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23rd Annual Rug Hooking Award Winners
for 2019

Congratulations to the 2019 award winners!


The Rachelle LeBlanc Collection was selected for "The Sauder Award,” as the pieces that best exemplify the mission and spirit of Historic Sauder Village and represents outstanding artistry and quality of work.

Rachelle LeBlanc Collection

From Left to Right:
"When We Were Young"

"Hands Full"
"Three Graces"
Designed and Hooked by: Rachelle LeBlanc

Collection Description:
Storytelling connects us to our roots and lives and helps explain who we are. When we move from one place to another, we carry our traditions, memories, and history with us and try to recreate what has been left to help define a new sense of belonging. Physical and emotional displacement can compose the essential elements of human existence. Events such as birth, growth, emotion, aspiration, conflict, and mortality, are part of who we are and can help tell our story. Rachelle’s work draws on this storytelling narrative, where the tensions between the memories and the imagined plays out one loop at a time.

When We Were Young

29”x 35”. 100%wool, 100% wool binding, cotton thread, wood. During an afternoon car ride, between the moments of laughter and serious conversation, my oldest daughter said to her younger sister “When we were growing up, mom paid more attention to you then she did to me”.  This comment had a profound effect on me, for echoed for weeks because a comment like that comes from a place of sadness.   I began to realize that moments like this only exist to punctuate the human drama in order to clarify our existence and find a poetic meaning in everyday life. These works are a direct response to my daughters comment.

In art work #1, “When we Were Young”, Emanuelle is shown twice looking away from her sister wearing a T shirt with the word AIMÉE, meaning the loved one.  Lauren leans toward her sister, their hands touch suggesting a sisterly closeness, but the older of the two pulls her away hinting of the jealousy between them.  


40”x60”. 100% wool, 100% wool binding, 100% linen canvas, cotton thread, wood. 

This is the 2nd rug in the “Finding Home” Beyond Traditions” series.  A self portrait.
In “Revelation” a woman in a white dress opens her arms and reveals herself to the viewer, surrendering to who she truly is, her most powerful, honest soul-deep self.   Everyone of us, at some point in our lives, encounters a situation that rocks the foundation of who we are and what we think we can bear—something that pushes us past our limits.

I am undoubtedly interested in things that are difficult to say.  Sometimes the realization of the uncomfortable truth can prompt new work, but the anxiety of the moment is often rendered into the work through the use of symbols, subject, and humor.  


55”x54”. 100%wool, 100% wool binding, 100% Linen canvas, cotton thread, wood. Picnic is a piece that is part of a series called “Finding Home”  Beyond Traditions that was produced shortly after moving to Alberta.  The ravens were introduced to the background and help symbolize the pain in the anxiety felt by my children and I as we tried to find a place in our new Alberta surroundings. 

Three Graces
In art work #2, “Three Graces”, Emanuelle, the younger of the two sisters, is represented three times.  Together they personify charm, grace and beauty.  They playfully chat, carefree, and unaware of their surroundings.  Content with the attention they are shown.   When viewed together, you can notice that there is only one Lauren, but five Emanuelles

As a parent, we are often so busy trying to give our children what they want, we sometimes forget to give them they need.  As working mother trying to juggle work, family and personal needs, we can often find ourselves struggling with balance.  We forget to understand the fragility of life’s passing moments that tell our stories through memories and moments shared with the people who surround us. 

Hands Full
Self portrait of me, overwhelmed as a young working mother, trying to balance everything. This sculpture is part of the “Transitions”-Hooked Sculpture series.  The series explore how storytelling, thought, imagination and emotions are used as inspiration on a 3D figurative form. Mixed media experimentation is in 3-D form are new for me and add an enormous amount of creative labour to my work. 100% linen canvas, 100% wool, wood and polyester fill. There were 32 pattern pieces needed to create this sculpture.



Rachelle LeBlanc pictured with her award winning collection.

Debbie David, Sauder Village President & CEO and  Kathy Wright, Director of Rug Hooking Week with the 2019 Sauder Award Hooked Rug Collection.

PEOPLE'S CHOICE:  Fruit & Floral

Design: "Bloomfest"
Hooked by: Judy Howell
Designed by: Judy Howell with Assistance from Anne Bond & Nancy Stowers     

DSC_0041   72dpi


Design: "Semper Fi - Always Faithful"
Hooked by: Donna Hrkman
Designed by: Donna Hrkman

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PEOPLE'S CHOICE:   Animals/Birds/Insects

Design: "Mitch"
Hooked by: Mary McGrath
Designed by: Adapted with Permission from Vicki Sawyer by Leonard Feenan

DSC_0032   72dpi

PEOPLE'S CHOICE:   Mixed Media

Design: "The Understory - A Tree is the Passage Between"
Hooked by: Kris McDermet
Designed by: Kris McDermet

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PEOPLE'S CHOICE:   People/Places/Pictorials

Design: "Star piper"
Hooked by: Robin Hartzog
Designed by: David Galchutt

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PEOPLE'S CHOICE:   Orientals/Crewel/Geometric

Design: "OSV-134 Large Frost Oriental"
Hooked by: Nancy Z Parcels
Designed by: W. Kushing & Co

DSC_0027   72dpi

PEOPLE'S CHOICE: Special Exhibit: Dimension From Our Hands

Design: "Catty Caddy"
Hooked by: Gail Duclos LaPierre
Designed by: Gail Duclos LaPierre


PEOPLE'S CHOICE: Special Exhibit: Fascinators & Hats

Design: "Van Gogh's Sunflowers on Parisian Hat"
Hooked by: April DeConick
Designed by: April DeConick
DSC_0036  72dpi