2022 Indigenous Artist Award Finalists

On October 13, 2022 we announced that three artists were named finalists of the Toronto Arts Foundation Indigenous Artist Award. Now in its second year, the award recognizes an Indigenous professional artist or artist collective working in traditional or contemporary practices who has contributed significantly to arts and culture in Toronto and has demonstrated an ongoing association with Toronto. 

The recipient of the award received a $20,000 cash prize and designate a professional artist mentor/Elder or mentee/protégée to receive $5,000, supported by K.M. Hunter Foundation. In addition to this, the recipient received a complimentary week-long stay at Valleyview Artist Retreat. Finalists of the award received $2,000, supported by Bell

The finalists were celebrated and the recipient was announced on October 18, 2022 at ImagineNATIVE’s Welcome Gathering for their 2022 Film + Media Arts Festival.

The 2022 finalists work in a range of disciplines and are all advancing the arts in the city through their artistic work and influence.

The finalists of the 2022 Toronto Arts Foundation Indigenous Artist Award were: 

Rebecca Baird 

As a senior Nehiyaw Cree/Métis artist, Rebecca Baird’s work speaks to the interconnectedness of community, encouraging an understanding of one’s personal experience within a collective environment. Her art brings a personal aesthetic sensibility as well as scholarly research to Indigenous narratives of authenticity, re-claiming, re-articulating and re-visioning artistic inspirations and contemplation.

The panel noted Rebecca’s long-standing work in the City, her collaborative approach and ability to uplift community and youth. Rebecca has been swimming upstream for a long time, they said. 

Sandra Laronde

Sandra Laronde is an arts innovator, leader, multidisciplinary artist and an author. She drives her passion unwaveringly forward to elevate Indigenous arts and culture of Toronto while playing a pivotal role in the ongoing Indigenous cultural resurgence of Canada. She is also the Executive and Artistic Director of Red Sky Performance, a Toronto-based company that is a leader of contemporary Indigenous performance in Canada and worldwide.

The panel noted Sandra’s strong contribution to the arts in the City. As an advocate for Indigenous and women’s voices in the arts, her work as an artist, administrator and change maker has greatly affected and supported Indigenous communities in many regions, they said. 

Ange Loft - 2022 Recipient

Ange Loft is an interdisciplinary performing artist and initiator from Kahnawà:ke Kanien'kehá:ka Territory, working in Tsi Tkarón:to. She is an ardent collaborator, consultant, and facilitator working in arts based research, wearable sculpture, theatrical co-creation and Haudenosaunee history.

The panel noted Ange’s strong community work and her contribution to the arts in the City through her association with many organizations and initiatives. They were particularly moved by her Treaty Guide for Torontonians project, which, they said, makes space and offers healing for Indigenous communities, and is also useful for non-Indigenous people in its re-writing of history.  


The assessment panel for the 2022 Indigenous Artist Award included Bonnie Devine, Babe Waters, Alyssa Delbaere-Sawchuk, Laura Grier, Jamie Whitecrow and Jessie Jakumeit, and was facilitated by Award Program Manager, Catherine Tammaro.

Read the recipient announcement here