The St. Catharines Arts Awards recognize and celebrate excellence in all areas of artistic creation and contribution. First presented in 2005 as part of the City of St. Catharines' Trillium Awards, the list of arts award recipients demonstrates the talent and commitment of the arts in St. Catharines.
The Arts Awards seek to increase the visibility of St. Catharines' artists and cultural industries, honour cultural leaders and their achievements, and cultivate financial and volunteer support for the arts sector. Each award winner is presented with a civic certificate of appreciation and a cash prize of $300.
2015 Award Nomination Forms will be available in the Fall.
The 2014 Arts Awards were presented at a ceremony on Saturday, May 3, 2014 at Rodman Hall Art Centre.
The Arts in Education Award celebrates an individual, collective or organization that has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to engaging St. Catharines residents through arts education activities.
Since taking on the role in 2005 as Arts Consultant for the District School Board of Niagara, Gerda has served as a strong arts education leader for teachers and students in the fi eld of dance, music, theatre and visual arts in all of Niagara's elementary schools and high schools. She has collaborated and worked with arts consultant Jayne Evans from the Niagara Catholic District School Board to forge unique partnerships with many of Niagara's professional arts organizations including Carousel Players, Niagara Symphony, Rodman Hall Art Centre and the Shaw Festival, benefi tting thousands of students.
The Emerging Artist Award is presented to an emerging St. Catharines artist working in any discipline in celebration of current accomplishments and future potential. Emerging Artists are establishing careers in the arts and are working towards becoming recognized professional artists. The Jury may consider nominees of any age who have recently embarked on an artistic career.
Brittany Brooks is a multidisciplinary St. Catharines based artist. In 2010 she began working as a singer/songwriter in the folk duet Howler, fi nding great success across southern Ontario. The band released a sophomore EP with Indoorshoes Records, and was showcased at S.C.E.N.E fest three years running. In 2013, Howler renamed themselves Creature Speak and released an EP through local label Greenbelt Arts. Brittany's unique live animation via projection has been showcased at many events including In the Soil Festival and the Render This Film Festival. She has been a contributing artist to STRUTT (2013, 2014) with wearable art Sodapop Siren featured on CH News. Brittany is an active member of the St. Catharines arts community and is currently the only youth member of the Niagara Regional Culture Committee.
The Established Artist Award is presented to a professional St. Catharines artist in any discipline who has received critical recognition for excellence in their art practice in St. Catharines and beyond. The Jury will consider nominees who have been actively practicing their art form for at least 10 years and whose work has made an impact on the St. Catharines' community.
Stephanie is an actor, playwright and co-founder of the Essential Collective Theatre (ECT), a professional St. Catharines-based theatre company dedicated to the support and development of Niagara playwrights. A native to the Niagara Region, Stephanie has been making theatre for local audiences for over 25 years and has appeared on stages across Canada. In 2011 Stephanie received an Ontario Arts Council Chalmers Award for Professional Development and traveled to New York to study Meisner Acting Technique at the Neighborhood Playhouse. She has since developed a fruitful relationship with The Playhouse and has become a part-time apprentice to senior acting instructors there. As an arts educator Stephanie has taught for Carousel Players through their Artist in the Classroom program, has taught performance at Niagara College, and has led workshops in Meisner Technique for ECT and Lion's Den Theatre co in Halifax.
The Making a Difference Award celebrates the contribution of a St. Catharines artist, arts administrator, arts entrepreneur or arts organization to the growth and development of the arts in St. Catharines.
The Niagara Youth Orchestra (NYO) has been supporting the advancement of music and the arts in Niagara since 1965. Over its near fi fty year existence, the NYO has created meaningful performance and educational opportunities for hundreds of young musicians, including national and international performance tours and orchestra exchanges. Many NYO alumni have gone on to enjoy successful careers in music, notably Vanessa Fralick (Toronto Symphony Orchestra) and Ian Gibson (Laurentian University). Laura Thomas is current Music Director of the NYO and works with Junior Youth Orchestra Conductor, Michael Van Dongen and General Manager, Desiree Chan. This dedicated group continues to provide top quality musical training and instill a lifelong passion for orchestral music in Niagara's youth.
The Patron of the Arts Award celebrates an individual or business that has made an important contribution to the arts in St. Catharines through innovative, transformative, and entrepreneurial partnerships and/or philanthropic contributions.
Peter has been an active supporter of the local arts community for more decades then he will want us to mention. When plans were announced to build the new Performing Arts Centre in downtown, Peter eagerly got involved and took on the job of fundraising chair to raise $5-million to complete the project. To kick-start the campaign Peter and his family donated $1 million dollars! Peter is presently Chairman of the Rodman Hall Arts Advisory Board, and an active board member and past President of Niagara Symphony, Choirs Ontario and the St. Catharines Community Concerts Association.
The Volunteer in the Arts Award recognizes the work of a St. Catharines resident who has given their time and energy to one or more arts organizations and in doing so has contributed substantially to enriching the cultural life of the city.
2014 Recipient | Marg Newby
Marg began acting at the age of six in England. She moved to St. Catharines in 1956 and became involved in several theatre groups: St. Catharines Community Theatre, Welland Little Theatre, Smithville Little Theatre, and Grantham Operatic Society. She has volunteered as director of many productions with the St. Thomas' Community Theatre since 1991, sat on the board of Carousel Players for 17 years and continues to volunteer on their Outreach Committee. She has dedicated countless hours to local arts organizations and holds season subscriptions to Niagara Symphony Orchestra, Chorus Niagara, Shaw Festival Theatre, Niagara Youth Orchestra, Gallery Players and Primavera Concerts.
All nominations are evaluated by an independent Jury comprised of three (3) artists and/or arts professionals. This Jury will be established by cultural services staff in consultation with the Culture Committee, following receipt of all nominations. The Jury will be chaired by a member of the Culture Committee and will select the award recipients. All decisions of the Jury are final.