The Sheila Hugh Mackay Foundation donates to the New Brunswick Mat Registry

The New Brunswick Museum in partnership with the New Brunswick Mat Registry are pleased to announce their thanks and appreciation to the Sheila Hugh Mackay Foundation for their generous donation of $20,000 to the project: Sharing Our New Brunswick Mat Hooking Heritage – Building a Permanent Virtual Exhibition. Bill Hicks, NBM CEO states, “This support is a significant step forward in the fundraising efforts toward the goal of sharing the information gathered about this important aspect of New Brunswick material and cultural heritage.”

The registry process has documented over 600 hooked mats from around the province. The project has engaged hundreds of individuals across the province and beyond, collecting stories and images. “This has fostered a renewed sense of pride and understanding of the mat makers, their motivations, their talents and their unique contributions to the story that is New Brunswick”, says Judy Morison co-chair from the New Brunswick Mat Registry.

The virtual exhibition will present mat information, images, and stories, including videos of oral interviews, educational modules and with sections on hooking history and contemporary developments.  “With this funding, various elements of the exhibition action plan have now moved forward which will advance project timelines and milestones substantially”, shares Marielle Poirier co-chair of the New Brunswick Mat Registry.

As a presenting sponsor, SHMF adds, “The Sheila Hugh Mackay Foundation aims to contribute to the preservation of a fulsome anecdotal and technical history of one of New Brunswick’s oldest art forms. Often born of necessity or financial need, hand crafted mats can transcend the utilitarian; they reveal the creativity and spirit of their makers. SHMF salutes the scores of dedicated volunteers who engaged hundreds of individuals to catalogue the stories of these heirlooms. Together with the professional staff of the New Brunswick Museum, the field team members of the NB Mat Registry are creating a rich resource that will delight contemporary art lovers and become an invaluable permanent treasury of information for future cultural researchers. The support of the foundation is given with great respect for the vision of all involved in the assembly of this virtual exhibition and the hope for an ongoing documentation of this heritage craft.”

The New Brunswick Museum and the New Brunswick Museum Mat Registry look forward to continuing to share and engage individuals provincially and globally on this significant collection that is a part of the vibrant New Brunswick cultural heritage. Stay tuned for more details from both the NBM and NB Mat Registry on the future launch of this permanent virtual exhibition – Sharing Our New Brunswick Mat Hooking Heritage.

New Brunswick Mat Registry was created by a network of volunteers from all regions of New Brunswick to document the hooked mats in New Brunswick homes and to preserve the stories behind them. For more information on the New Brunswick Mat Registry visit

Photo: Hooked mat by Kayle Eno examined by the NB Museum and NB Mat Registry, Moncton, 2016


For more information:

New Brunswick Museum
Caitlin Griffiths or Aristi Dsilva, Communications and Marketing,
506-654-7059 or 506-643-2358