Indigenous Artist Award

Celebrating and supporting individual Indigenous artists and collectives

Original Artwork Relative Gradient by Vanessa Dion Fletcher

Deadline to nominate: Nominations have closed. The award will open again in summer 2023

About: Toronto Arts Foundation's Indigenous Artist Award is a $20,000 cash prize, with a professional artist mentor/Elder or mentee/protégée designated by the Award Recipient receiving $5,000, and finalists receiving $2,000. The award recognizes an Indigenous professional artist or artist collective working in traditional or contemporary practices and who have contributed significantly to arts and culture in Toronto and have demonstrated an ongoing association with Toronto. In addition to the prize money, the 2022 recipient will receive a complimentary week long stay at Valleyview Artist Retreat

Established in 2021, the recipient and mentor award is supported by K.M. Hunter Foundation. Finalists awards of $2,000 are supported by Bell. The award is presented every year at an event co-hosted by Toronto Arts Foundation and a Toronto arts organization with a mandate to support Indigenous artists.

Eligibility Criteria:

Individual Artists*:

  • must be Indigenous (First Nations, Metis, Inuit)
  • 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
  • undergraduate & college students are not eligible to apply
  • 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


  • all members must be Indigenous
  • 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

Individuals and collectives may self-nominate for the award, but will require a letter of reference.

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.

How to Apply: To nominate an individual or a collective for the Indigenous Artist 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 or collective 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 Toronto Arts Foundation's Nomination portal and not Toronto Arts Council’s TAC Grants Online.

Selection Procedure: An Award Assessment Panel of up to 10 Indigenous arts community 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. 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; and contribution to the development of arts and culture in Toronto.

Contact Info: For questions, please contact Catherine Tammaro, by email at catherine[at]torontoartscouncil[dot]org.


Professional Artist: an individual who is recognized as such by their peers (artists working in the same artistic tradition), who has a history of public presentation, publication and/or production, who is not currently enrolled in an undergraduate or college program, and who is committed to devoting more time to their artistic activity if financially feasible.

Collective: Includes at least two or more professional artists.

Click here to download full nomination guidelines [pdf]


Contact Indigenous Arts Program Manager, Catherine Tammaro
416-392-6802 x 223 |


Go to Recipients to view full bios.

2022: Ange Loft
2021: Greg Staats