Indigenous Youth Expressions in Glass

Indigenous Youth Expressions Program

The Capital Glass Co-op is a venture that is dear to my heart.  Ever since my time at the Sheridan College School of Craft and Design (way back in 1998!), I’ve had the vision of sharing this craft.  The happiest times in my life have been when I have had access to a studio and been able to blow glass. The physical and mental benefits of blowing glass are huge: it is dangerous, difficult and so rewarding all at the same time! The positive impact it can have in your life is remarkable. Our mission is to share this craft with others to build the glass artists community and enrich our city’s culture through glass art in a meaningful way.

Capital Glass Co-op has always believed that glassblowing could be beneficial to the Indigenous youth at risk.  In a grass roots spirit, we have partnered up with the Odawa Indigenous Friendship Centre.  We are offering glassblowing and glass casting courses to the Indigenous youth in their program, as well as from other youth engagement programs.

Although the idea of giving them a new experience outside of what they know is nice, that is not our end goal completely.  What we hope to achieve with these young adults, is the chance for them to find their own voice of expression through glassblowing and sculpture.  If they can take classes for a full year, long enough to establish their fundamental skills, they will gain freedom to play with the medium and explore what the glass can do for them.

Glassblowing is perfect for the older youth between 18 and 30, but a little too dangerous for the younger ones.  For the kids, aged 13 to 18, we offer glass casting.  No hot molten glass for them.  Don’t be mistaken that this is somehow not as interesting as the glassblowing.  The potential of what is possible with glass casting, is great.    Our goal is to give them the skills they need to be able to create glass art for life.

How will we do this?  When you purchase your Capital Glass Co-op membership, 30% of the proceeds will go towards funding the program.  You can give an Ottawa Indigenous youth at risk the chance to access this life changing art medium.  Give them the opportunity to contribute to our city’s culture and economy as a glass artist from the Co-op.

If this feels like something you would like to be part of, we would love to hear from you!  Your social commitment will be well rewarded in a colour tile with your name on it, that is part of a sculptural mobile at the glass shop.  As well as the knowledge that you are contributing to a great opportunity for the Indigenous youth at risk of Ottawa.

Drop us a line at we would love to hear from you!