The Prince George Fibre Arts Guild has an active membership that takes good advantage of the guild space, equipped with spinning, weaving, carding and felting supplies and tools as well as a library for the use of guild members. We have Movie Night the last Tuesday of each month, regular drop ins and present workshops as requested. In 2016 we partnered with Olds College (Alberta) in presenting level one of their Master Weaver program and look forward to possibly running both level one and two this year (2017). We are also beginning planning for the ANWG conference to be held in Prince George in 2019.
History of Guild
For several years (1971 – 1974) a small group of women had been meeting weekly to weave and spin. Others had been weaving on their own. In 1973 Elaine Genser came to Prince George to teach textiles at the College of New Caledonia… students were interested in learning how to weave and spin and the following year courses were instituted. Elain encouraged the formation of a guild and in June of 1974 an organizational meeting was held at the college to determine the degree of interest.
It was apparent from the turnout that there was a need to form a guild and its aims would be:
- to foster the art of spinning and weaving in the Prince George and surrounding area.
- to help stimulate each other and to encourage beginners.
- to collect looms and other basic tools of weaving and spinning, literature and other matter relative to the craft for use of members.
A great deal of ground work was done over July and August in preparation for that first September meeting. The group became a member of the Community Arts Council, thus becoming eligible for grants. Letters were written to other guilds with enthusiastic response and many suggestions. Sheepherders were contacted. The Yarn Barn became an agent for Leclerc looms. Winton school was commissioned to build small looms and accessories. Caledonia Books offered special discounts to guild members. The college offered much needed instruction and provided space for workshops. Courses in spinning, off-loom and four harness weaving absorbed many beginners as well as intermediates.
The first meeting was a huge success with many showing up. Fleeces and looms were ordered, a spinning workshop was set up and a slate of officers elected. News of Irene Waller was related to the group and slides of Convergence ’74 which was held in San Francisco were shown.