Our Team – Cape Breton Centre for Craft


Emerging Curatorial Coordinator

Deadline: August 6th 2021 4:00 pm

The Centre is seeking an Emerging Curatorial Coordinator to develop exhibition programming for 2023. The outcomes of the position would include researching, identifying, and securing exhibitions and other programs such as artist talks, workshops, and other cultural activities.

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For more information, contact Lori Burke, Executive Director at lori@capebretoncraft.com

Our Team

The passion and dedication that underlies the creation of craft can also be found in the offices of Cape Breton Centre for Craft & Design.

Here, a small but mighty team with a diverse range of skills, united by a love of Cape Breton craft and a fierce commitment to its preservation and cultivation, implements the Centre’s programs and services on a daily basis.

Lori Burke

Executive Director

902 539 7491 ext 113

Lori’s work with the Centre began in the winter of 2009 as Marketing Manager where she worked with Centre staff to build the profile of the organization and the Cape Breton craft sector.

Now as Executive Director, Lori plans to continue to make Cape Breton Centre for Craft & Design and the Cape Breton craft sector globally known.

After 3+ years of experimenting with a variety of craft courses and workshops, Lori has accepted that she is a “collector” rather than a maker…which is probably better for the creative economy anyway!

Diane Campbell

General Manager

902 539 7491 ext 112

Diane joined the staff of the Cape Breton Centre for Craft & Design back in 1989 when it was still known as the Cape Breton School of Crafts. Her job has evolved greatly over the years and as a long time employee, her duties are varied and include committee work, financial responsibilities, organizing courses and workshops and supporting other staff in the day to day operation of the Centre. It is often said that Diane is the glue that holds all the different departments of the Centre together.

Working in a not for profit organization has its challenges, but the biggest pleasure Diane gets from her job is the daily interaction with the many people who visit the Centre. The members, the volunteers and the other staff make coming to work every day a pleasure. Their dedication and commitment to the organization is inspiring.

When the 9 to 5 day is through, Diane can most often be found weaving at her loom. However, as an aspiring knitter, occasionally she can be found mumbling and fumbling with a pair of knitting needles and a ball of yarn.


Tammy Sophocleous-MacDonald

Office Manager

902 539 7491 ext 111

Tammy Sophocleous-MacDonald is the Office Manager at the Cape Breton Centre for Craft & Design, which means she’s at the heart of the organization. Tammy ensures the smooth running of the office, keeps up to date with our members, runs registration for courses, and supports every element of the Centre. Tammy thinks that when you work with such a great group of staff, it makes coming to work an enjoyable pleasure. It’s such an honour everyday to get to meet all kinds of different and talented people.

Tammy likes to take her work home. She spends her out of office hours working on art projects with her daughters who enjoys pottery, drawing, and sewing. Watch for Tammy’s daughters to be future artisans in our Gallery some day.

Laura Collinet

Craft Incubator Coordinator

902 539 7491 ext 116

Laura Collinet is the Craft Business Incubator Coordinator who works with artists in residence at the Customs House and at the Centre in Sydney. Her goal is to help artists with the scarier side of owning their own business.

Though Laura went to NSCAD University for textiles, she immediately fell in love the business side of craft and has been working in the start-up and entrepreneurship community ever since. She thrives as the administration for artists. In her spare time, Laura enjoys hiking the Cape Breton trails with her husky and taking pottery courses at the Centre.

Elizabeth Slaunwhite

Marketing Manager

902 539 7491 ext 117

Elizabeth joined the team at Cape Breton Centre for Craft & Design in 2013 after completing the Master of Public Relations program at Mount Saint Vincent University. Previous to that, Elizabeth graduated from the Mount with a Bachelor of Public Relations and Certificate in Marketing.

Elizabeth appreciates the creativity, dedication, and hard work demonstrated by the artisans that are represented in the Gallery Shop, in addition to the artisan studios around our beautiful island. As Marketing Manager, Elizabeth aims to promote the profile and prominence of the Cape Breton craft industry – not only locally, but also regionally, nationally and internationally.

Maggie Paul 

Mi’kmaq Business Skills Coordinator

902 578 4498

Maggie Paul is the Mi’kmaq Business Skills Coordinator at Cape Breton Centre for Craft & Design. Maggie joined the team after graduating from Cape Breton Business College with a concentration in Business Administration. With a great appreciation of art and recognizing the need for support of Mi’kmaq artisans with the business side to their work, the role fit perfectly for her.

From Membertou, Maggie always had a deep connection to the art around her. Growing up she was told stories of her long linage of women who weaved baskets and made flowers to support their families all over Atlantic Canada. Maggie grew up admiring beadwork, basket weaving, regalia making, and her favorite, quillwork. From a young age, she understood that Mi’kmaq art holds history, traditional knowledge and is of great importance to communities. Her goal is to increase visibility and appreciation of Mi’kmaq art and artisans in Unama’ki. With her knowledge and passion for business, she hopes to get more Indigenous art in the gallery, produce exhibitions, and overall help artisans build their dream businesses.

Tara Johnson

Mi’kmaq Art Coordinator

902 574 8636

Tara Johnson is the Mi’kmaq Art Coordinator for Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design. Tara recently joined the team after graduating from Cape Breton University with a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in History and Mi’kmaq Studies. Tara’s passion for art started in High School where she learned to bead. Early on in Tara’s career as an artist she realized the importance of sharing knowledge and passing on the knowledge and history of beading to the future generations within her community, to keep crafts like beading alive within the communities.

Tara is from Potlotek First Nation, where she had the opportunity to watch elder’s practice the arts, and tell stories of the importance of art within her culture and she hopes with her education and experience that she can help pave the way in getting culturally enriching workshops within all the First Nation communities in Cape Breton. Tara strives to help towards a resurgence of culturally enriching crafts and art. Tara realizes that the arts are an important factor in the Mi’kmaq culture and is excited to help provide these very important workshops to the communities across Cape Breton.

Cassie MacDonald

Craft Retail Supervisor

902 270 7491

As the Craft Retail Supervisor, Cassie works closely with the talented artists on our beautiful island, Cape Breton, and manages the Gallery Shop in Downtown Sydney. She is a visual artist and musician with a background in retail and customer service. A graduate of Dalhousie University and a student of NSCAD University, Cassie is always on the journey of education.

Originally from New Waterford, Cassie spent the last 20 years between Halifax and Toronto. Fun fact – if you’re familiar with New Waterford via the Canadian independent film, New Waterford Girl, you’re familiar with Cassie too! She played the role of Darlene Pottie. Outside of the Gallery Shop, Cassie can be found playing music with her band, Cassie Josephine & the Cry If I Want To’s, as well as painting in her home studio. Cassie loves abstract portraiture and painting with her mom.