Roy Thomson Hall Award of Recognition

Celebrating the contributions of an individual, ensemble or organization to Toronto’s musical life

Deadline: December 2023. Nominations for this award will open in September 2023.

About: The Roy Thomson Hall Award of Recognition is a $10,000 cash prize presented to an individual, ensemble, or organization to recognize creative performance, administrative, volunteer, or philanthropic contributions to Toronto’s musical life. This award was established by the Volunteer Committee of Roy Thomson Hall in 1984 to recognize and thank the community that supported the conception, building and establishment of the new concert hall. Toronto Arts Foundation has managed the award since 2002 on behalf of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall.

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;
• 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.

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.

How to Apply: To nominate an individual, a collective or organization for the Roy Thomson Hall Award of Recognition 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: 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 Liza Mattimore at

Click here to see all of our awards. 


Go to Finalists and Recipients to view bios of 2020 finalists. 

Murray Foster – Juno-nominated musician, Professor and founder of Toronto Songwriting School, The Urban Orchestra, and Choir Nation
Nagata Shachu – Japanese taiko drumming and music group


Go to Finalists and Recipients to view bios of past Roy Thomson Hall Award of Recognition recipients, dating back to 1996.

2020: Phem Phat Entertainment Group
2018: The Whole Note
2016: Ritesh Das
2014: Michie Mee 
2012: Lydia Adams
2010: José Ortega 
2008: Richard Underhill 
2006: Jeanne Lamon 
2004: Molly Johnson 
2002: Roger D. Moore
1999: Louis Applebaum
1998: Maureen Forrester
1997: Hart/Murdock Artists Management 
1996: Jessie Iseler
1995: Robert Aitken
1992: Lois Marshall
1991: John Weinzweig
1990: William Littler
1989: James Campbell
1987: Oscar Peterson
1986: Jean Ashworth Bartle
1985: Victor Feldbrill