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Toronto Arts Foundation Awards

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The Awards

Through its awards portfolio, Toronto Arts Foundation has honoured many of Toronto’s finest artists and arts organizations. The awards are presented annually as part of The Mayor’s Arts Lunch, an elegant event that brings together the entire spectrum of Toronto’s creative community. At The Mayor’s Arts Lunch, the Foundation welcomes artists of all disciplines, key business and civic leaders, corporate partners, politicians from all levels of government, as well as special guests and celebrities. From Toronto’s innovators and icons, to our most ambitious emerging artists and arts organizations, the past winners of our awards are doing their part to build the cultural legacy of our great city. Our artists and arts organizations are revitalizing their communities through their work.They are helping transform the city.They are building a Creative City: Block by Block.

This year, Toronto Arts Foundation is pleased to welcome CIBC as a new Presenting Sponsor of the Toronto Arts Foundation Awards. This two year partnership will bring CIBC to the forefront of celebrating artists, business and political leaders, and cultural innovators in the City of Toronto.

Award Descriptions

Arts for Youth Award

The Arts for Youth Award is a $15,000 cash prize established in 2007 by Martha Burns, Jim Fleck, and Sandra and Jim Pitblado. The award celebrates an individual, collective or organization that has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to engaging Toronto’s youth through the arts and artistic creation. The winner of the Award will receive a $15,000 cash prize, with each finalist receiving $2,000 each. This Finalist Award was established in 2010 through the generous donation of Diana Bennett and Spencer Lanthier.

The Toronto Arts and Business Award

The 2014 Toronto Arts and Business Award will celebrate a local business that has sponsored the arts for the first time and made an important contribution to the arts in Toronto through innovative, transformative and entrepreneurial partnerships. Established in 2006, this award is presented in partnership with Toronto Arts Foundation, Business for the Arts and The Toronto Star.

Emerging Artist Award

The Toronto Arts Foundation Emerging Artist Award is a $5,000 cash prize, celebrating the accomplishments and future potential of an emerging Toronto artist working in any discipline. The winner of this award will receive a $5,000 cash prize, with finalists receiving $1,000 each. Established in 2006, the award is intended to support the development or completion of new work. (Eligibility details listed below). The Finalist Awards are made possible through a generous donation by the Bulmash-Siegel Fund.

Roy Thomson Hall Award of Recognition

The Roy Thomson Hall Award of Recognition is a $10,000 cash prize presented to an individual, ensemble or organization to recognize creative, performing, administrative, volunteer or philanthropic contributions to Toronto’s musical life. This award was established by the Volunteer Committee of Roy Thomson Hall in 1984 to recognize and thank the community that supported the conception, building and establishment of the new concert hall. Toronto Arts Foundation has managed the award since 2002 on behalf of the Corporation of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall.

William Kilbourn Award for the Celebration of Toronto’s Cultural Life

The William Kilbourn Award for the Celebration of Toronto’s Cultural Life is a $5,000 cash prize is presented to an individual performer, teacher, administrator or creator in any arts discipline, including architecture and design, whose work is a celebration of life through the arts in Toronto. Established in 1996, this award is funded through an endowment made possible by private donors who wished to celebrate and remember the life of William Kilbourn who died in 1995. Kilbourn was a writer and teacher who spent seven years as a member of Toronto City Council, and served as Toronto Arts Council president from 1982 to 1984.

Finalists Portrait Series

View the Finalists Portrait Series by Denise Grant Photography here

Photo Gallery

Photo gallery of Arts Awards Lunch event over the years

Winners 2013 Awards

Winners 2013 (WEB)

Jaye Pitta, representing Che Kothari, Nicolas Billon, representing Daniel Karasik, Denise Fujiwara, Linda MacKenzie representing Sun Life Financial, Robert Foster and Liz Forseberg representing Art Starts - photo by Tom Sandler

(Left to Right) Jaye Pitta, representing Che Kothari; Nicolas Billon, representing Daniel Karasik; Denise Fujiwara; Linda MacKenzie representing Sun Life Financial; Robert Foster; Liz Forseberg representing Art Starts - photo by Tom Sandler

Winners 2012 Awards

Arts Awards Winners 2012

(left to right) Dan Faria (representing Chris Curreri), Lydia Adams, Mitch Cohen of Daniels Corp, John Caffery and Clare Nobbs of Supporting Our Youth, Jini Stolk with Claire Hopkinson. Photo by Tom Sandler

Winners 2011 Awards

2010 Arts Awrds Winners

This year’s winners were selected by a multi-disciplinary jury which included Peter Chin, Simon Foster, Maureen Hynes, Shannon Litzenberger, Charles Reeve, Sonia Sakamoto-Jog, Jini Stolk, Jordan Tannahill and Jennifer Waring.

2011 Portrait Series: finalists were photographed as part of the Toronto Arts Foundation Finalists Portrait Series. These beautiful stills were created by Denise Grant Photography.

Winners 2010 Awards

Artists, cultural professionals and arts supporters who have made significant contributions to Toronto’s artistic and cultural life were honoured at the fifth annual Mayor’s Arts Awards Lunch held on October 8th at the historic Arcadian Court.

2010 award winners

Manifesto Community Projects, Jamie Travis, José Ortega, BMO Financial Group (Nada Ristisch), Mallory Gilbert

Awards History

Past Arts Awards Winners, Jury members and featured performing artists