An Award with a Statement

Toronto Arts Foundation Commissions Powerful Indigenous Artwork


Kent Monkman: Resilience Plate
Kent Monkman: Resilience Plate

It is an award like no other—an honour with a message.

The winners of the Toronto Arts Foundation’s Signature Awards will be presented with a piece of art that makes a powerful statement about Indigenous People, Canada and resilience.

For the past 10 years, Toronto Arts Foundation has commissioned a local artist to create an Awards Plate.  This year Kent Monkman has taken on the task and created what he calls the Resilience Plate. It draws upon the themes of his extraordinary project “Shame and Prejudice: A Story of Resilience”, an exhibition commissioned by the Art Museum, University of Toronto, earlier this year. The exhibition was the talk of the Toronto art scene, and will be traveling across the country over the next three years.

The image is a provocative re-think of the famous portrait of the Fathers of Confederation.  It is drawn from a painting called “The Daddies”, which Monkman created for his exhibition.  In it, a nude Miss Chief confronts Sir John A. Macdonald and the other Fathers of Confederation.

Monkman says his Resilience Plate is intended to “commemorate 150 years of indigenous resistance.”

“The Awards Plate exemplifies the importance of the arts to our collective interpretation and understanding of significant events.  We are thrilled that Kent Monkman accepted our commission and will join our event in celebration of the arts in Toronto,” said Claire Hopkinson, CEO of the Toronto Arts Foundation.

The Resilience Plate will be presented to the five winners of the Signature Awards at the Mayor’s Arts Lunch on May 17. 

For more information or to book an interview with Claire Hopkinson:

Sean Mallen: (cell) 416-602-9772 or