12 finalists for Premier’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts

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Twelve finalists have been announced for the Premier’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts.

The awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of Ontario’s arts community and its contributions to a strong, vibrant culture sector. Now in its 10th year, the program recognizes artists and arts organizations whose contributions span a significant period of time.

Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, said:”The arts are a powerful means of personal expression — and they can also build stronger, more cohesive communities, inspire social change and contribute to the richness of life in our province. There is a wealth of artistic talent across Ontario, and I am delighted these awards provide well-deserved recognition. This year’s finalists can be proud of all they have accomplished.”

This year’s finalists are:

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Artist Award

  • Christi Belcourt — Espanola, Visual Arts
  • David Buchbinder — Toronto, Music
  • George Elliott Clarke — Toronto, Literature
  • Dwayne Morgan — Toronto, Literature
  • Lata Pada — Mississauga, Dance
  • Larry Towell — Bothwell, Media Arts

Arts Organization Award

  • A Different Booklist — Toronto, Literature
  • Dusk Dances — Toronto, Dance
  • Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography — Toronto, Visual Arts
  • International Festival of Authors — Toronto, Literature
  • Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto — Toronto, Media Arts
  • Mouvement d’implication francophone d’Orléans — Ottawa, Multidisciplinary

The Premier’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts are administered by the Ontario Arts Council and recognize exceptional achievement in professional arts disciplines. These can include dance, music, opera, theatre, visual and media arts, literature and cultural industries (such as book and magazine publishing, digital media, film, television and sound recording), among others.

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The winning artist receives $35,000 and selects an emerging artist to receive $15,000. The winning arts organization is awarded $50,000. The remaining finalists each receive $2,000.

Nominations for the 2017 awards are being accepted until December 1, 2016. All Ontarians are invited to submit a nomination. The culture sector adds more than $25 billion to Ontario’s economy each year and generates about 280,000 jobs.

In July, the province launched its first Culture Strategy, to promote participation in arts and culture, build on the sector’s economic impact and help Ontarians tell their stories and express themselves.

Finalists were selected by a jury of experts across arts and culture disciplines. The winners will be announced on October 5 during a reception at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto. – CINEWS

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