Syrus Marcus Ware named 2017 TD Arts Diversity Award Recipient

TORONTO, September 20, 2017 - Toronto Arts Foundation announced Syrus Marcus Ware as the 2017 recipient of the TD Arts Diversity Award. Ware received the award this evening at a celebration of community-engaged artists.

Syrus keeps advancing the community arts field and is a stand out role model in the industry. He has always shown exemplary care for the sector and building sustainable resources for the field.

-Tamla Matthews, peer juror

The TD Arts Diversity Award is a $10,000 cash prize that celebrates an individual community-engaged artist making a significant contribution in Toronto by working collaboratively in, with and for communities.
“Toronto Arts Foundation shines a spotlight on our city’s artistic talent,” said Claire Hopkinson, Director and CEO, Toronto Arts Foundation. “Syrus’s work, in turn, shines a spotlight on members of his community by celebrating those who work to make this city a welcoming place for all.” 
Ware contributes to Toronto as a visual artist through painting, installation and performance. His work explores “the spaces between and around identities in order to challenge systemic oppression based on race, gender, and sexuality,” which has made him an instigator of transformative change in communities across Toronto.
The award was presented by Andrea Cohen Barrack, Vice President Community Relations and Corporate Citizenship of TD Bank Group, who said: “We are thrilled to award Syrus Marcus Ware with this year's TD Arts Diversity Award. At TD, community giving is an opportunity to drive positive change in society. Our partnership with Toronto Arts Foundation has allowed us to make a positive impact on the Toronto art community and we look forward to continuing this for many years to come."

Toronto Arts Foundation awards are decided by a panel of peer jurors. For the TD Arts Diversity Award, the jury was comprised of 6 community-engaged artists and community leaders:

Tamla Matthews
Julie Frost
Jason Samilski
Judi Lopez
Catherine Campbell
Alex Flores

This award was initiated in 2013 by Toronto’s DiverseCity Fellows: Melanie Smith and Saumya Gautam, both of whom have served as advisors to Toronto Arts Foundation.
Syrus Marcus Ware is a Vanier Scholar, visual artist, performance artist, curator, community activist, educator, researcher, youth-advocate and PhD candidate (Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University). He identifies as a person of colour, trans, queer and disabled -- all of which inform his artistic and activist activities.
Syrus's award-winning visual art and performance art have been exhibited and seen around Toronto and across Canada. He curates and co-curates projects including a diverse range of cultural productions for diverse communities. Additionally, Syrus has presented and published on topics including contemporary art, museum practice and socio-political issues. Syrus is a core-team member of Black Lives Matter- Toronto, often making public appearances and serving as spokesperson for the grassroots organization, dedicated to fighting for equality for citizens of the African diaspora. In this role, he also advocates for the LGBTQ and queer community, people with disabilities, First Nations - all of whom are subject to systemic oppression by existing political and social hierarchies.


About Toronto Arts Foundation
Toronto Arts Foundation is a charitable organization that sparks creative connections, spotlights artistic excellence, and supports vibrant cultural growth throughout our diverse city, through private sector investment. To learn more or to make a donation, visit

About Neighbourhood Arts Network
Neighbourhood Arts Network, a strategic initiative of Toronto Arts Foundation, envisions a Toronto in which artists in every neighbourhood have the resources, training and support to make transformative art. We convene, bridge, incubate and advocate on behalf of our 1700+ members and the community arts sector. To learn more, visit

About TD Bank Group
The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as TD Bank Group ("TD" or the "Bank"). TD is the sixth largest bank in North America by branches and serves more than 25 million customers in three key businesses operating in a number of locations in financial centres around the globe: Canadian Retail, including TD Canada Trust, TD Auto Finance Canada, TD Wealth (Canada), TD Direct Investing, and TD Insurance; U.S. Retail, including TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank®, TD Auto Finance U.S., TD Wealth (U.S.), and an investment in TD Ameritrade; and Wholesale Banking, including TD Securities. TD also ranks among the world's leading online financial services firms, with approximately 11.5 million active online and mobile customers. TD had CDN $1.3 trillion in assets on April 30, 2017. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades under the symbol "TD" on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges. 

Contact Information
Angie Aranda, Strategic Partnerships and Operations Manager for Neighbourhood Arts Network, Toronto Arts Foundation, at or at 416 392 6802 x 218