The Centre for Retrofitting and Failure Techniques. C.R.A.F.T.


qʷicčiƛma (the sky opened up) is how we translate this concept to nuučaańuł.

C.R.A.F.T./qʷicčiƛma explores and fosters contemporary arts practice with people of all stripes. We are a small, Indigenous-led organization with a locally-oriented printmaking studio, an outdoor garden/stage/gathering area, and a digital space with unlimited potential.

In 2023, C.R.A.F.T. led a team of consultants including a certified energy analyst and electrician, a master builder, a waste stream expert, master gardener and community advocate, a First Nations energy policy expert, a First Nations screen printing studio, a wild pigment expert, and a master collaborative printmaker to research and create Naaqʔiisamis N̓ism̓aqał, A Respectful Map of Our Land. The project included several collaborative consulting rounds; the result is an evolving shareable publication that can inform others, meanwhile providing sustainable planning and guidance for C.R.A.F.T. as it continues to develop. Published in 2024 as our first C.R.A.F.T. Paper.

C.R.A.F.T. welcomes Q Collective to its first Digital Potentials residency in Autumn 2023, exploring and prototyping digital presence in a complex, plural wifi-free reality. 

April 2023: C.R.A.F.T. teamed up with Comox Valley Art Gallery and Plants Are Teachers to bring Wild Pigment Project's Tilke Elkins and Noel Guetti and friends to Ahswinnis and beyond. Over two days, we investigated wild pigments for printing inks at the C.R.A.F.T. studio, and held our first inter-community meal. Next we visited the Comox Valley for a collaborative presentation on Expanded Stewardship and a workshop led by Tilke.

C.R.A.F.T. participated in the Hiisʔuuwaa Sessions, an open discussion between artists from Cedar House Gallery, UMD Gallery and C.R.A.F.T. in Tofino, BC, Autumn 2022. We created postcards as provocations and conversation starters and recorded the whole thing. Project led by Carly Butler.

Printmaking Studio + Stage / Meeting Area

C.R.A.F.T. is renovating a studio to be equipped for screenprinting and letterpress. There will also be an outdoor stage and garden for performances and gatherings. We are exploring what it means to be a net-negative energy studio. We would like to invite people to come and work in these spaces.

Blockchain Study Group

C.R.A.F.T. studied the possibilities and pitfalls of web3 technology with a small diverse group through summer 2022. We wanted to know if these technologies have meaning to us in practice.

[ CENTRE ] To be a lightning rod and reference point in arts-based practice and research. To form, then document, current experimental practices.


[ RETROFITTING ] To activate the possibility of redoing, reworking, revisiting concepts and materials as a methodology for testing, building, making, and sustaining communities, practice and work.

[ AND ] Inclusion

[ FAILURE ] To approach risk with awareness, but without fearing unexpected results. To use openness, observation, and adaptation as a productive trajectory and test space into an unknown future.

[ TECHNIQUES ] To refine and integrate the practice of arts-based research, making and execution. To explore the [re]distribution of wealth through making-based practice. To be self-sustaining in this work. 

C.R.A.F.T. is buoyed by many individual and organizational supporters as we begin. We thank you and look forward to sharing the ongoing results of our collective vision.

C.R.A.F.T. is a B.C. non-profit society located on Ahswinnis Reserve, Port Alberni, Canada. Incorporation Number S0073243.


Board :

Klehwetua Rodney Sayers, co-founder & president
Michelle Jacques, vice-president
Emily Luce, co-founder & treasurer/secretary