Local sugar artist named ‘Canada’s Rising Star’

by | May 17, 2024

Carlow’s Heather Salmon-Caines is winning awards and earning international fame

When most people think of art, they don’t immediately think of cookies and cakes. 

However, Carlow resident Heather Salmon-Caines is one of a small number of artists who are channelling their creative energy into working with an unusual medium – sugar. 

These artists even work under the title of “Sugar Artist,” and Caines has been making a name for herself in the world of sugar artistry.

Approximately six years ago, Salmon-Caines left her job as a cleaner and decided to pursue baking, which had always been one of her hobbies. It wasn’t long before she moved past just doing custom orders for cakes and cookies and started exploring what she could create with sugar. 

An artist at heart who studied graphic design in school, Salmon-Caines enjoyed the challenge of working with a new medium. 

“There are not many sugar artists; it’s a medium that people are afraid to use,” explained Caines. 

Soon, Caines began attending sugar shows across North America, which she described as “volunteering for a really long weekend of hard work,” which allowed her to make industry connections. 

However, the hard work paid off, and her career exploded. In the last year, she has been featured as a sugar artist in six different magazines, has been on two Food Network shows, and has won four different competition awards, including the Icing Images Award at the SIMI Sugar Splash Virtual Art Competition and the SIMI Isomalt Awards at Candy Expo.

She also took third place at the prestigious Julia Usher Competition at Takes the Cake and, most recently, won Canada’s Rising Star award at the American Cake Awards.

Salmon-Caines admits that winning the award was monumental for her. 

“When I became a finalist, I was shocked because there were so many other big names there,” she said, continuing to say that she was even more surprised when she won.

“That award has never come to Atlantic Canada before,” she said. 

Salmon-Caines said that she hopes that by winning the award, she can be a trailblazer for other people in Atlantic Canada, an area she feels has a lot of overlooked talent. 

“I want people to realize they can do this – you can put yourself out there and do crazy things and succeed.”

A 3-D creation made entirely of cake to celebrate the 2024 Eclipse. (Submitted)

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