Arts for Youth Award

Celebrating youth engagement through the arts

Deadline: Nominations for the 2020 award open in November 2019.

About: The Toronto Arts Foundation Arts for Youth Award is a $20,000 cash prize, with finalists receiving $2,000. The award celebrates an individual, collective or organization that has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to engaging Toronto’s youth through the arts. Established in 2007, the award is supported by Martha Burns, Jim Fleck, and Sandra and Jim Pitblado. The finalist prizes are supported by Diana Bennett and Spencer Lanthier. The Arts for Youth Award is part of our Signature Awards, presented every year at the Mayor's Arts Lunch.


Eligibility Criteria:

• must have demonstrated an ongoing association with Toronto
• must have contributed significantly to the arts and culture of Toronto
• must be living at time of selection
• may not nominate themselves for the award
• may only receive this award once
• are not eligible to nominate or receive Toronto Arts Foundation awards while serving as an executive board member or staff of Toronto Arts Foundation or Toronto Arts Council.

Organizations and Collectives:
• must be headquartered in Toronto and have a significant portion of its activity taking place in the city
• must have contributed significantly to the arts and culture of Toronto.
• are only eligible to receive this award once

No person or organization may be selected for more than one Toronto Arts Foundation award within any given year. No person or organization may receive the same Toronto Arts Foundation award twice. This does not preclude a recipient from being considered for a different Toronto Arts Foundation award in the future.

Full Eligibility Guidelines for 2019 (PDF).

How to Apply: To nominate an individual, a collective or organization for the Arts for Youth Award you must,

  • Visit the Toronto Arts Foundation Nomination portal
  • Register an account on the Toronto Arts Foundation Nomination portal or sign in to your existing account
  • Submit the nomination online, complete with supporting material


Along with the name of the individual or organization you are nominating, the nomination portal will ask for a biography, a nomination rationale, and accompanying support material in the form of visual, audio or text-based attachments.

Nominators can save their application at any time before submission by clicking ‘Save Draft’. Nominators can log-in and out of the Toronto Arts Foundation Nomination portal as many times as needed before clicking ‘Submit’.

* Please ensure you are on/ register through the Toronto Arts Foundation Nomination portal and not Toronto Arts Council’s TAC Grants Online.


Selection Procedure: A jury of up to 10 members will review nomination profiles and select a shortlist and recipient recommendation for this award. Toronto Arts Foundation’s Board of Directors will make final determinations. Each jury is comprised of participants who are practitioners of the arts, organizers, programmers, producers, curators, critics, commentators and lay specialists.

This award is presented in recognition of a body of creative accomplishment, rather than for specific works or achievements. In addition to specific requirements for each award, deliberations will be guided by the following assessment criteria: artistic strength and achievement; strength of the candidate’s artistic goals and objectives; contribution to the development of arts and culture in Toronto; and the candidate’s overall public impact including public engagement and animation.


Contact Info: For questions, please contact Rupal Shah, Awards Manager, by email at rupal[at]torontoartscouncil[dot]org or by phone at 416-392-6802 X 209

Click here to see all of our awards. 


Arts for Youth Award Recipients

2019 Finalists