Crystal Willie | Founding Partner

  • Bachelor of Arts (Distinction), History and Political Science, Concordia University of Edmonton
  • Master of Arts, History, University of Alberta
  • Professional Specialization Certificate in Cultural Heritage Sector Leadership, University of Victoria

Contact Crystal

780.993.4985

Crystal Willie provides consulting services to cultural sector organizations and not-for-profits, primarily in the areas of project management, policy development, program support, and planning. She has worked with community organizations from small arts cooperatives to provincial and municipal government agencies. Her clients include MacEwan University’s Arts and Cultural Management Program, the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, the National Music Centre, the Edmonton Arts and Heritage Councils, and several Alberta museums.

Crystal has a strong record of pulling together great teams and working collaboratively with other consultants to bring clients the right mix of skills and experience for their project. Since starting Purple Aspen Consulting in 2013, Crystal has worked independently or led team projects in interpretive planning and visitor experience assessment, granting program review, emergency preparedness and disaster planning, cultural planning, website and grant writing, and governance and museum practice policy development.

At the Alberta Museums Association, where Crystal worked for 12 years, she oversaw organizational performance assessment programs such as the Recognized Museum Program and the Museum Excellence Program, employing outcome-based evaluation techniques. She is the editor and project manager of the 3rd Edition, Standard Practices Handbook for Museums (2014), which frames standards of practice as a balance between organizational best practices in a context of community relevancy and organizational sustainability and agility, and the HELP! An Emergency Preparedness Manual for Museums, 2nd Edition (2018).

Crystal was a member of the Steering Committee to establish the Edmonton Heritage Council and served on the board for five years, including as its chair. She has more than twenty years of experience working and volunteering with museums, heritage organizations, and other not-for-profits. Recently Crystal began an online Design Thinking Certificate from Cornell University to further develop her skills in applying system thinking and design theory to developing strong community focused programs and services in non-profit organizations. Crystal has led a volunteer team of over 50 people which sponsored a Syrian refugee family and provides community supports to newcomer families, and engages with community and government organizations to improve or develop supports in a quickly evolving environment.

The services Crystal provides are purposeful in their intent to build systems and capacity to achieve positive outcomes for communities.