The Leading Light Award

Not many people have heard of the "Leading Light Award" and I am not surprised! Let me go back a bit. In the late 1970's our provincial craft organization, NSDCC, began to plan a national juried exhibition of fine Nova Scotia crafts that would be called "Profile '81". The committee organizing this exhibition was made up of mainly women from quite a few different craft mediums from the fibre arts (weaving, quilting, needlework) to metal arts to pottery etc. We had such a great time at our meetings that they also became social events which would usually involve a pot luck lunch or dinner. Soon after that one of the committee members moved to her own apartment after her marriage ended so we had a surprise shower for her to stock her kitchen with a few necessities.


Most of the "Brunch Bunch".

Next thing we knew we were making plans for another get-together for someone else's birthday, as if we needed an 'excuse"! Next thing we knew we had a name "The Brunch Bunch" and now 30+ years later we are still gathering for birthdays, Christmas, Valentine's Day and just whenever we feel a need to see one another. Over the years we have lost Marian (our matriarch) and Sandra and we miss them both terribly. But hardly a gathering will go by without their names coming up. They both had a great influence on all of us.

"The Leading Light Award" was Marian's wonderful idea, though some hold it in higher regard than others! It is the epitome of tacky! We have accomplished a lot, we have been recognized by our peers for our craft, for our volunteer efforts, for our dedication to our provincial and national organizations. We have had solo exhibitions, group exhibitions, invitational exhibitions and we had a Brunch Bunch Exhibition at the Lunenburg Art Gallery. Many of us have had our work published and many of us have written about our craft for publication. A few have written or are writing books abut their craft.

I received "The Leading Light Award" when my quilt, Waternish Star was awarded an Honourable Mention for Bed Quilts at the Canadian Quilters Association annual juried exhibition. This quilt was hand pieced (the 2 outside broders were machined sewn on to the quilt), hand quilted and it has over 4,000 pieces. I was thrilled with both awards!

"The Leading Light Award" comes with one criteria - it must be displayed! It is awarded when one of our bunch accomplishes something, does something extraordinary. The person who has it can decide who gets it next, there is no time restraint. I have had it for some time. It was displayed in my sewing room, on a shelf in full view! I really did cherish having it, to be so honoured by such a gifted, creative and supportive group. I recently passed it on to Jamie for her dedication and determination to provide students and artists with the best paper available from the Japanese Paper Place and for her amazing handmade books (and quilts). Jamie will get to enjoy this award for a while then it will be her turn to decide who gets it next. Can't wait to see who it is!