$60,000 Awarded to 2019 Toronto Arts Foundation Awards winners

Five artists and organizations are celebrated for their exceptional contributions to the city’s creative culture.

TORONTO, May 8, 2019 – Through their passion and innovation, Toronto’s artists help build a strong and vibrant city. Five of Toronto’s leading artists and organizations are the recipients of the 2019 Toronto Arts Foundation Awards.

The awards, totalling $60,000, were announced and presented at the 14th annual Mayor’s Arts Lunch today at the OMNI King Edward Hotel, attended by Mayor John Tory and a broad crosssection of local politicians and arts and business leaders.

The 2019 Toronto Arts Foundation Awards recipients are:

ARTS FOR YOUTH AWARD – $20,000 prize (supported by Martha Burns, Margaret and Jim Fleck, Sandra and Jim Pitblado):

Blank Canvas – an art collective building community and creating platforms for marginalized artists to explore their intersectional identities through events, panels, workshops and content creation 

EMERGING ARTIST AWARD – $10,000 prize (supported by Susan Crocker and John Hunkin):

Joshua Vettivelu – artist, programmer and educator working within sculpture, video, installation and performance 

MARGO BINDHARDT AND RITA DAVIES CULTURAL LEADERSHIP AWARD – $10,000 prize (supported in part by John and Raphaela Dunlap):

Nina Lee Aquino – director and dramaturge; Artistic Director of Factory Theatre

MURIEL SHERRIN AWARD FOR INTERNATIONAL ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC – $10,000 prize & complimentary week-long stay at Valleyview Artist Retreat:

Eve Egoyan – internationally acclaimed concert pianist

TORONTO ARTS AND BUSINESS AWARD (Honourable Recognition, presented in partnership with Toronto Arts Foundation, Business/Arts, and the Toronto Star):

Gladstone Hotel – Built in 1889, the Gladstone Hotel is Toronto’s oldest continually operating hotel, proudly upholding the highest standards in environmental sustainability, social responsibility and community building through the arts.

Recipients were presented with a commissioned commemorative plate designed by rising local artist Rajni Perera, whose work explores issues of ethnography, gender, sexuality, deities, monsters, and dream worlds.

“It is an exciting time for the arts in Toronto and it is an exciting time for our city overall. I believe this success is a result of investments we have made in the arts, in culture, in education, in our city and in its growth," Mayor John Tory said in his remarks at the Mayor's Arts Lunch on May 8, noting that the all-night arts event Nuit Blanche will expand across the city by 2021 with installations in Scarborough, Etobicoke, North York and downtown, and that 2021 will mark the year of public art in Toronto, which will include the creation of a 10-year public art strategy.

“The city continues to invest in the arts and is committed to seeing it grow. We know how important it is for the success and vibrancy of our city.” “Innovation and persistence are the hallmarks of this year’s finalists – Toronto’s artists continue to propel us forward to make change,” said Claire Hopkinson, Director & CEO, Toronto Arts Council and Foundation. “Congratulations to all the winners and finalists of this year’s Toronto Arts Foundation Awards – their skill, imagination, and curiosity embody the very best of Toronto and their commitment to the arts helps enrich our creative city.”

Six of this year’s award finalists received an additional $10,000 in prizes thanks to Diana Bennett and Spencer Lanthier, Neera Chopra, and the Bulmash-Siegel Fund.

The Mayor’s Arts Lunch is an annual opportunity to shine the spotlight on those who create, promote, and support the arts and culture which help make Toronto such a vibrant place to live. 

Toronto Arts Foundation gratefully acknowledges the generosity of its supporters, who have provided over 2,000 complimentary tickets to the Mayor’s Arts Lunch over the last 14 years to artists, arts organizations and arts volunteers on a rotating basis, in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the creative vitality of Toronto.

For a full list of the 2019 Mayor’s Arts Lunch sponsors, click here.

For more information on the winners, see the media kit here.

For more details about the finalists (including interviews and portraits of each finalist) and the Toronto Arts Foundation awards, please visit torontoartsfoundation.org/awards.