The Circle Craft Co-operative mission statement is
"to support and promote the work of co-operative members, as well as excellence in British Columbia craft"
Circle Craft is an artist-run cooperative based in Vancouver, BC. Our governance structure is a volunteer Board of Directors, a majority who are Co-op members, that operates under the Carver Model of Governance. This means that the Board employs experienced individuals to run the different facets of the Co-operative on a day-to-day basis, while the Board focuses on long-term goals and vision for the organization.
Currently Circle Craft has two main factions; the Co-op and the Market, both of which are owned by the cooperative. The most visible part of the Co-op is run out of our flagship store on Granville Island. This is the face of the organization and main representation of our members for the majority of the year. The Market takes place annually in November, and is run out of a separate office in Vancouver.
Circle Craft Co-operative had its beginnings in Victoria, BC in 1973 and incorporated as a coop in 1974. Artisans who worked in textiles received a federal government grant to further their work, and the BC Textile Centre subsequently opened. This display and resource centre soon began to display work in all craft categories and the name Circle Craft came into being. In December 1972 the Vancouver East Cultural Centre was used by Circle Craft for its first Christmas Market. In 1977, the headquarters of the organization moved to Vancouver and in 1984 the Circle Craft store moved to Granville Island. In 1987 the ‘famous’ Vancouver East Cultural Centre Christmas Market moved to the Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre . Renamed the Circle Craft Christmas Market it has enjoyed great success.
Quality control has consistently been one of the major guiding principles of the organization, and all members work is juried before being accepted for display or sale. Members rely on the support of customers to keep the co-operative moving forward and in turn, recognize the importance of an ongoing commitment to quality and innovation.