About Us

Museum of Civilization director receives Lifetime Achievement Award


For immediate release

Gatineau, Quebec, October 30, 2012 — The Canadian Museum of Civilization is proud to announce that Alan Elder, the Director of its Ethnology and Cultural Studies Division, is the recipient of the 2012 John Mather Award for Lifetime Achievement, presented by the Ontario Crafts Council. The Award honours outstanding individuals who have displayed exceptional commitment to the further development of craft in Ontario and throughout Canada.

Mr. Elder was nominated for the award by Melanie Egan, head of the Craft Department at Harbourfront Centre and a past recipient of the honour. “I strongly believe Alan Elder epitomizes the intention of this award,” Ms. Egan wrote in her nomination letter. She referred to Mr. Elder’s “esteemed international reputation,” and noted that he “continues to enjoy the utmost respect and appreciation of his colleagues and peers.”

Before his promotion to Director, Ethnology and Cultural Studies Division, Mr. Elder was the Museum’s Curator of Canadian Crafts and Design. 

“I offer hearty congratulations to Alan on his receipt of this prestigious and well-deserved honour from his peers,” said Mark O’Neill, President and CEO of the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation. “Alan’s contributions at the Museum, and within the larger crafts community, have indeed been outstanding.”  

Mr. Elder has worked in the field of craft and design for over 25 years. Since joining the Canadian Museum of Civilization as a curator in 2002, he has worked on several major exhibitions, including Japan: Tradition. Innovation, Cool ’60s Design, Unique: 30 Years of Outstanding Crafts, and Harvesting Clay: The Beauce Pottery in the 1940s. He has also edited two books co-published by the Museum: Made in Canada: Craft and Design in the Sixties (in conjunction with the Design Exchange and McGill-Queen’s University Press) and Crafting New Traditions. Canadian Innovators and Influences (with Harbourfront Centre).

Mr. Elder’s career at the Museum was preceded by 15 years of work experience in various arts organizations and galleries, followed by studies leading to a masters degree from the Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory, at the University of British Columbia.

The John Mather Award for Lifetime Achievement has been presented annually since 1980 to recognize service to crafts over an extended period. It is named for the founding treasurer of the Ontario Crafts Council, a member-based, not-for-profit arts organization that serves and promotes the crafts industry.

The Canadian Museum of Civilization is the centre for research and public information on the social and human history of the country. Located on the shores of the Ottawa River in Gatineau, Quebec, the Museum is Canada’s largest and most popular cultural institution, attracting over 1.2 million visitors each year. The Museum of Civilization’s principal role is to preserve and promote the heritage of Canada for present and future generations, thereby contributing to the promotion and enhancement of Canadian identity.

–­ 30 –­

Media Contacts:

Patricia Lynch
Manager, Media Relations, Partnerships and Special Events
Telephone: 819-776-7167
Stéphanie Verner
Media Relations Officer
Telephone: 819-776-7169


Recent News


Snow. A source of passion, creativity and ingenuity — what would Canada be without it?More Information

Did you see Terry Fox run?

We're looking for the photos you took of the marathon of hope!More Information