Margo Bindhardt and Rita Davies Award
Celebrating an individual who has demonstrated creative cultural leadership in arts and culture in Toronto
Deadline: February 2021. Nominations for this award will open in November 2020.
About: The Toronto Arts Foundation Margo Bindhardt and Rita Davies Award is a $10,000 cash prize, with finalists receiving $1,000. The award celebrates an individual artist, creator, volunteer or administrator who has demonstrated creative cultural leadership in the development of arts and culture in Toronto. The award is supported in part by John and Raphaela Dunlap. The finalist awards are supported by Neera Chopra. The Margo Bindhardt and Rita Davies Award is part of our Signature Awards, presented every two years at the Mayor’s Arts Lunch.
About Margo Bindhardt and Rita Davies:
Established in 1995 as the Margo Bindhardt Award, the Award was re-named the Margo Bindhardt and Rita Davies Cultural Leadership Award in 2000 to honour Margo Bindhardt, past president of the Toronto Arts Council and inaugural president of Toronto Arts Foundation, and Rita Davies, Toronto Arts Council’s and Toronto Arts Foundation’s first Executive Director, and to recognize their contributions to Toronto’s arts and culture sector.
In addition to serving on the board of Toronto Arts Council and Toronto Arts Foundation, Margo Bindhardt served as the president of the Canadian Opera Company, president of the Art Gallery of Ontario, and was on the boards of the Ballet Opera House Corporation, Young People's Theatre, the Toronto Arts Awards and the Toronto International Festival, among others. She was said to be an enduring model of the spirit of volunteerism, community service and contribution to the arts.
In 1982, Rita Davies joined Toronto Arts Council (TAC) as its first Executive Director and only staff member. During her tenure she drove TAC to strengthen its peer-review process, raise public profile of the arts, provide support to previously under-served artists from Toronto’s many specific cultural communities, and develop the Arm’s Length Grant Agreement – the first-ever legal document between a municipality and an arts agency to blend peer review with public accountability. She was also appointed Executive Director of the Toronto Arts Foundation when it was established in 1995. Rita Davies departed the organizations in 1999, and remains an active arts advocate today.
• 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
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 2019 (PDF).
How to Apply: To nominate an individual for the Margo Bindhardt and Rita Davies Cultural Leadership 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: 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.
Margo Bindhardt and Rita Davies Award Recipients
Scott Miller-Berry, 2015 Recipient
Scott Miller-Berry has been working with artist-run, community based and/or not-for-profit arts collectives and organizations for 20 years. He is Managing Director of Workman Arts and was Director of the Images Festival from 2005-2015. Scott holds an MA from the New School for Social Research and maintains an independent filmmaking and programming practice.
Robert Foster, 2013 Recipient
Robert Foster is Founder, President and CEO of Capital Canada Ltd., an independent investment banking firm. Robert's passionate vocation has always been his volunteer work in Toronto's arts and cultural community.
Both Robert Foster and Che Kothari were recipients of the Margo Bindhardt and Rita Davies Cultural Leadership Award in 2013.
Jane Marsland, 2011 Recipient
Jane Marsland is an articulate advocate for the arts and has served on a wide range of boards, advisory groups and committees for many years. Jane was co-founder and director of ARTS 4 CHANGE, a three-year program designed to create positive change for and by arts professionals in Toronto.