In 1947, a small group of experienced weavers, namely Miss Mary E. Black of Nova Scotia, Mrs. Ethel M. Henderson of Manitoba, and Mrs. Mary Sandin of Alberta, drafted a plan to organize Canadian weavers into a nation-wide guild to be called the Guild of Canadian Weavers.
The purposes of the Guild were many, but the main objective was to raise the technical, mechanical and artistic standards of hand weaving among Canadian weavers. It was felt that this could be done most effectively through establishing examinations, or tests, based on the various levels of ability of the beginning, intermediate, senior and master weaver. Certificates would be awarded to those who successfully passed the examinations. There was an immediate positive response to the idea.
The Guild of Canadian Weavers has been built up through the hard work, thought and interest of various committees and individuals working under the difficulties of distance and the written, rather than the spoken word. This is a large country, but its size is only appreciated when one experiences the problems of working on a committee whose members may live from one coast to the other. It is to the credit and perseverance of the members of these committees that today the Guild is a smoothly functioning organization unique in that it does not hold meetings or conventions on a national level.
It is interesting to note that Guild members are consistently listed among the top prize winners at Canadian and international exhibitions.