Recipients announced at CAO Arts Awards Evening on April 18, 2013

Excellence in the arts was celebrated when the Council for the Arts in Ottawa presented the much-anticipated CAO Arts Award Evening in the Arts Court Theatre on April 18, 2013. RBC Financial continues their sponsorship of this event, where winners were announced for three prestigious awards. More than 120 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.

Guests were greeted by the CAO's President Tom Pierson and Vice-President Julia Johnson. A reception with sparkling wine was held in the Studio of Arts Court, while up-tempo tunes from the John Geggie Duo set the mood for the evening.

John Doucet served as MC this year. This affable actor gave guests many reasons to smile, sparkling the proceedings with his charm and wit.

CAO worked with RBC Financial to establish the RBC Emerging Artist Award in Ottawa in 2010. They are generously providing $5,000 for the finalist and $1,000 each for the two short listed finalists.

Mann and Partners LLP join GGFL LLP in 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 in 2007 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, 23 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 12 at Shopify's Lounge.

Victor Tolgesy Arts Award

Award Finalists:
Elaina Martin – Festival, Music and Event Producer
Glenn McInnes – Arts Advocate and Patron
Don Monet – Gallery Owner and Arts Supporter

Recipient: Elaina Martin
Elaina is the Founder and Producer of WESTFEST which will celebrate its 10th Anniversary this coming June. She is a founding member of the Ottawa Youth Services Bureau's Charitable Foundation, and Sacred Fire Productions in Montreal. She produces the National Aboriginal Achievement Awards on Global TV, and produces the Soaring Indigenous Youth Conference, empowering Indigenous youth across Canada. Among other awards and distinctions, she was honoured with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in 2012. She has contributed 15 years of service as a Member to numerous local arts and social service Boards. Her immediate family includes her partner, visual Artist Cara Tierney and their three Chihuahua's and two cats.

CAO Mid-Career Artist Award

Award Finalists:
Dipna Horra - Visual / Media Artist
Andrew Wright - Media Artist
Jinny Yu - Visual Artist

Recipient: Jinny Yu
Born in Seoul (South Korea) and based in Ottawa, Jinny Yu has shown widely, including exhibitions at the ISCP Gallery (Brooklyn), Pulse New York (NY), Scope New York (NY), Bevilacqua La Masa Foundation (Venice), Kunst Doc Art Gallery (Seoul), the Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art (Kyoto), the Conduit Street Gallery, Sotheby's (London), Carleton University Art Gallery (Ottawa), the Confederation Centre Art Gallery (Charlottetown), and McMaster Museum of Art (Hamilton). Yu, she is Associate Professor of Painting at the University of Ottawa, was awarded the Laura Ciruls Painting Award from the Ontario Arts Foundation in 2012 and was a finalist for the Pulse Prize New York in 2011. She has received grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council , and le Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Quebec. She is represented by Galerie Art Mur in Montreal and General Hardware Contemporary in Toronto.

RBC Emerging Artist Award

Award Finalists:
Natasha Mazurka - Visual Artist
Amy Schissel - Visual Artist
Renée Yoxon - Singer / Songwriter

Recipient: Amy Schissel
Amy Schissel is an Ottawa painter whose work negotiates hybrid moments where paint and modes of digital representation collide. She was a 2011 RBC Canadian Painting Competition finalist, and Canada's 2009 recipient of the Brucebo Fine Arts Award. Her work is in the collections of Canada Council Art Bank, Foreign Affairs Canada, City of Ottawa, Free University of Brussels and Sweden's Gotland Museum of Fine Arts, and in numerous private international collections. She has a BFA and MFA from the University of Ottawa. Exhibition venues include: Karsh Masson Gallery, The Power Plant, Carleton University Art Gallery, Art Gallery of Hamilton, Art Gallery of Alberta, Art Toronto (2010, 2011, 2012), Papier 12, and in 2013, Volta New York, The Gladstone Hotel, Scope Miami. She is currently a studio professor at Algonquin College.

The CAO would like to thank the RBC Foundation, Mann and Partners LLP, GGFL LLP and the City of Ottawa.