2016 Arts Awards Recipients

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Ottawa Arts Council held the 2016 Arts Awards Presentation to honour and celebrate the contribution of outstanding Ottawa artists and arts supporters on April 26, 2016 in the Arts Court Theatre and Studio. Six awards were presented to three artists, two artists projects, and one business.


David CurrieThe Victor Tolgesy Arts Award

Inaugurated in 1987 by the City of Ottawa and the Ottawa Arts Council and named in honour of the late Ottawa artist, the Victor Tolgesy Arts Award recognizes the accomplishments of residents who have contributed substantially to enriching cultural life in our city. The sculpture given to the recipient is a bronze casting special edition version of the late Victor Tolgesy’s 1963 sculpture entitled “Seed and Flower”, provided by the City of Ottawa.

The Victor Tolgesy Arts Award was presented to David Currie.

David Currie has been active in Ottawa’s music community for over 45 years. After many years with the NAC Orchestra, he expanded his career as a conductor in 1990. Appointed Professor of Music at the University of Ottawa, Mr. Currie has been a faculty member and conductor of the University Orchestra since 1982.

In 1992 Mr. Currie became Music Director of the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra offering audiences a large orchestral repertoire with flare, excitement and great musicianship. He always nurtured local talent and performed music of local composers. Mr. Currie also invited local youth ensembles to perform with the Orchestra. He played a pivotal role in creating the OSO’s youth education programs as well as engaging children and families with Symphony for Schools and Inside the Music.

David O'MearaThe Ottawa Arts Council Mid-Career Artist Award

The Ottawa Arts Council Mid-Career Artist Award was created in 2006 to recognize and encourage the achievements of Ottawa artists who have evolved beyond the emerging stage of their career, and are now recognized professional artists contributing to the Ottawa arts community. 

David O'Meara was presented The Ottawa Arts Council Mid-Career Artist Award.

David O’Meara is the author of four collections of poetry, including Storm still, The Vicinity, Noble Gas, Penny Black and a play, Disaster. His books have been shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Award, the ReLit Prize, the Trillium Book Award, the K.M. Hunter Award, and have won the Archibald Lampman Award three times. His most recent book A Pretty Sight (2013) won the 2014 Ottawa Book Award. He has been the director of the Plan 99 Reading Series, the Artistic Director for VERSeFest (Canada’s International Poetry Festival), was a jurist for the 2012 Griffin Poetry Prize, and is listed in the Canadian Who’s Who.

Two other finalists were also honoured at during the award presentation: Martin Golland and Jean Stéphane Roy.

Caroline YergeauThe RBC Emerging Artist Award

In 2009 RBC approached the Ottawa Arts Council, asking to work together to bring their National Emerging Artist program to Ottawa by including this award in its annual Arts Awards presentation. The RBC Emerging Artist Award recognizes and encourages the achievements of artists who are founding careers in the arts, and are working toward becoming recognized professional artists while engaging with the community.

The RBC Emerging Artist Award was presented to Caroline Yergeau.

Following her training in speech therapy, Caroline Yergeau completed a Bachelor in Theatre at the University of Ottawa. She performed in Ti-Jean de partout and Parcours Vanier. She produced the Gala des prix Trille Or 2013 and Ontario Pop 2011. Caroline founded Théâtre Belevédère, where she is currently Artistic Director. There she produced Porc-épic, for which she was recognized at the 2013 Prix Rideau Awards. She co-authored and performed in Fucking Carl, which was recognized at the Ottawa Fringe Festival and the Prix Rideau Awards in 2014.

Two other finalists were also honoured at during the award presentation: Jamaal Jackson Rogers and Meredith Snider.

Installation view of Remembering the UnknownCorel Endowment Fund for the Arts Award

The Corel Endowment Fund for the Arts Award is a future-oriented award that encourages evolution, innovation, creativity, and excellence of artists working on new initiatives in all art disciplines in Ottawa and the National Capital Region. The award supports projects with the potential to significantly advance the artist’s art practice or have an impact on the community.

The Corel Endowment Fund for the Arts Award was presented to Anna Frlan.

Anna Frlan is a sculptor in steel and will receive $2,000 towards realizing and completing sculptures informed by her residency at the Diefenbunker. This work will be exhibited onsite from September 2016 through January 2017.

The Project X, Photography Fund

The Ottawa Arts Council and the former Festival X partnered to establish Project X, Photography Fund to promote and foster photographic excellence in Ottawa. This award provides $1000 to help produce an Ottawa area artist’s photo-based project and its presentation.

The Project X, Photography Fund was presented to Jamie Kronick.

Jamie Kronick will use the proceeds of this award towards a limited edition of books and an exhibition in Fall/Winter 2016 at Exposure Gallery. This work will be based on his photography whilst touring with a band, playing 83 shows in 108 days, spanning across 9 countries. 

Exterior view of pressedThe Business and the Arts Recognition Award

This award was initiated in 1994 to recognize those in the business community who have made a significant contribution to the local arts community.

The Business and the Arts Recognition Award was presented to pressed.

pressed is a small café that has a big impact in the Ottawa arts community. On Gladstone Ave. just east of Preston, Jeff Stewart has grown a space that showcases bands, has one of Ottawa’s few Zine racks and also features and sells local albums. There are almost nightly events that include jazz, comedy, poetry, songwriter & photography. Pressed is working at a ground level, actively engaging with, and responding to the needs of the arts community.


A special thanks to our event sponsor RBC Royal Bank and our award sponsors GGFL, Mann Lawyers, RBC Foundation, and the City of Ottawa.