Mentorship – Cape Breton Centre for Craft & Design

Mentorship

ABOUT 

Cape Breton Centre for Craft & Design’s Mentorship Program connects emerging creatives (mentees) looking to expand their craft methods and/or business knowledge with experienced craft artisans (mentors). 

The Centre’s pilot supports emerging and professional craft artists to develop their creative processes, learn a new skill or technique and/or learn creative entrepreneurship skills. It provides an opportunity for established artists to plan for succession or pass on their experiences and knowledge to the next generation of craftspeople. 

Over the course of the mentorship, mentees and mentors will meet one-on-one. The program mentees will be paid ($25 per hour) and mentors will be paid ($75 per hour). During the final mentorship meetings, mentors and mentees will fill out a short report.  

 

Topics

Emerging/Non-professional mentees may learn: 

  • Technical craft skills  
  • Pricing work 
  • Business development skills 
  • Documenting work  
  • Marketing 
  • Sourcing materials 
  • Jury preparation  
  • Craft shows 
  • Professional development resources 
  • Galleries & retail shop overview, including consignment vs. Retail 
  • Exhibition proposals 
  • Residency applications 
  • Starting a craft business  
  • Developing workshops/community art programs 
  • Other topics as desired by mentee

IBPOC & 2SLGBTQIA+ and Official Language Minority MENTORS and MENTEES 

Representation matters. Cape Breton Centre for Craft & Design encourages applications from makers and craft artists who identify as IBPOC, 2SLGBTQUIA+ and Official Language Minority individuals to join the program as mentors and mentees. 

Additionally, there is an opportunity for eligible Cape Breton-based emerging artists to connect with a mentor outside of Cape Breton based on proven need. 

Step 1: Apply 

The Centre recommends applying with a mentor/mentee identified to increase your chance of participating in the first round of this program. Please reach out to Bailee Higgins, Sustainable Craft Coordinator, if you require assistance identifying or approaching a potential mentor/mentee. 

E: bailee@capebretoncraft.com T: (902) 539-7491

MENTEES

Requirements: There is no a membership requirement to participate; any Unama’ki Cape Breton based craft artist aged 18 and up seeking a mentorship may apply as a mentee.

The application deadline is February 7th. We encourage applicants who are seeking a mentor but have not yet identified them to reach out early so the Centre can assist you in identifying and approaching a mentor. If you already have someone in mind, see our Guide to Approaching a Potential Mentor.

If applying as someone who would like to work with a mentor listed on our website, or if you are applying as a pair (if you have identified a mentor that is not listed that you would like to work with and they have agreed) you will both need to fill out an application. There will be a section on your application to identify who you will be working with.

We recognize that there may not be a local established craft artisan in every discipline, therefore mentors can be off-island. The mentorship program does not cover travel costs and recommends virtual mentorships for off-island or geographically inaccessible pairings.

Application:

or

MENTORS 

Requirements: Mentors are current maker-members or are individuals who are established, mid-career or late-career craftspeople. Mentors fill out the short form below, provide images and select their areas of expertise. Profiles will be published below as received and approved. 

There is no deadline for mentors to apply, however we recommend applying before February 7 to increase your chance of participating in the first round of the program or if you have agreed to mentor an artist applying as a mentee. There will be a section on your application to identify who you will be working with. 

Application:

or

Applications may be submitted:

  • Online
  • By mail: Cape Breton Centre for Craft & Design, P.O. Box 1686, Sydney, NS B1P 6T7 
  • By email: send to bailee@capebretoncraft.com
  • In person: Cape Breton Centre for Craft & Design, 322 Charlotte Street, Sydney, NS 

All applications will receive confirmation of receipt, if you have not received one, please email bailee@capebretoncraft.com.

If you want to submit an audio or video file, please format with your name and the content type in the file name. For example: TaraMacDonald_Cover Letter. We will accept MP3, MP4, MP4a, MOV, and/or Google, YouTube or OneDrive links for audio or video formats. If you want to submit in another format, please contact us. 

Step 2: Connect 

Once your mentorship application is received, you will receive a confirmation email.  

Once your application is approved and you are paired you will need to schedule an initial meeting. You will be connected through email and will need to arrange a phone call, zoom meeting, or in-person meeting where you will discuss mentorship goals and needs for support. At this stage, mentorship participants will work out the details of the mentorship (such as the location, format, and desired number of hours) and the mentor will submit an initial report.  

If applying as an individual (without an identified mentee/mentor), your application may be approved but you may not have been paired in the first round of this program. If this happens and you are applying as a mentor, you will be able to keep your profile active on our website and may be paired in the next round, if desired. If you are applying as a mentee and have not been paired, we can work with you to identify a mentor.

Step 3: Mentoring 

After the submission of the initial participant report, the mentoring will begin. Please note that funding for Mentorship is limited and hours may be negotiated upon receipt of the initial report. Keep ongoing records of topics covered in meetings as these will be submitted in halfway and end reports. Keep records of time spent during the mentorship, as these will be needed to invoice the Centre to receive payment.  

Mentorship, Apprenticeship, & Succession Planning

In the 2020 Benchmark Survey we found that mentorship, apprenticeship, and succession planning were being underutilized in the craft industry. However, results showed that there is interest from the community. Our goal is to use our network to connect producers and emerging creators through knowledge and skills sharing to benefit both mentor and mentee. If you are interested in succession planning for your craft business or becoming a mentor, mentee, or apprentice in the craft industry, please reach out to our coordinator to discuss this opportunity further.