Our Team – Cape Breton Centre for Craft & Design

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

Craft Education & Membership Coordinator

902 539 7491 ext 111

Tammy Sophocleous-MacDonald began working for Cape Breton Centre for Craft & Design in 2007 following her Business & Information Technologies course at NSCC. Over the course of her fifteen years with the organization she has worked tirelessly to support the robust network of jewellers, beaders, rug hookers, ceramicists and visual artists who frequent the studios for classes and workshops – eventually, the title of Craft Education & Membership Coordinator was created to communicate her expertise more clearly. Additionally, Sophocleous-MacDonald supports the registration for camps and classes, ensuring the continued financial support for local makers through the Centre’s paid programs, and personally establishing meaningful connections with members and volunteers.  

Her extensive experience makes Sophocleous-MacDonald uniquely able to anticipate the needs and requirements of the sizable and enthusiastic local craft community.  


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.


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.


Vicki Clough

Artist Residency Coordinator

902 539 7491 ext 116

Most recently from Toronto and with a background in Craft, Curation and Public Programming, Vicki brings a range of experience to the team in the Artist Residency Coordinator role. Prior to her Master of Fine Arts in Criticism and Curatorial Practice at the Ontario College of Art and Design University, Vicki completed her Textiles degree at Galway Mayo Institute of Technology in Ireland with a focus on embroidery, but she’s always wanted to master lacemaking.

Vicki has been crafty from a young age, learning from her grandparents and parents. She is a strong advocate for artists and is excited to work in such a creative community, which will also hopefully motivate her to once again pick up her embroidery and tatting needles.


Bailee Higgins

Sustainable Craft Practice Coordinator

As Sustainable Craft Program Coordinator, Bailee works with the Executive Director to conduct research, provide a framework and to develop workshops and symposia to support the sustainable development of Unama’ki’- Cape Breton’s craft sector.

Bailee is a graduate of Mount Allison University’s Fine Arts program and is a Master of Arts in Art Education student at NSCAD University. She is a visual artist, art facilitator and researcher with a passion for community. Her art often draws inspiration from the landscapes of her upbringing in Unama’ki – Cape Breton.


Susan Bernard

Mi’kmaw Arts Manager

Susan Bernard is an arts facilitator, craftsperson, and Future Legacy Leader from Membertou with a practice deeply rooted in community and inter-generational learning. Susan is passionate about learning about her own Mi’kmaw and other Indigenous cultures, and she strongly believes in the transfer of knowledge about culture, arts, and craft from generation to generation. She brings this passion and dedication to nurturing traditional knowledge-sharing and community care to her role as Mi’kmaw Arts Manager at the Centre.

Susan has close family relationships, and has collaborated with her Mi’kiju (grandmother), Serena Francis, on several projects including Regeneration of Mi’kmaw Star Stories through Storytelling along with Carola Knockwood and Melissa Lunney, which has led to the opportunity to speak with many Knowledge Keepers across Turtle Island. She has also co-hosted a podcast titled Strength from Stardust, presented classes at UNB and CBU, facilitated a Webinar, cofacilitated, organized and planned multiple Wampum Belt Workshops in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, which she later translated into an online workshop – all in close collaboration with Serena.

Susan was taught how to make Wampum Belts by Serena and hopes to eventually pass that knowledge down to the next generations. In her free time, she enjoys creating and designing Wampum Belts, crocheting blankets, and trail running.