27 Jun

FACTS offers Textile Workshops
 in July 2016


Indigo Dye, Shibori

 For Immediate Release:  June 21, 2016

Contact: Karen Stewart, Dir. of Operations


The Canadian Centre for Rural Creativity will be offering numerous textile based workshops again this year through the Fashion Arts & Creative Textiles Studio (FACTS) from July 7th to 22nd 2016 at 237 King Street East in Blyth. Workshops will include fabric marbling, pattern drafting, silk painting, silk screening, lace & bead knitting, natural dyeing, wet felting, Tambour Embroidery, and much more. The overall focus of the program is based on sustainable and local production, using locally sourced materials and best practices in a creative, innovative setting. 

The courses range $30 to $150 for instruction with course materials at an additional cost.  All of the classes are suitable for any level of experience, beginners included.  All that is needed is an excitement and willingness to experiment and create! 

During the evenings, there will be several Open Studios held where experts will be on hand to answer questions and offer advice and demos. Open Artist Studios are $10 or free to anyone enrolled in a class during the week. Open Studios provide time for people to work on projects at the studio in a social and creative environment. 

This year FACTS has invited several textile artists to lead new and exciting skills workshops. 

wet-felting-square Jennifer Osborn, a farmer, producer and felter, will be leading a Wet Felting class in which students will have the opportunity to make a pair of slippers.
Tambour Embroidery Tanya White, a textile artist who studied with Lesage in Paris, will share her knowledge of Tambour Beading: A 3D form of embroidery with beads and sequins. 
Kanzashi Susan Kendal, a textile artist from Barrie, will teach a class on Kanzashi Fabric Flowers, a Japanese technique that uses small folded scraps of fabric to make dimensional fabric flowers. 
Lace & Bead Knitting Irene Kellins, a local knitting expert will return to guide people through the process of lace and bead knitting.

The rest of the workshops and classes will be led by Jennifer Triemstra-Johnston. During her career Jennifer has worked as a costume designer, curator, small fashion business owner and part-time faculty at several universities. Currently Jennifer is involved with the Canadian Centre for Rural Creativity as the program director for FACTS, working towards creating a Fashion Arts and Creative Textiles Studio that will support the creative needs of the community and local production. Projects include developing workshops and classes, researching the natural dye palette of Blyth and creating a network for communication and support for local artisans and producers with the cooperation of the Upper Canada Fibreshed.

The Canadian Centre for Rural Creativity (CCRC) was developed to build a unique cultural hub that addresses issues facing rural communities and accelerate economic growth and social renewal in Huron County and beyond.  The CCRC will inspire people through art and nurture creative thinking in order to identify new economic, creative, and recreational opportunities.  The CCRC operates within the mandate of its parent company Blyth Arts and Cultural Initiative 14/19 Inc. as a not-for-profit charitable organization working in partnership with the community to develop a cultural strategy that provides unique educational and artistic opportunities, meaningful employment, and increased quality of life for all.

For more information on the workshops, pricing,
and to register please see the Calendar AT THIS LINK


15 Mar

Province funding Rural Creativity – $3.3M

for immediate release
March 15, 2016
CONTACT:  Karen Stewart, Administrator  519-441-7629


Over sixty citizens of Huron County showed up for the announcement on March 15, 2016.

Over sixty citizens of Huron County showed up for the announcement on March 15, 2016.

Municipal politicians, leaders from the business and not-for-profit community gathered on the steps of Blyth Memorial Community Hall today to hear an announcement from Deb Matthews, Deputy Premier of the Province of Ontario.

“The Province is pleased to invest $3.3 million in the work of Blyth Arts & Cultural Initiative 14/19 Inc. to support the creation of a cultural hub.

Deputy Premier, Deb Matthews

Deputy Premier, Deb Matthews

“Our government, under the leadership of Premier Kathleen Wynne, is committed to supporting organizations that encourage innovation, collaboration, and cluster development.  Blyth 14/19’s goals to develop a cultural hub around the multi-disciplinary Canadian Centre for Rural Creativity (CCRC) align nicely with the Province of Ontario’s priorities for economic development.  Transformational private sector investment was also a major motivator of our desire to champion this project.”

Blyth Arts & Culture Initiative’s $12.5 million project includes three key priorities:

  1. Revitalization of the Blyth Memorial Community Hall – home of the Blyth Centre for the Arts and the celebrated national theatre company, the Blyth Festival;
  2. Creating the Grant and Mildred Sparling Centre, home of the Canadian Centre for Rural Creativity, a multi-disciplinary arts and innovation hub; and
  3. Establishing the Rural Trust to sustain creativity through a not-for-profit endowment for dedicated funds, awards, and scholarships.

“The Canadian Centre for Rural Creativity (CCRC) will establish itself as the leader in rural creative development by offering high quality, unique, experiences for artists, students, educators, and guests, participating in symposia,” said Project Director, Peter Smith. “By nurturing opportunities and cultivating creativity 14/19 will drive economic growth through culture and the arts.”

CEO David Peacock of the Province’s regional tourism office for Huron, Perth, Waterloo and Wellington, RTO4 Inc., said of the announcement, “the Province has allocated substantial resources to regional economic development and in particular tourism economic development over the past five years. The alignment of private, municipal and provincial resources and funds on this important project is exactly the kind of forward thinking that is key to unlocking growth in the province’s tourism economy. Blyth has always held an esteemed position in Canada’s cultural landscape and the vision of a Blyth based “rural centre” for Canadian creativity is a unique addition to the existing mosaic that includes prestigious arts centres like Banff and Fogo Island.

For more information visit www.ruralcreativity.org or www.blyth1419.ca


@Blyth1419 @Deb_Matthews #TalkRural #ruralcreativity

06 Nov

Creative Forums, Nov 2014

for immediate release

November 6, 2014


Canadian Centre for Rural Creativity to host a Creative Forum

Exploring Courses in Design Technology, Fashion Arts, Photography
and Documentary-Film-making

Blyth Arts & Cultural Initiative 14/19 Inc. are developing the Canadian Centre for Rural Creativity (CCRC), a multi and cross-disciplinary arts, education and entrepreneurial centre nestled in the village of Blyth. Exploring how landscape impacts on creativity, the Centre will attract artists from across the county and across the country to reside, create, mentor and teach. The CCRC identifies issues common to rural communities and brings Canadians together to share creative solutions and create action plans.

On Wednesday, November 19th, at 7pm, the Centre will host a Creative Forum at the former Blyth Public School at 237 King Street in Blyth.  The Forum brings together successful practitioners in Fashion Arts, Documentary Film-making, Photography and Technology to explore course structures for 2015 program development.  This is an important opportunity for students, parents, educators, and entrepreneurs in the community to come together to help shape the Centre that will support and promote rural economic and community development, revitalize contemporary creativity of rural life and assist rural communities to solve their own challenges in their own ways.

The evening will open with a brief presentation from each of six creative industry representatives.  Following a brief Q&A, smaller group sessions will be co-ordinated to encourage deeper engagement for program development.    The panel includes:

JENNIFER TRIEMSTRA-JOHNSTON ~ FASHION ARTS: Over her twenty year career Jennifer Triemstra-Johnston has worked as a costume designer, a part-time faculty member for fashion and theatre programs, a museum curator, a creator of new theatrical works, and a small business owner. She views herself as both an artist and a facilitator, someone who is inspired by an idea and then strives to make it happen. In 2013 Jennifer graduated from the new Master of Arts Fashion program at Ryerson University. The MA program gave Jennifer insight into the future of Canadian fashion and possibilities for local production. She is now working towards promoting the relationship between skills, innovation, and artistic expression in fashion and artisanal production.

DOUG CULBERT – DESIGN TECHNOLOGY:  President/GIS/RS Specialist – Huron Geomatics. Doug is an entrepreneur/designer and is assisting in creating a design and technology program at the Centre for Rural Creativity. His geomatics business employs recent graduates from a variety of university and college programs. HG projects are innovative with work happening locally as well as across the continent.

ADAM SIPIONE – CINEMATOGRAPHER:  Adam Sipone is passionate cinematographer and editor who loves the variety that video production has to offer.  After graduating from Film & Television Production, Adam Sipione moved to Huron County where he was able to turn a hobby into a full time career.

ALLYSON TIGHE – TECH ALLIANCE:  Allyson is the manager of Measured Innovation and Business Development at TechAlliance, a Company that serves as the ultimate resource for tech companies at any stage of their growth.  Their services help start, grow and connect companies in many industries including digital media, the life sciences, advanced manufacturing, and clean technology. These services include access to valuable expertise, seed funding, educational programs and workshops, industry-specific events, and a comprehensive membership program.

RANDALL LOBB & MARK HUSSEY – DOCUMENTARY FILM-MAKING:  Randall Lobb, Mark Hussey are local Huron County-based independent film makers that work in all genres, from pop music production and book publishing to podcasts, socially conscious PSAs, feature documentaries and more.  They take on projects in an incredibly wide variety of media for a broad spectrum of clients, delivering results at the highest possible quality.

HEATHER MORTON – PHOTOGRAPHER, ART BUYER:  Heather Morton authored the popular blog HMAb which receives over 20,000 unique visitors a month and encourages interesting discussion about all matters having to do with photography in the commercial world. Heather is also a freelance Art Buyer working in Toronto, she consults with photographers and is a regular lecturer on commercial photography. She teaches at Sheridan Institute of Technology.  Heather grew up in Belgrave and now lives in Toronto.

* * *

Blyth 14/19 is an initiative to create a national cultural hub in the village of Blyth to cultivate creativity to drive economic growth through culture and the arts.

For more information visit www.blyth1419.ca or call 519-523-4328.

The work of Blyth Arts & Cultural Initiative is supported, in part, by the Ontario Trillium Foundation.


CONTACT:      Karen Stewart, Administrator
Blyth Arts & Cultural Initiative 14/19 Inc.
519-523-4328 | 519-441-7629