Toronto Arts Foundation Award Nominees Show The Best of Toronto

They are musicians and dancers, a DJ, a poet and leading arts organizations. They are each outstanding in their own way and collectively bring extraordinary richness to the life of Toronto.

Toronto Arts Foundation is proud to announce the finalists for the 2016 Signature Awards. Winners will be announced at the annual Mayor’s Arts Lunch on May 26.

The William Kilbourn Award for the Celebration of Toronto’s Cultural Life:

  • Dave Bidini, Musician/Writer
  • David Buchbinder, Musician/Composer
  • d’bi young anitafrika, Poet/Playwright/Educator

The Roy Thomson Hall Award of Recognition:

  • Dave Clarke (DJ DTS), DJ 
  • Joe Strutt, Founder, Mechanical Forest Sound
  • Ritesh Das, Musician

Arts for Youth Award:

  • Young People’s Theatre
  • Lost Lyrics
  • UNITY Charity

Emerging Artist Award:

  • Victoria Mata, Choreographer, Dancer and  Director
  • Benjamin Kamino, Dancer, Curator
  • Cole Alvis, Actor, Director

The winner of the Toronto Arts and Business Award will be announced at the Mayor’s Arts Lunch on May 26.

“I’m constantly amazed and inspired by the breadth and depth of talent in our city,” said Toronto Arts Foundation CEO Claire Hopkinson.

“The 2016 nominees show such diversity and such a deep commitment to the arts.  It’s an honour to be able to pay tribute to them.”

This is the 11th year of the Mayor’s Arts Lunch, a gathering that brings together leaders of the arts, government and business to celebrate the priceless benefits that the artistic community and their many generous benefactors bring to the life of Toronto.  

The Jurors, celebrated artists and cultural leaders themselves, included: Philip Akin, Jonathan Bunce, Cherie Dimaline, Richard Fung, Cynthia Hawkins, Jane Marsland, Ananya Ohri, and Vivine Scarlett. 

For more details about the nominees and the awards, go to

The Toronto Arts Foundation Foundation is a charitable organization that encourages artistic excellence and increases access to the arts throughout the City of Toronto through private sector investment. Our vision Creative City: Block by Block aims to connect every Toronto neighbourhood to the transformative social and and economic benefits of the arts. 

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Contact information:

For more information or to book an interview with the nominees or Claire Hopkinson:
Sean Mallen, cell: 416-602-9772,​