Unama’ki Arts Development – Cape Breton Centre for Craft & Design

Unama’ki Arts Development

The Mi’kmaq Arts Development program encourages and empowers Mi’kmaq artists and residents to become active participants and leaders in the educational activities and programs of the craft community. This program promotes inclusivity in the craft sector for Mi’kmaq. As well this program will increase Mi’kmaq leadership and promote intercultural exchange through various craft media.

The Centre will play a role in facilitating access to cultural activities in Unama’ki-Cape Breton by creating space for cross cultural exchange and resource sharing.

Open Call for Emerging Indigenous Artists in Mi’kma’ki

Cape Breton Centre for Craft & Design in Kjikank (Sydney, NS) and the J. Franklin Wright Gallery in Walamkwekukaqnejk (Port Hawkesbury, NS) welcome emerging Indigenous artists living in Mi’kma’ki to apply for an upcoming group show.

This call is open to Indigenous artists working in all disciplines. This exhibition aims to highlight local talent and help emerging artists reach new audiences, with the potential to sell their work.

The deadline for applications is January 31, 2023.

Click here for more information.

Craft at the Centre

The Mi’kmaq Arts program offers free access to traditional and contemporary craft programming for Mi’kmaq. Space is limited, please contact susan@capebretoncraft.com.

If you are interested in participating in or teaching a traditional Mi’kmaq craft technique, please contact kayla@capebretoncraft.com 

We will be providing courses and workshops in the five Mi’kmaq communities in Unama’ki, so please sign up to our mailing list below:

Traditional Craft Training Workshops

This program provides access to Mi’kmaq to participate in or lead traditional craft workshops for Mi’kmaw residents in order to foster cultural capacity and revitalization. The program also seeks to grow employment opportunities for Mi’kmaw craftspeople by increasing the number of Mi’kmaw craft instructors and providing multiple levels of training that will allow more artists to live sustainably from their craft. Craft training provides an opportunity for traditional teachers and methods that have been historically disenfranchised to assume a rightful place within the global economy.

If you are interested in participating in or teaching a traditional Mi’kmaq craft technique, please contact kayla@capebretoncraft.com

Mailing List

Mi’kmaq Craft Instructor Sign-Up


This program aims to build capacity and provide artistic development training for Indigenous artists. The Mi’kmaq Arts Coordinator is seeking to work with communities, universities, and national arts organizations to plan Indigenous exhibitions to be held at the Centre and in the five Mi’kmaq communities in Unama’ki.

These exhibitions support early career building that will allow artists to become professionally established so that they may become nationally competitive when accessing funding, artistic and professional development opportunities available to artists from national and international level agencies. 

If you are interested in having an exhibition (solo or group), please contact kayla@capebretoncraft.com 

Stoqnamu’k Wksitqamuk

The “Green Earth” program provides a platform for knowledge to increase awareness of local materials for a more sustainable craft industry in Unama’ki.

Please contact kayla@capebretoncraft.com for more information.


The purpose of the artist-in-residence program is to offer First Nation, Inuit and Métis craftspeople the opportunity to have access to studio space. At Cape Breton Centre for Craft & Design we recognize not everyone has access to studio space for their creative practice and with this program we hope to help artists reach their full potential. Participants can be formally trained or self-directed and must be able to work within a cooperative environment. Residencies can take place at the Centre, at Customs House or one of the Centre’s Parks Canada residencies.

Being an artist-in-residence offers many opportunities including business skills development workshops, marketing, and promotional opportunities, as well as instructing courses and workshops.

To learn more or to apply for indigenous artist in residence program contact: kayla@capebretoncraft.com