I had written about my first pick twice last year, for the Cape Breton Post, and was so happy that both my mother, and my mother-in-law went there for my Christmas gifts last year. You can find the Cape Breton Centre of Craft and Design online at www.capebretoncraft.com and on Facebook at http://facebook.com/capebretoncraft. And it is actually thanks to a blog by Russell Thomas, who also lives in Fort McMurray about a place for artists to gather that it made me think of the Centre today. They are now located on Charlotte Street in Sydney, and they have a pottery studio, a glass and jewellery studio, a weaving and art studio and a multipurpose room round out the lower level. On the second level, a beautiful gallery showcases all the artwork. You can even register on their gift registry if you want to direct people to some of your picks.
And yes, there is a wide variety of everything to pick from, and you might have a hard time picking just one or two things. I have received a beautiful silk scarf and some wonderful mugs...and have my eye on a few things again. What a wonderful treat for those living away to get something from a talented artist at home...and you will be supporting a local artist.
And I might as well just get my second pick out of the way, and then you guys will all stop wondering when I am going to bring up Matt Minglewood. I love him, I will always love him, and I will continue to promote him until the day I die...which will be before him, because he has to sing at my funeral. There is no greater ambassador or no one more East Coast then Matt. He has won East Coast Music Awards, the Maple Blues Award, 3 Gold Albums, a Doctorate from the Cape Breton University. But most importantly, Matt has won the hearts of Canadians from coast to coast, to coast in Canada. He has been taking the stage in every province and territory for over 40 years, and is the hardest working man in the music industry in Canada. He has been playing fiddle, piano and guitar from the young age of eight, and when he takes a stage, he has the audience eating out of the palm of his hand.
I always love introducing somewhat new to Matt's music, and that was kind of hard to do when I was still living on the East Coast, but once I moved West I had a new playing field, but it is still only once in a while when I can find, usually a younger person who will get the introduction.