TNO walked away with a bit of disappointment from the 2012 Premier's Awards for Excellence in the Arts, having lost out to Terragon Theatre for the Arts Organization Award, according to the company's artistic and executive director. The annual awards honour well-established artists, emerging artists and arts organizations across Ontario, according to a news release from the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport.
Geneviève Pineault said while it would have been great to win the award, and the accompanying financial boost, it was still an honour for TNO to be “surrounded by such great artists.”
The Arts Organization Award went to Tarragon Theatre. For more than 40 years, Tarragon Theatre has excelled as Ontario's pre-eminent producer and developer of leading edge and thought-provoking Canadian Theatre both nationally and on the world stage, according to a news release from the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport.
There was just over 160 nominations for the Arts Organization Award alone, Pineault said.
“It's really nerve-wracking when you find out on the spot like that,” Pineault said. “We'll see what the future holds. We've been encouraged to submit nominations again.”
There is still a silver lining for northern Ontario through the awards ceremony.
Shirley Cheechoo, a visual artist and award-winning playwright, actor, director and filmmaker was given the Individual Artist Award. Cheechoo is the first Aboriginal filmmaker in Canada to direct, produce, write and act in an award-winning dramatic feature film, Bearwalker.
Cheechoo has won numerous awards for her films including best director at the Reel World Film Festival and an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Laurentian University.
In winning this award, Cheechoo was required to choose an upcoming or emerging artist to share in the financial reward. As such, the Premier's Award for New or Emerging Individual Talent went to Heather Manitowabi, a self- taught Odawa-Ojibway visual artist from the Wikwemikong First Nation on Manitoulin Island.
Recognizing Ontario's artists and investing in talent is part of the McGuinty government's plan to create jobs, grow the economy and provide better opportunities for Ontarians.
"The McGuinty government is proud to support and recognize artists for their important contributions to our province,” Michael Chan, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, said. “The passion they bring to their work inspires all Ontarians and fuels the extraordinary cultural life of our communities. Their work helps build an innovative knowledge-based economy and a stronger Ontario."
Posted by Arron Pickard