CNA program recognized for excellence

2/6/2014 10:57:25 AM

On Saturday, College of the North Atlantic’s (CNA) Textiles: Craft and Apparel Design program was recognized with an award from the Craft Alliance Atlantic Association in the Industry Leader/ Supporter category. From left are Cyril Organ, CNA’s Vice-President of Academic & Learner Services, Lisa Bugden, president and CEO of Film & Creative Industries Nova Scotia, and Textiles: Craft and Apparel Design instructor, Katie Parnham.

College of the North Atlantic’s (CNA) Textiles: Craft and Apparel Design program has been recognized with the Atlantic Canada Craft Awards for Excellence in the Industry Leader/ Supporter category – a designation presented by the Craft Alliance Atlantic Association.
CNA was nominated by the Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador, which in its nomination packet described the longstanding program as committed to craft development, working hard to make the program relevant and inspiring to students to the professional industry.
“The textiles program stands out in its contribution to the provincial craft industry... the textiles program is one of the four pillars on which a healthy craft industry has been built in Newfoundland and Labrador,” the nomination package stated.
The other three pillars that support the craft industry include the Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Anna Templeton Centre for Craft, Art and Design, and the provincial Department of Innovation, Business and Rural Development. These groups work closely to ensure programming and other supports are available to those considered to be emerging craftspeople.
Ann Marie Vaughan, CNA’s President and CEO, says being recognized during these awards is a wonderful accomplishment for the program and its instructors.
“I’m very proud of CNA’s role in the crafts sector,” said President Vaughan. “Our close relationship with the Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador has helped to create a thriving industry in this province. Our students explore their passions under the support of dedicated instructors which gives our graduates an advantage in the professional craft community.”
The college’s Textiles: Craft and Apparel Design  program is housed in the Anna Templeton Centre for Craft, Art and Design, a historic building in downtown St. John’s that contains dedicated studio spaces and offers recreational programming to students of all ages, as well as professional development opportunities for practicing craftspeople and artists.
“In order to accomplish all the yearly projects, the faculty of the textiles program must share a vision – a vision of progress, a vision of program enhancement for the good of the craft industry, a vision of what their students can be,” said Anne Manuel, executive director of the Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador.
She says faculty members work as a team, each taking on responsibilities as needed including weekly meetings to prioritize action items and co-ordinate activities, researching trends and opportunities for themselves and students, and maintaining a blog dedicated to inspiring stories and activities in the craft world.
“Instilling such a work ethic is the job of Textiles: Craft and Apparel Design,” Manuel continued. “The life of a working craftsperson is demanding – it requires technical, design and marketing skills, knowledge of one’s own distinctive style, a passion, and a work ethic. The program gives all that to its students, drills it into them every day and makes sure that they pack it in their school bags every night. The textiles program is at the foundation of the strength of craft in Newfoundland and Labrador and is an exceptional leader in our provincial industry.”
Instructor Katie Parnham attended the awards ceremony in Halifax on Saturday to accept the award. She says it is a great honour to be recognized.
“The staff are proud and humbled to receive this prestigious award,” Parnham said. “To be recognized by the craft industry as an industry leader re-affirms that our efforts to ensure that the textiles program has all the elements in the curriculum to create successful, industry-ready graduates. It is wonderful to have the value of the experiential learning opportunities acknowledged by the Craft Alliance Atlantic Association.”
Brenda Tobin, the college’s Dean of Academics, Applied Arts and Tourism, says the award is a testament to the highly talented students and graduates of CNA.
“Sincere congratulations to our Textiles: Craft and Apparel Design program on being nominated and winning this prestigious Atlantic Canada Craft Award and a sincere thank you to the Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador for the nomination,” Tobin said. “When I reflect on the textiles program, I think of the amazing talent of our students, the high energy and standards of our faculty, the constant participation in learning and networking events provincially and nationally, and the strong connections with industry professionals. All these factors, I believe, truly position the program as an exciting and high quality offering for our students. ”
For more information about the Textiles: Craft and Apparel Design program at CNA, visit
Media Contact:
Glenda McCarthy
Public Relations Specialist
College of the North Atlantic