions?
Anyone at the Alberta Craft Council would be happy help you with your questions but for specific questions or concerns you can contact:
Tom McFall – Executive Director – firstname.lastname@example.org – ext. 228
Joanne Hamel – Member Services – email@example.com – ext. 234
Linda Frena – Retail Gallery Manager & Advisory Committee Coordinator – firstname.lastname@example.org ext. 232
780-488-6611 or toll free in Alberta 1-800-DO CRAFT (362-7238)