Emerging Artist Award

Celebrating the accomplishments and future potential of Toronto's emerging artists

Deadline: Feburary 2022. Nominations for this award will open in November 2021.

About: The Toronto Arts Foundation Emerging Artist Award is a $10,000 cash prize, with finalists receiving $2,000. The award celebrates the accomplishments and future potential of an emerging Toronto artist working in any discipline. Established in 2006, the award is sponsored by Susan Crocker and John Hunkin and is intended to support the development or completion of new work. The finalist awards were established in 2014 and are supported by the Bulmash-Siegel Fund. The Emerging Artist Award is part of our Signature Awards, presented every year at the Mayor’s Arts Lunch.

“This award means that I have the opportunity to create work. It is an opportunity for me to allow other young black girls growing up to see that there are other things that they can become. It’s a huge affirmation to get this award. I would never have imagined the whole city coming together […] to tell me that I can keep going. It pushes me to keep going.” – Anique Jordon, 2017 Emerging Artist Award Recipient 

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
• must be a professional artist 35 years of age or younger
• must have completed training (not necessarily at a formal educational institution) in their discipline
• 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
• Undergraduate & College students are not eligible to apply

No person may be selected for more than one Toronto Arts Foundation award within any given year. No person 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 2021 Awards (PDF).

How to Apply: To nominate an individual for the Emerging Artist Award you must,

  • Visit the Toronto Arts Foundation Nomination portal https://tac.smartsimple.ca/welcome/taf/
  • 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 you are nominating, the nomination form will also 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: An Awards Assessment Panel 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 panel 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 Jaclyn Rodrigues, Community Engagement Manager, by email at jaclyn[at]torontoarts[dot]org.

Click here to see all of our awards. 


Go to Finalists and Recipients to view bios of 2021 Emerging Artist Award finalists. 

Britta B.
– a poet, performer, emcee, voice actor, and educator

Irma Villafuerte
– dancer and educator
Olivia Shortt – transdisciplinary performing artist and musician


Go to Finalists and Recipients to view bios of past Emerging Artist Award recipients, dating back to 2006.

2021: Britta B.
2020: jes sachse
2019: Josh Vettivelu
2018: Jiv Parasem
2017: Anique Jordan
2016: Benjamin Kamino
2015: Emilie Lebel
2014: Jordan Tannahill 
2013: Daniel Karasik 
2012: Chris Curreri
2011: Adam Garnet Jones 
2010: Jamie Travis
2009: Anusree Roy 
2008: Weyni Mengesha
2007: d'bi.young anitafrika
2006: Natasha Mytnowych