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Arts, Cultural and Volunteer Awards

Owen Sound Celebrates Arts, Culture, and Volunteers!

The Owen Sound Arts, Culture and Volunteer Awards celebrate excellence in the arts, culture and heritage in the greater Owen Sound area.  This year, the celebration event also includes Volunteer, Youth Volunteer, and Senior of the Year.  If you would like to nominate someone for this consideration, please scroll below to see more information and links to the nomination forms.

These awards underline the importance of culture to residents and recognize groups and individuals for their outstanding achievements and contributions to the area’s cultural vitality. They also celebrate our volunteers for their desire to make a difference in our community and in their own lives by giving their time and expertise.  The awards are presented by the City of Owen Sound annually.  This year's celebration will be Sunday, April 14, 2024 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Tom Thomson Art Gallery or Rogers Grey County at

https://www.rogerstv.com/home?lid=14&rid=50

Nomination Deadline: closed 

Please click the appropriate form below to make a nomination.  The outlined eligibility and nomination criteria are also below. 

If you require assistance or an accessible format of these forms, please call the Communications Advisor at 519-376-1440 ext. 1211 or email communications@owensound.ca

Individuals and organizations eligible to be nominated for an award include:

  • Residents/groups of the greater Owen Sound area who are deemed to have made a significant cultural contribution locally; or
  • Residents of the area whose work has had a national/international impact.

 

Ineligible: Current, full-time employees and elected officials of the City of Owen Sound and its subsidiaries are not eligible for nomination.

 

Posthumous nominations will not be accepted; however, the public is welcome to submit names of recently deceased individuals to be honored during the Cultural Awards ceremony.

 

Anyone may submit a nomination.

 

General nomination criteria include:

-      Artistic excellence or achievement in an artistic discipline or heritage.

-      Sustained participation over a minimum of three years in the Owen Sound area (Emerging Artist and Most Promising New Event categories excepted).

-      Impact on the community, including volunteer involvement.

-      Completeness of nomination submission.

 

Except where noted, nominations may be for individuals or groups, including not-for-profit organizations, associations, businesses, schools and collectives. Group winners receive one award for the group.

 

Organizations and/or individuals may nominate themselves for an award.

 

Emerging Artist: Open to aspiring artists of any age in any discipline, whose work is of a professional standard. Individuals only. Includes $500 cash prize.

Outstanding Group: Recognizes incorporated organizations, institutions, and/or collectives for outstanding achievement in any of the fields of Literary, Visual, Media, Multi, and Performing Arts. May be for an ongoing activity or a new venture which has greatly enhanced the community’s artistic vibrancy.     

Outstanding Individual: Recognizes individual achievement in any area of creative expression including Literary Arts, Visual Arts, Media Arts, Multi-Arts, Dance, Theatre, and Music.                               Outstanding Event: Recognizes public events (i.e., festivals, concerts, and other live performances) and one-time events by established groups, such as theatrical productions and art exhibits, for their outstanding accomplishment in the field of event presentation. Criteria include:
- Overall contributions to the field of event production;
- Professionalism, creativity, and quality of presentation;
- Impact of the event including attendance, community benefits, quality of programming, and potential legacy;
- How well the event met its objectives (list objectives and results);
- Nominations must outline the conception, development, and execution of the event.
*The City of Owen Sound events are excluded from eligibility for this award.

Most Promising New Event: Same as Outstanding Event, but for events intended to be ongoing (i.e., annual) and have existed for no more than three years.

Cultural Catalyst: Open to any individual or corporate entity deemed to have made a significant and lasting contribution to the arts or heritage. Nominees may include volunteers, donors, sponsors, educators, innovative producers, etc. Except for recovering expenses, any volunteer nominated for this award does not receive any payment or honorarium for their involvement.

Cultural Heritage: Recognizes contributions to our tangible and intangible cultural heritage, including, but not limited to, restoration or adaptive re-use of historic structures; heritage displays, exhibits, installations, education, public services; the keeping and passing on of traditional songs, stories, and dance; traditional craftsmanship; literary works featuring historic themes or promoting heritage; heritage festivals and events; etc.

Lifetime Achievement: Recognizes individual contributions that have had a significant and lasting impact on local arts, cultural organizations, and the community. This award is appointed by the jury. Nominations are not accepted in this category, but suggestions may be emailed by Thursday, March 14 at 5 p.m. to the Events team.

The Award winners are selected by a jury of past winners of awards. Jury members are appointed by a request from the Events and Activation Coordinator.

The City of Owen Sound hosts an annual celebration where nominees are recognized for their contributions and an original work of art is given to the winner in each category. Every approved nominee is invited to the awards ceremony and receives a Certificate of Recognition.

The Awards are a public forum in which the community recognizes its cultural strength and diversity. This informs the nomination process. The integrity of the Awards is maintained by the following criteria and nominees are assessed by the jury based on:

  • Artistic excellence or achievement in an artistic discipline or heritage.
  • Sustained participation over a minimum of three years in the Owen Sound area (Emerging Artist and Most Promising New Event categories excepted).
  • Impact on the community, including volunteer involvement.
  • Completeness of nomination submission.

The jury reserves the right not to present awards in every category. The jury also reserves the right to reallocate submissions into categories that they deem to be more appropriate. In some cases, City staff may also contact a nominator to recommend a different award category for a nomination.

A nomination will be considered complete when the following has been submitted.

  • Nomination form (completed and signed).
  • Description of nominee’s accomplishments, and the reasons the nominee is eligible to receive the award.
  • 3 materials of support, as detailed on the nomination form and checklist.
  • Self-addressed return envelope for the return of material (if you wish that your support materials be returned).

PLEASE NOTE: for your nomination to be eligible, it must include support material. Along with the online application, the support material has a substantial impact on the assessment of your nominee. Do not assume that jury members will know any details regarding your nominee that you do not provide.

For paper copy submissions, please reach out to the Events & Activation Coordinator through email or by calling 519-376-4440 Ext. 1237

All nominees will be contacted by a representative of the city to confirm their acceptance of the nomination. Each nominee will receive a Certificate of Recognition.

The City of Owen Sound hosts a celebration every two years where nominees are recognized for their contributions and an original work of art is given to the winner in each category.  This year's celebration will be Sunday, April 14, 2024 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Tom Thomson Art Gallery.

The celebration event also includes Volunteer and Senior of the Year.  If you would like to nominate someone for this consideration, please click here to view the Volunteer Awards page.

2022 winners:

Cultural Catalyst - Christy Eaglesham (Taylor)

Cultural Heritage - Potters Field Monument Volunteer Steering Committee

Outstanding Event - Georgian Bay Symphony Virtual Sessions

Outstanding Group - Reconciliation Garden Project

Outstanding Individual - Tyler Boyle, Spirit Artist

Emerging Artist - Paige Warner

Most Promising New Event - Earth Day Grey Bruce

Lifetime Achievement - Shirley John

 

2020 winners:

Cultural Catalyst - Community Foundation Grey-Bruce

Cultural Heritage - Wiidosendiwag+Walking Together+Marchons Ensemble Tour

Outstanding Event - Scenic City Film Festival

Outstanding Group - Lookup Theatre

Outstanding Individual - Stephanie Fowler

Emerging Artist - Kevin Griffin

Most Promising New Event - Owen Sound Art Walk

Lifetime Achievement - Wilmer Nadjiwon

 

2018 winners:

Cultural Catalyst - R. Michael Warren

Cultural Heritage - Maryann Thomas

Outstanding Event - 42nd Annual Summerfolk Music & Crafts Festival

Outstanding Group - Georgian Bay Symphony

Outstanding Individual - Steve Ritchie

Emerging Artist - Chris Morton

Most Promising New Event - Awesome Sydenham Riverfest Extravaganza

Lifetime Achievement - Stephen J. Hogbin

For information on sponsorship opportunities for the 2024 Arts, Culture and Volunteer Awards, contact the Events & Activation Coordinator through email or by calling 519-376-4440 Ext. 1237

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