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St. Catharines Arts Awards

Monday, June 4 | 7 p.m.

Arts-AwardsYour City. Your Arts. Your Awards.

The nominees are in for the 2018 St. Catharines Arts Awards! Amazing artists have been nominated to represent the St. Catharines community through their commitment, talent, and contribution to the community. This is the time to thank these artists for their work and time to celebrate their accomplishments.

Join us at the Arts Awards! 

The Arts Awards will take place in Cairns Recital Hall at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre.

To purchase tickets

  • Contact the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre Box Office: 1-855-515-0722 or click here to purchase online.
  • Tickets are $13.20 in advance and $18.30 on Event Day + HST and Fees.
  • Seating is limited. 

For more information contact:

Michelle Nicholls
Culture Coordinator
Telephone: 905.688-5601 ext 5232.

Meet the 2018 Nominees! 

Arts in Education Award

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.

Sponsored by the Pen Centre  


Derek Knight is a celebrated educator at Brock University whose commitment to his teaching, creative endeavours and administrative work have greatly impacted the St. Catharines Arts Community.

Katia Perez Mendez is a Colombian-Canadian artist who enjoys sharing her passion for painting and drawing both with her students, and the larger St. Catharines Arts Community.  

Emerging Artist Award

The Emerging Artist Award is presented to two (2) emerging St. Catharines artist working in any discipline to celebrate their current accomplishments and future potential. Emerging Artists are establishing careers in their field and are working to become recognized professional artists. The Jury may consider nominees who are 18 years or older, who are based and active in St. Catharines.

Sponsored by the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, Brock University


Marinko Jareb is a self-taught multidisciplinary visual artist and DJ whose work has been described as an “intersection of street culture, the dance floor and the gallery walls”.

Paul McLagan is a visual artist who combines improvisational elements with implied structure to create acrylic paintings that are both interesting and beautiful to look at.

Kevin Wang is a visual artist whose body of work focuses on paintings that explore a variety of media and a range of styles from figurative portraits and landscapes, to abstraction.                

Jessica Wilson, a multi-instrumentalist singer/songwriter and triple threat performer, can be found playing acoustic shows, performing on the theatre stage or as a soloist with various Canadian Symphony Companies. 

Established Artist Award

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.

Sponsored by Meridian Credit Union


Tenja Hagenberg, an actor-singer-dancer who has starred in acclaimed stage shows and musicals, also created her own solo cabaret, solo album and shares her expertise as an educator. 

Wesley Klassen was selected by the Canadian Mint, from thousands of applicants, for his design to be printed on the Canada 150 Loonie. 

Sheldon Rooney is a self-taught visual artist who creates pieces that are vibrant and eclectic, primarily working with pastel and ink on paper. 

Melissa-Marie Shriner is a Soprano soloist who performs extensively in both classical and jazz styles and owns and operates the Melissa Shriner Music Studio.

Patricia Vanstone, Artistic Director of the Foster Festival, is an award-winning director, performer, and dramaturge with nearly 40 years of experience, appearing in over 100 professional productions.  

Mathew Vizbulis creates large-scale graffiti murals, was a participant of the Mayor’s Graffiti Committee and is interested in changing the way our city produces and experiences art.

Making A Difference Award

The Making a Difference Award celebrates a St. Catharines arts entrepreneur, arts administrator, arts organization, arts animator or volunteer in the arts whose leadership and innovation have significantly contributed to the growth and development of the arts in St. Catharines. An arts animator is a person who facilitates collaborative or interactive arts initiatives, of any discipline, which enrich the community.

Sponsored by the St. Catharines Downtown Association 


Rebecca Cann is a passionate Arts Administrator who focused on actively building networks, providing support and creating a home for the arts in St. Catharines in her 17 year tenure at the City of St. Catharines.

Chris Illich has written for many publications and is responsible for the creation of The Sound STC, a free magazine dedicated to supporting the Arts & Culture scene in Niagara.

Shauna MacLeod is Founder and Director of the Willow Community, a non-profit arts organization that provides free artistic training and exhibition opportunities to community members with lived experience of mental health and addiction.

Natasha Pedros is an actor and designer who creates opportunities for performers to showcase their talents through her work with Suitcase in Point Theatre, In the Soil and the Niagara Artists Centre.

Royal Scottish Country Dance Society has offered classes, workshops, dances, demonstrations and support to organizations like the Niagara Folk Arts Festival and the Folk Arts Multicultural Centre since forming in 1964.

Laurie Sadowski is an arts advocate and the first Arts in Medicine Coordinator at the Walker Family Cancer Centre, where she shares her passion of using the arts as a tool for wellness.  

Patron of the Arts Award

The Patron of the Arts Award celebrates an individual or business that has made a meaningful contribution to the arts in St. Catharines through innovative, transformative, and entrepreneurial partnerships or philanthropic investments.

Sponsored by Henry of Pelham Family Estate Winery  


Patrick Little, alongside late wife Vicki, has volunteered on numerous committees and provided financial support to a variety of local performing arts and heritage organizations across St. Catharines and Niagara.

NEXTNiagara Council is responsible for the creation of the Priceless Art Auction that supports local artists and helps community organizations through volunteerism, raising a commitment of thousands of volunteer hours since its creation in 2014.  

The Sound STC is a locally owned magazine whose content emphasizes the quality and variety of arts and culture in St. Catharines and Niagara through a monthly publication of 4,500 copies and exclusive web content.  



All nominees will be provided with two (2) tickets to the event and a pre-show reception. Award recognition will be presented as follows:

  • Arts in Education, Established Artist, and Making A Difference - a $500 cheque and a beautifully hand-crafted St. Catharines Arts Award
  • Emerging Artists (2) - a $500 cheque and civic certificate of appreciation
  • Patron of the Arts - a beautifully hand-crafted St. Catharines Arts Award 

First presented in 2005, the Arts Awards celebrate St. Catharines' artists and cultural industries, honour cultural leaders and their achievements, and cultivate support for the arts sector. Arts Award recipients demonstrate St. Catharines' breadth of talent and commitment to the arts.

Copyright © 2014 The Corporation of the City of St. Catharines