Muriel Sherrin Award

Celebrating outstanding achievements in music or dance and a global commitment to the arts

A photo of the 2017 Muriel Sherrin Award

Deadline: The nomination portal for the 2025 award will open in September 2024. 

About: The Toronto Arts Foundation Muriel Sherrin Award is a $10,000 cash prize with finalists receiving $1,000. The award celebrates an artist or creator who has made a contribution to the cultural life of Toronto through outstanding achievement in music or dance. The recipient will also have participated in international initiatives, including touring, studying abroad and participating in artist exchanges. In addition to the prize money, the 2024 recipient will receive a complimentary week long stay at Valleyview Artist Retreat. The award rotates from music to dance in alternating prize years. In 2025, the award will be presented in the field of dance. Nominations submitted in the fall of 2024 will be open to the field of dance, with the award presented in 2025. The Muriel Sherrin Award is presented every two years at the Toronto Arts Awards Lunch.

The Muriel Sherrin Award is funded through an endowment created with surplus funds from the 1984 Toronto International Festival of Music and Dance. In 1996, the management of the fund was turned over to Toronto Arts Foundation and the award was renamed in memory of Muriel Sherrin, the producer of the festival.  Sherrin, who died in 1994, was a leader in the Canadian artistic community for more than 30 years.

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

No person 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 2023 Awards (PDF)

How to Apply: To nominate an individual for the Muriel Sherrin 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 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 Christy DiFelice, Award Program Manager, by email at christy[at]torontoartscouncil[dot]org.

Click here to see all of our awards. 


Read full bios of the 2023 Muriel Sherrin Award finalists.

Joy Lapps 
– steelpan composer and educator

Measha Brueggergosman-Lee
 – soprano who performs both as an opera singer and concert artist
Hilario Duran Torres – pianist, producer, composer, arranger and bandleader


Go to Finalists and Recipients to view bios of past Murriel Sherrin Award for International Achievement in Music and Dance recipients, dating back to 1996.

2023: Joy Lapps
2021: Vivine Scarlett
2019: Eve Egoyan
2017: Yvonne Ng
2015: Paul Read
2013: Denise Fujiwara
2011: Dr. Trichy Sankaran 
2009: Christopher House
2007: Lawrence Cherney 
2006: Peter Chin
2004: Marshall Pynkoski
2002: Danny Grossman 
2000: Joe Sealy 
1998: David Earle 
1996: Jeanne Lamon