Passion and Persistence: An Inaugural History of the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design

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University of New Brunswick


The New Brunswick College of Craft and Design (NBCCD) has been an important influence on cultural development in the province of New Brunswick, with a heritage dating back to a government handicrafts training program of the 1930s. Over the years that outreach program has evolved into a contemporary post-secondary institution of fine craft and design, a designated centre of excellence. Today a range of College programs leading to certificates and diplomas, and an articulated program leading to a baccalaureate degree offered by the University of New Brunswick, provides students an educational experience unique in Canada. Appointed Principal in August 2007, I attempted to learn more about the venerable institution prior to beginning work on a new strategic plan. I quickly realized there was no formal documentation of the College's history or development, very little institutional data available and only anecdotal recollections from current and former instructors and administrators. Therefore the focus of my interdisciplinary research has been a history of the College, the first formal documentation of its development. This research has included interviews with key College staff and stakeholders, a comprehensive review of College documents and government files at the Provincial Archives, and the sourcing, editing and presenting of archival and contemporary visual material. This interdisciplinary focus reinforces the pivotal role the College has played – and continues to play – as an important resource within New Brunswick's cultural fabric.