Mayors Past and Present Celebrate 2014 Toronto Arts Foundation Awards Recipients at the Mayors' Arts

Four decades of Toronto Mayors and a broad spectrum of Toronto business and cultural leaders attended the Mayors' Arts Lunch* on Thursday June 19th at Arcadian Court for the presentation of the 2014 Toronto Arts Foundation Awards, totaling a value of $46,000.

TORONTO -- Four decades of Toronto Mayors and a broad spectrum of Toronto business and cultural leaders attended the Mayors' Arts Lunch* on Thursday June 19th at Arcadian Court for the presentation of the 2014 Toronto Arts Foundation Awards, totaling a value of $46,000. The annual awards, hosted by award-winning broadcaster, best-selling author and host of CBC's Q, Jian Ghomeshi, celebrate individuals and organizations in five categories that have made outstanding contributions to Toronto’s vibrant artistic and cultural life.

Toronto Arts Foundation Awards have been shining a spotlight on Toronto’s arts and cultural sector since 2006. Foundation Chair, Susan Crocker, comments, “We are producing talented artists and arts organizations at an unprecedented rate, and driving artistic excellence across the broadest range of arts disciplines.”

2014 Toronto Arts Foundation Awards RECIPIENTS

Arts for Youth Award – $15,000 cash prize, with finalist honourees receiving $2,000

Winner: CUE – A radical arts initiative dedicated to supporting Toronto’s new generation of underground artists.

Established in 2007 by Martha Burns, Jim Fleck and Sandra and Jim Pitblado, this $15,000 cash prize celebrates an individual, collective or organization that has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to engaging Toronto youth in the arts. Since 2010, gifts of $2,000 to the finalist honourees are made possible by Diana Bennett and Spencer Lanthier.

Emerging Artist Award – $10,000 cash prize, with finalist honourees receiving $1,000

Winner: Jordan Tannahill – A multidisciplinary artist who creates performances and films for theatres, galleries and found spaces.

Created to support the development or completion of new work, this $10,000 cash prize was established in 2006 and is sponsored by Susan Crocker and John Hunkin. New this year, finalist honourees will receive $1,000 thanks to the support of the Bulmash-Siegel Fund.

Roy Thomson Hall Award of Recognition – $10,000 cash prize

Winner: Michie Mee – Rap artist, actor, songwriter, producer and host, known for her unique style of combining reggae and dancehall with hip-hop.

Established in 1984 by the Volunteer Committee of Roy Thomson Hall to recognize and thank the community that supported its conception, building and establishment, the award is presented to an individual, ensemble or organization that contributes to Toronto’s musical life in creative, performing, administrative, volunteer or philanthropic ways. Toronto Arts Foundation has managed the award since 2002 on behalf of the Corporation of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall.

Charles S. Cutts, President and CEO of the Corporation of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall states, “We are delighted to celebrate the outstanding contributions that the legendary Michie Mee has blessed our community with over the course of her inspiring career.”

William Kilbourn Award for the Celebration of Toronto’s Cultural Life – $5,000 cash prize

Winner: Philip Akin – Artistic director of Obsidian Theatre, Canada’s leading black theatre company and an actor for over 30 years.

Established in 1996 through an endowment made possible by private donors in order to celebrate and commemorate the life of William Kilbourn, a writer and teacher who spent seven years on Toronto City Council and served as president of Toronto Arts Council from 1982 to 1984. The award is presented to an individual performer, teacher, administrator or creator in any arts discipline, including architecture and design, whose work is a celebration of life through the arts in Toronto.

Toronto Arts and Business Award – Honourable recognition

Winner: Heights Development Inc.– A joint venture partnership between developers Context and Metropia to revitalize the Lawrence Heights area.

Metropia – A real estate development company that strives to offer a wide range of housing options with an emphasis on community, affordability and a responsibility to the environment.

Context – A real estate development company, focused on the development of innovative residential condominiums in Toronto’s urban center, providing artful and efficient solutions to the design challenges of urban sites.

Established in 2006 and presented through a partnership with Business for the Arts, Toronto Arts Foundation and Toronto Star. This award celebrates the innovative, transformative and entrepreneurial partnerships between corporate sponsors and arts communities that help make our city a centre of artistic excellence.


Marjorie Chan, Artistic Director, Cahoots TheatreAlan Davis, Founder & Executive Director, Small World Music;Mervon Mehta, Executive Director, Performing Arts for The Royal Conservatory; Derek Andrews, Founder, The Toronto Blues Society, & Publisher & Editor-in-Chief, Maple Blues Magazine; Dr. Mark V. Campbell, Co-Founder & Executive Director, Nia Centre for the Arts; Liz Forsberg, Managing Director, Arts Starts; GaĆ«tane Verna, Director, The Power Plant; Cheyanne Turions, Curatorial Resident, SBC GalleryParul Gupta, Founder, Principal Teacher & Artistic Director, Infusion Dance Studios.


CIBC is the new Presenting Sponsor of the Toronto Arts Foundation Awards in a two-year partnership with Toronto Arts Foundation. Toronto Star, NOW Magazine and The Walrus are the Toronto Arts Foundation Media Sponsors.

* This year, in celebration of the Toronto Arts Council’s 40th Anniversary, four decades of Toronto Mayors were represented at the awards ceremony. As a result, the event formerly titled the Mayor’s Arts Awards Lunch, was renamed the Mayors’ Arts Lunch.

- 30 -

Toronto Arts Foundation is a charitable organization that connects communities to the arts, turns up the spotlight on investment in the arts sector and gives a voice to artists and their arts. Through sponsorships, legacy gifts and donations to Creative City Funds, we bridge the gap between artists of all disciplines and the individuals, private and public foundations, corporations and government agencies who champion them.

For more information on the Toronto Arts Foundation Awards and the Mayors’ Arts Lunch please visit

Media Contact: Kim Galvez, Galvez + associates, 416-359-0380,

For more information about the Toronto Arts Foundation and its awards program please contact Jennifer Green, Associate Director, Toronto Arts Foundation, at or at 416 392 6802 x 207.