The Craft Council of NL is closing the Labrador Craft Marketing Agency in Happy Valley Goose Bay.

The Labrador Craft Producers Association (LCPA) has been in operation for seventeen years.

We spoke with Janet Skinner of the Labrador Literacy Action and Information Network.

She says the Craft Council of NL opened the LCMA office in HVGB to purchase crafts.

Support services previously available through LCPA have not been available since then.

Over time, the number of producers selling to LCMA has decreased.

Facing possible budget reductions, the Craft Council of NL decided to close the LCMA office on September 30, 2013.

Skinner says many craft producers, agencies, patrons and businesses in Labrador believe that we need to explore the needs of craftspeople.

And find out how those needs can be met if crafts production and sales are to thrive.

A volunteer Working Group is collaborating with the Craft Council of NL to host discussion groups and interviews with interested people throughout Labrador.

By the end of October, consultations will have taken place in communities on the South East coast, Labrador Straits, Western Labrador, Central Labrador and with related agencies in Nunatsiavut, Sheshatshiu and Natuashish.

Skinner says it is clear that there is a demand for traditional and contemporary Labrador crafts.

These crafts have great cultural importance.

Skinner says finding ways to preserve and pass on these skills, develop new product lines, enhance business skills and find affordable sources of raw materials is critical to the future of Labrador crafts.

Discussion groups have been well attended and generated creative and thoughtful ideas for the future.

It is hoped that recommendations from these discussions will result in a practical and successful framework for supporting Labrador craft production in the future.

Comments from people throughout Labrador are welcome.