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Niagara Handweavers & Spinners

Founded in 1948, guild members have been seen weaving, rope-making or spinning at various locations in Niagara for over 61 years! One of the main purposes of our Guild is “to stimulate a renewed interest in weaving and spinning and to unite the weavers of the Region” who are interested in, or engaged in the craft of handweaving, spinning and other related fibre arts.

 

A guild is an association of craftsmen in a particular trade. The purpose of a guild is to impart knowledge, wisdom and teachings to other members about the craft. We also want to encourage public awareness of these crafts in our community and assist our Guild members in any manner deemed appropriate.


In that light, the Niagara Handweavers and Spinners offer both spinning and weaving lessons. We also demonstrate our craft at various heritage days and other events throughout Niagara, provide workshops at schools, participate in outreach programs, place entries in “Five Counties”, and compete in the Royal Winter Agricultural Fair’s “sheep to shawl” contest.


We have participated in the St. Davids Heritage Days, demonstrated at Ball’s Falls Conservation Area, the Willoughby Museum in Niagara Falls, Port Colborne’s Canal Days, the Beamsville Fair and various malls in Niagara.


We also display samples of our work at the libraries in Niagara Falls, St. Catharines, Fort Erie and Ridgeway, as well as at our ‘home base”, the Welland Museum.

 


As a Guild Member you may:
• Attend monthly meetings the second Saturday of the month
• Weave with other weavers during our regular Tuesday morning studio time from 9:00 am to 1:00pm
• Attend monthly “spin days” on the last Saturday of the month
• Access workshops on dyeing, spinning, weaving, fibre processing and basketry
• Take part in field trips, workshops and seminars
• Rent equipment
• Borrow from our extensive lending library
• Receive guild newsletters
• Participate in various competitions offered at Five Counties, the Royal Winter Agricultural Fair and others sponsored by the Ontario Handweavers and Spinners (OHS)

 

 

 

 

Hours of Operation

Guild Meetings are the second Saturday of each month at 10:00 am in the Welland Museum's "Weaver's Gallery." Down the front stairs or take the elevator, and the Weaver's Gallery is to the left. Call to confirm at (905)732-2215 http://www.wellandmuseum.ca/Exhibits.html

Historical

Our Guild had its first meeting back on September 9, 1948. The first members – eighteen of them – were students of an Ontario government “Community Programmes” course in weaving which had been held here during that summer. These women were so taken up with learning to weave that they immediately organized the Niagara Weavers Guild. They immediately became affiliated with the Ontario Handweavers and Spinners (OHS) and shortly afterward began holding exhibits, taking part in craft and folk festivals, convening workshops, and talking themselves up to whomever would listen. We are one of the oldest continuing Guilds in Ontario, sharing this honour with the guilds in Kingston and Kitchener-Waterloo. Since we began, we have gone beyond our boundaries of Niagara Falls, with members now coming from all over Niagara including St. Catharines, Port Dalhousie, Thorold, Jordan, Welland, Pelham, Fort Erie, Ridgeway, Port Colborne and Wainfleet. And somewhere along the line we included spinners, basket makers, dyers, knitters and fabric artists of all kinds.

Further Information

Ontario Arts Council member Ontario Handweavers and Spinners member

Ownership & Management

Julie Bayza - Spinning Instructor (905) 934-7131 jbayza@sympatico.ca

Gail Gilmore (905) 354-9014
wgilmore@cogeco.ca

Vera VanBrussel (905) 894-2222

Admission Fee

$40.00 per year

Address

Niagara Handweavers & Spinners
Welland Historical Museum, 140 King Street
Welland, Ontario
L3B 3J3

Telephone

(905) 984-5217

Administration

Mary Armbrust
President and Weaving Instructor
Niagara Handweavers & Spinners
170 Martindale Rd, Unit 20
St. Catharines, Ontario
L2S 4C8
Tel (905) 984-5217
Email armbrust@vaxxine.com

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