Arts Awards Lunch 2011

The Council for the Arts in Ottawa presented the much-anticipated CAO Arts Awards Lunch in the 4th Floor Gallery of the Canadian Museum of Nature on April 28, 2011. RBC Financial is the Founding Partner for this invitation-only event, where recipients were announced for three prestigious awards totaling $19,000. 225 artists, arts patrons, business leaders, politicians and cultural staff were in attendance to celebrate and recognize outstanding contributions to the arts in the Ottawa area.

In 2010, RBC established the RBC Emerging Artist Award in Ottawa. For the second year they have generously provided $5,000 for the recipient and $1,000 each for the two short listed finalists.

In 2010, Mann and Partners LLP, joined GGFL LLP in substantially increasing the cash prizes associated with the CAO Mid-Career Artist Award providing a $5,000 cash prize for the CAO Mid-Career Artists Award recipient and $1,000 each for the two short listed finalists. This award was established four years ago to encourage artists who had advanced beyond the emerging stage of their careers.

The Victor Tolgesy Arts Award was inaugurated in 1987 by the City of Ottawa and the CAO to recognize the accomplishments of residents who have contributed substantially to enriching cultural life in the city. To date, 21 individuals have received this award. In addition to a cash prize of $5,000, the recipient will receive a special bronze casting of the 1963 work by Victor Tolgesy titled "Seed and Flower".

The three finalists for each award were announced at the CAO Sweetheart Cocktail for the Arts on February 8 at the Canadian Museum of Nature.

Award Finalists and Recipients

Victor Tolgesy Arts Award

Mela Constantinidi, Arts Administrator and former Director of the Ottawa Art Gallery
Barbara Gamble - Visual Artist and Community Volunteer
Laurie Steven - Artistic Director of Odyssey Theatre

Recipient: Mela Constantinidi
Mela Constantinidi has been passionately involved in the cultural sector at the municipal, provincial and federal levels for the past thirty years. She served as the Director and CEO of the Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG) from 1993 to 2010. Ms. Constantinidi has also held administrative and curatorial positions at the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Canada Council for the Arts. She also served on the Board of Directors of the Ontario Association of Art Galleries (OAAG) for six years and as President for two consecutive terms. In 2004, she was awarded a Chalmers Fellowship through the Ontario Arts Council, in recognition of her commitment to and advancement of the visual arts in Ontario. She was also awarded the OAAG's Colleague Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010.

CAO Mid-Career Artist Award

Paula Murray - Visual Artist
Frank Shebageget - Visual Artist
Kristina Watt - Performer and Producer

Recipient: Frank Shebageget
Shebageget graduated with his A.O.C.A. from the Ontario College of Art in 1996, and received his Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Victoria in 2000. Solo exhibitions include: Light Industry, Carleton University Art Gallery, Ottawa (2010), Model Life, Surrey Art Gallery, Surrey (2010) Quantification, Tribe Artist Run Centre, Saskatoon (2003), and Home Made, Gallery 101, Ottawa (2002). He has participated in the group exhibitions: Kosmos, Ottawa Art Gallery, Ottawa (2006); Au fils de mes jours (In My Lifetime), Museum of Civilization, Gatineau QC (2007), Musee de Quebec, Quebec City (2005); Dezhan Ejan, Canadian Embassy Washington, DC (2004); 3, Ottawa Art Gallery, Ottawa (2003). His work can be found in the collections of the Carleton University Indian Art Centre, Ottawa Art Gallery, the Canada Council Art Bank, the Dorothy Hoover Library of the Ontario College of Art and the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation.

RBC Emerging Artist Award

Jonathan Hobin - Art Director and Photographer
Andrew Morrow - Painter
Howie Tsui - Visual Artist

Recipient: Andrew Morrow
Andrew Morrow is a Canadian painter based in Chelsea, Quebec. Morrow is a participating member of the Enriched Bread Artists Collective, SAW Video, Artengine, and a part-time professor at the University of Ottawa. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Queen's University and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Ottawa, where he was awarded the Michel Goulet Prize for Outstanding MFA Theses Presentation. In addition to his studies and practice as an artist, he is an active teacher, mentor and public speaker. Morrows's work has been broadly exhibited, reviewed, and is featured in many international collections. Morrow is currently represented by the Patrick Mikhail Gallery in Ottawa and the Edward Day Gallery in Toronto.

The CAO would like to thank the RBC Foundation, Mann and Partners LLP, GGFL LLP, Ferguslea Properties Ltd. and The Ottawa Citzen for their support of the CAO Arts Awards Program.