Welcome to the Island Artisans Web site
The mission of the Island Artisans Association is to support and assist artisans to create a successful craft industry, and to foster excellence in crafts. Our member benefits include discount insurance rates, discounts at stores in the Islands community, a point of sale credit card machine through which artisans may have their sales from other venues run by the IAA, yearly cash awards for Excellence in Craft, and a yearly award for one vendor at our Christmas show, Gifts for Myself and Others.
With a mandate to foster excellence in craft and to support artisans from Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands in developing a successful craft industry, the Island Artisans Association has continuously had over 70 members for the past ten years.
The association grew out of an initiative undertaken by the Community Economic Development Corporation, CEDCO, in Victoria. The craft industry in this region is comprised mainly of self-employed individuals making a diverse range of objects in studios scattered over a broad area. The CEDCO study started a process that brought together these craftspeople to share their ideas for the advancement of the craft industry locally. It was decided that an organization was needed to speak for craft producers and assist in the development of skills to attract more rewarding markets. To this end, the IAA was formed and incorporated as a non-profit society in August 2002. Go to IAA History for more information.
Since the inception of the IAA, many activities have been pursued to help craftspeople connect with one another, improve their business skills and their profitability, and raise the profile of the craft industry in the region. There is an elected Board of Directors who work diligently to bring interesting and topical programmes to the monthly meetings and to make decisions that are timely for the association. A members’ meeting is held once a month in Victoria and this website that showcases our artisans and their accomplishments as well as the activities of the group. It is a testimony to the organization that many of the founding members are still active in the association.
The IAA produces Gifts for Myself and Others, a premier craft show and sale held each November in Victoria. In 2012, the first spring Gifts for Myself and Others was held and will continue in the future. We also offer opportunities for wholesale buyers to connect with our member artisans.
In 2011 and 2012, the Island Artisans Association rented a gallery space in the heart of Chinatown for July and August, giving our members the opportunity to display and sell their work for both tourists and locals.
For several years now, our membership has been supported through the organization of a Photoshoot. The IAA has underwritten the cost of hiring a professional photographer and a digital professional so that our members could have their work photographed and presented to them in digital form at a very reasonable cost.
The Island Artisans Association always welcomes new members and strives to encourage the public who appreciate and buy fine craft to support local artisans.
Please join us!