2024 Call for Applications: Customs House Artisan Incubator

Cape Breton Centre for Craft & Design

Image: Corey Katz Photography

The Launchapd for Creative Entrepreneurs in Cape Breton

Submission Deadline: Open until filled

In partnership, Cape Breton Centre for Craft & Design and the Town of Port Hawkesbury offer long-term, 24hr access highly subsidised studio rentals (1 year minimum) that cushion participants from the risks of starting a craft business as a part of a thriving creative community.

Fully equipped studios (textiles, metals/jewellery & undetermined), combined with business and technique guidance, mentorship, sales, and marketing opportunities can help support your dream from the start-up stage all the way to a full-time Unama’ki-Cape Breton-based craft business reality. The program is specifically designed to help you develop your practice into a sustainable business.

Project Requirements

Applicants must:

  • Be new or emerging artists, craftspeople, craft practitioners, and artisans with design and technical skills
  • Have a desire to permanently relocate to Cape Breton to become part of the creative community on the island
  • Show talent and innovation
  • Want a full-time career as a professional craftsperson
  • Have at least the beginnings of a marketable craft product line with the potential for creative and technical development
  • Be able to work without a studio technician, and to problem-solve technical issues with equipment

Image: Corey Katz Photography


While the Centre does not require formal training for program participation, applicants are required to demonstrate a professional level of skill and technical ability. Applicants must commit to growing their business and assisting with the running of the Incubator within a cooperative environment.

Selection Process

Applications are reviewed by the Customs House Management Committee on a monthly basis and accepted until the studios are full. The Management Committee consists of industry professionals and Centre staff.

Image: Corey Katz Photography

Submission Requirements

Applicants must:

  • Complete the online application form, or contact vicki@capebretoncraft.com for alternative options
  • Provide up to 10 images of completed work as well as a supporting image list
  • Provide 2 professional references
  • Sign and date the declaration


  • Provide a CV

How to Submit

Application form portal links can be found at:

Submission Deadline: Applications accepted until studios are full

Interested applicants are encouraged to attend the Centre’s monthly Virtual Information Session. Registration available through Eventbrite.

For additional information or questions, please contact:
Vicki Clough

Cape Breton Centre for Craft & Design logo

Cape Breton Centre for Craft & Design
322 Charlotte Street, Sydney, NS
(902) 539 7491

Facebook: @capebretoncentreforcraftanddesign
Instagram @capebretoncraft
Twitter @CapeBretonCraft

Customs House is fully accessible with accessible washrooms, a ramp, and automatic doors.

Image descriptions:
1. Exterior image of the Customs House Incubator building taken in summer. The image shows the front of the red brick building with the accessible ramp on the left and the stairs in front. Colourful banners and flags flank the entrace.
2. Interior image of the Customs House Incubator showing the retail space floor. Wall displays of prints, textiles and jewellery can be seen in the background. The foreground depicts a table laden with glass, wood and pottery items for sale.
3. An image of a potter wearing orange overalls sitting at their wheel. They are focusing on the clay in their hands as they shape a shallow bowl. Finished bowls can be seen on the table in the background.