Winners of 2013 Toronto Arts Foundation Awards Announced

The winners of the 2013 Toronto Arts Foundation Awards, celebrating individuals and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to Toronto’s vibrant artistic and cultural life, were announced today.

The winners of the 2013 Toronto Arts Foundation Awards, celebrating individuals and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to Toronto’s vibrant artistic and cultural life, were announced today in the presence of such VIPs as Martha Burns, Eric Peterson and R.H. Thomson. Award presentations were made at the Mayor's Lunch held at the Arcadian Court in downtown Toronto.

“The Toronto Arts Foundation Awards shine a spotlight on the incredible artistic and business leadership in Toronto’s cultural sector. Today’s award winners are transforming this city through their creativity, their talent and their commitment. Their contributions make Toronto a truly vibrant, liveable city.” said Director and CEO Claire Hopkinson.

This year’s finalists were chosen by a stellar multi-disciplinary jury: David Abel, Executive Director, Art of Time Ensemble; Maxine Bailey, Vice-President, Advancement, TIFF; Nicole Rose Bond, Dance Artist; Emelie Chhangur, Assistant Director and Curator, Art Gallery of York University; Patricia Else; Clarence Ford, Director, Choreographer; Richard Marsella, Director, Regent Park School of Music; Yvonne Ng, Artistic Director, Princess Productions; Anusree Roy, Playwright, Librettist and Performer.

The awards, totaling $48,000 are listed below.

2013 Toronto Arts Foundation Awards Winners:

Arts for Youth Award 

Art Starts - Focused on youth, children and families, it brings professional artists and communities together to encourage social change in Toronto's underserved neighbourhoods.

This $15,000 cash prize was established in 2007 by Martha Burns, Jim Fleck and Sandra and Jim Pitblado, celebrating an individual, collective or organization that has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to engaging Toronto youth through the arts. The two runners-up, CUE and Expect Theatre, each received $2,000, thanks to Award sponsors Diana Bennett and Spencer Lanthier.

The Toronto Arts and Business Award

(First announced June 4.) This year’s winner was chosen from nominees selected by an outstanding panel of experts in the field of development: Nichole Anderson, President and CEO of Business for the Arts; Randy Dalton, President, The Dalton Company Ltd.; and Tenny Nigoghossian, Senior Arts Fundraiser.

Sun Life Financial

This award celebrates a local business that has made an important contribution to the arts in Toronto through innovative, transformative and entrepreneurial partnerships. Established in 2006, this award is presented in partnership with Business for the Arts, The Toronto Star and Toronto Arts Foundation.

The Emerging Artist Award

Daniel Karasik - a Toronto-based playwright, poet, and fiction writer, Daniel is the artistic director of the independent theatre company Tango Co, which produces new Canadian plays, including Daniel’s own work. He is also an accomplished director, producer, and actor.

This $5,000 cash prize is presented to an emerging Toronto artist working in any discipline in celebration of current accomplishments and future potential. In addition, runners up Molly Johnson, dancer and Fotis Kanteres, filmmaker, received $1,000 each. Established in 2006 this award is intended to support the development or completion of new work and is generously sponsored by The John McKellar Charitable Foundation

Muriel Sherrin Award for International Achievement in Dance 

Denise Fujiwara, Fujiwara Dance Inventions – a contemporary dance and Butoh artist, a choreographer, a teacher and a mentor, Denise’s international achievements in dance include choreographic commissions and invitations to lead workshops, perform and tour.

This $10,000 cash prize is presented to an artist or creator who has made a significant contribution to the cultural life of Toronto through outstanding achievement in dance. Recipients have participated in international initiatives, including touring, studying abroad and participating in artist exchanges. 

Rita Davies and Margo Bindhardt Cultural Leadership Award 

This year the award will be given jointly to:

Robert Foster - A highly effective arts advocate, Robert is passionate about commitments ranging from fund-raising for Daniels Spectrum and Artscape Youngplace to sitting on the Luminato Board of Directors and Co-chairing the Creative Capital Gains Group.


Che Kothari, Manifesto Community Projects – As Founder and Chair of Manifesto, and Lead of Mobilization, Che has created a platform particularly for diverse communities of young people interested in the arts and cultural industries. With Manifesto, Che produces the largest festival of its kind in Canada.

This $10,000 cash prize (this year shared by the co-winners) is presented biennially to an individual who has demonstrated creative cultural leadership in the development of arts and culture in Toronto. Administrators, volunteers, artists and creators are all eligible for consideration. This award is co-sponsored by the family of Margo Bindhardt and Toronto Arts Foundation. In addition, the Toronto Arts Foundation awarded a runner-up prize of $2,000 to theatre artist David Anderson.

Performing after the lunch was Carmen Romero of Compañía Carmen Romero and the School of Flamenco Dance Arts, one of the three finalists for the Muriel Sherrin Award for International Achievement in Dance, accompanied by pianist/keyboarder Scott Metcalfe.

Winners were presented an original work of art commissioned by Toronto Arts Foundation and created by Toronto-based multi-media artist Louise Noguchi. Also, as part of the Finalists Portrait Series, each finalist was photographed by Denise Grant Photography and featured online, courtesy of media sponsor, NOW Magazine.

For images from this year's event please visit the Toronto Arts Foundation Flickr Page.


Toronto Arts Foundation, a charitable organization, provides the opportunity for individuals, private and public foundations, corporations and government agencies to invest in and strengthen the arts in Toronto. We are powered by a vision: Creative City: Block by Block, a commitment to connect every Toronto neighbourhood to the transformative social and economic benefits of the arts. Through sponsorships, legacy gifts and donations to our Creative City Funds, Toronto Arts Foundation gives voice to the arts, shines the spotlight on Toronto’s exceptional talent, and connects communities to the arts.

For more information on the Toronto Arts Foundation Awards and The Mayor’s Arts Lunch please visit

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